Shandy: Our Pick to be the Next Great Cocktail

March 26, 2024
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Shandy: A Beer Cocktail

Beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the world and cocktails are a mix of ingredients coupled with a single or multiple sources of alcohol. From this logic, beer cocktails and Shandy, a beer cocktail with its main alcoholic ingredient being beer, should be way more popular than they are right now.  But why are they not?

New York City houses some of the best cocktail bars in the world who serve a rich variety of cocktails, and a quick survey of their cocktail lists shows an apparent lack of beer cocktails or a Shandy. One can claim that “then there must be a very low interest for beer cocktails”. 

This statement cannot be further from the truth, as social media influencers specializing on cocktails have also covered the subject of beer cocktails with interaction rates above their averages without exception. Furthermore, Leinenkugel’s “Summer Shandy” is a canned version of Shandy and it has been on the market  since 2012, which shows that  Shandy is a commercial success in the canned cocktail market as well. No offense to Leinenkugel but we all know that canned cocktails cannot beat a real cocktail, it would be like comparing bottled beer to draft beer, so why can’t I enjoy a fresh Shandy in my favorite NYC cocktail bars?

The Shandy Recipe and why it’s not a Trending Cocktail YET

The answer to why even NYC cocktail bars usually don’t serve a Shandy lies behind its ingredients. At its core Shandy has a very basic recipe, lighter colored beer with a complementary refreshing beverage and some twists of lime if you are feeling fancy. There are a variety of different iterations to the Shandy that change the complementary ingredient to beer, some of the names for these iterations are the German Raddler with lemonade, Spanish Clara with sweet carbonated soda and the British Shandygaff with either ginger ale or ginger beer.

The catch is that beer as a cocktail ingredient is the main problem, not for the consumer but for the establishment preparing it. Go to anywhere that serves cocktails and you will see a rack of bottles containing cocktail ingredients. Take a look and you will probably spot some bitters, syrups, spirits like vodka and gin, etc. These are all non-carbonated ingredients with bottles traditionally designed to preserve them for a period after they are first opened, unlike bottled beer. Let’s imagine a scenario where I go to my local NYC cocktail bar and order a Shandy, the bartender opens a beer bottle and mixes it with the other ingredients, not using all of the beer in the bottle because it is a cocktail. What happens to the remains of that bottle? It is a bad situation no matter how the bartender uses it, he can down it for it to not go to waste, in which case he would be wasted by the time he is preparing his 10th Shandy of the night or he can use it for the next beer cocktail as a sub-optimal ingredient as it would lose its intended carbonation, and potentially go stale or go warm, resulting in a dissatisfied customer.

Draft Beer and Beer Cocktails

Thankfully, beer kegs are a solution to this logistic debacle. However, the traditional draft systems are archaic systems that heavily rely on the expertise and effort of the bartenders in charge. With the traditional draft systems, there is no proper way of calculating how much beer there might be left in the steel kegs, so most of the time the kegs are changed and the draft lines are used according to the guesswork of the skilled bartenders of this world by roughly counting how many glasses of draft beer were served from each tap. 

Add on top of this the additional challenge of having to draft specific measurements for each type of beer cocktail or even the beer used, as an IPA Shandy might require 200 ml of beer while a Shandy with a traditional American Pilsner might need 325 ml of beer for an optimal blend. Imagine a bartender working in the busy bars of NYC being  tasked with controlling the tap according to the needed measurement, counting how much beer might be left in his kegs and operating the tap differently to catch the optimal amount of foam required for each beer cocktail.

The Solution is Pubinno’s Internet of Beer

The actual solution to anything related to draft beer is in Pubinno’s internet of beer solutions. Our Smart Tap product connected to the easy to use Smart Hub application would allow for automated pours of perfect draft beer at any desired measurements that the operator can easily customize through the gadget’s clean UI. Therefore, beer cocktails wouldn’t require the precious extra attention of the bartenders or a measurement cup, but simply the press of a button. 

Furthermore, the establishment owner or bartender would be able to track how much of a specific brand of beer was served as well as its measurement category, so it is possible to track the amount of Shandy or Michelada served and their impact on the status of kegs. The Smart Tap also has features that control the amount of foam according to the desire of the user automatically, along with the addition of a manual “add foam” button for easy to add foam according to personal preferences. 

Quality is also consistent with the Smart Tap, powered by artificial intelligence and robotics, which improves keg efficiency up to 20%, tracks all the parameters for the draft beer system, such as pressure, line cleaning, temperature, and keg freshness, to maintain the highest beer quality and deliver perfect beer regardless of type, infrastructure, time, and location. 

If you are a local NYC cocktail bar that would like to be ahead of the curve and deliver perfect draft and beer cocktails, contact us at [email protected]

Happy National Cocktail Day to the US! Send this blog to people you know who might want to learn about beer cocktails and the Shandy to spread the joy of beer cocktails! Cheers!

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