Shandy Sun Time and the Dirty Hipster
Hella people are brewing Radlers and Shandies these days. Hub, Widmer Brothers, 10 Barrel, all thanks to dirty hipsters acting like they don’t want to get drunk as fast… Shit, maybe they’re onto something and just want to be able to drink all day long.
In an attempt to be as ridiculous as possible, Fern and I played Kendrick Lamar too loudly on our porch while we arranged a rocking lineup to test the resiliency of one of the more stigmatized drinks in the beautiful and free USA, the beer cocktail. While most friends and co-workers sneered at my suggestion of testing the waters of the shandy, some brave souls got beyond their alcohol machismo and said why yes! That could be good, the shandy.
We lined up three beers and tried each under the same conditions, mixed with 1/3 Santa Cruz lemonade, 1/2 Santa Cruz Lemonade and lastly 1/2 San Pellegrino Limonata. Even with only two 22’s and a tall boy we kinda got drunk on a beautiful spring evening, taking one for the team. It’s a pretty hard life.
Pabst plain- It’s like choking down something you still haven’t acquired a taste for after hours of shoulder tapping in front of 7/11 before the freshman dance. So ya, it’s pretty nostalgic i’d say. Nothing like sparkly banana flavored chemical water.
Pabst with ⅓ Santa Cruz- Tastes vaguely bitter, like fox pee, which I have unfortunately smelled before. The weakest portions of both drinks are accentuated. Tastes like cleaning up last night’s kegger with citrus based solvent. O, the early college years.
Pabst with ½ Santa Cruz- Tastes like Richer pabst with a sour undertone that creates a whole body.
Pabst with ½ San Pellegrino- Strong citrus aroma, tastes like way more magic. The carbonation is kept alive, strong and light lemon flavor with the beer richness behind it. The best so far! It’s actually really good, perfect because it’s not over sweet. The little bit of bitter completes the circle of what Pabst lacks.
Spring Reign from Ninkasi Brewing- Golden appearance with a yellow flower floral aroma. Pretty bitter that leads to salvation on the finnish. Very strong malt profile that carries all the way through.
Spring Reign with ⅓ Santa Cruz- Highlights everything bad about bitter and sour. This does not work in any way shape or form.
½ Cruz- Like a badly executed home brew with lemon flavor or a cocktail with bad fake lemon it tastes kinda fake. The sour lemon rides the malt like a bullrider all the way through to the overly bitter finish. At least it’s fairly sweet.
Spring Reign with San Pellegrino- The malt, sour and bitter doesn’t but heads quite as hard. It tastes like eating lemon skins. Fern says it’s like when the T.V. show tell you “don’t zest past the skin” but you do, you always zest past the skin. Of course she’s right, that’s exactly what it tastes like, she’s always right.
Alpha Centauri Imperial IPA from Hop Valley- Tastes like strong hops, hop tincture and a lot like weed. It has a strong bitter component, did I say that it was hoppy? A really great pine and citrus aroma.
Alpha Centauri with ⅓ Santa Cruz- The sweetness of the lemonaid cuts the bitter a little bit. Otherwise it just tastes like a toned down version of the beer.
Alpha Centauri with ½ Santa Cruz- The lemonade cuts the bitterness of the hops really well. It has this really great sour and sweet start that finishes clean and complex. The hops and lemon highlight elements within each other to balance out the profile. It tastes like a grown-up lemon candy. Definitely the best of the evening.
Alpha Centauri with San Pellegrino- The pellegrino has a good lemon flavor but lacks the sugar needed to round out the flavor. The final outcome is that it accentuated the bitterness. An unfortunately horrible pairing that falls flat.
Fern was right, most of the mixtures did taste horrendous so we finished off the night with one last little glass of the best and brightest, the ½ Alpha Centauri and ½ Santa Cruz Shandy. We paired this with a little bit of Lemon Haze, a Sativa that smells strongly of Lemon and has these little orange yellow hairs. We figured, pair like with like, and it worked. Lots of lemon flavor, with a good expression of hop and pine to cut through the cotton mouth. We are definitely done for the night, and probably for the week. Both Fern and I can’t stop giggling. No more tasting.