Newest Review: ... depend how you like it. The usual bought shandy is made with beer and lemonade! What distinguishes this from other makes of Shandy? As... more
The best Shandy in the world (probably)
Member Name: melinda3536
Date: 14/01/10, updated on 04/11/13 (249 review reads)
Advantages: beautiful flavour, very little fizz
Disadvantages: can be hard to find
I'm not at all keen on beer, I'm a cider person as a rule, but I do like the occasional shandy. Something in the lemonade seems to neutralise the bitterness of the hops and give it a nice sweet tinge that I enjoy. I first spotted this Fentimans Shandy at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway a few yeras ago, in the lovely restaurant at their Havenstreet Station, and decided to give it a go with lunch. It is a very satisfying drink, with a well-rounded and full flavour. It has a fresh, sweet taste, the lemon gives it a real lift.
Fentimans have been producing 'botanically brewed beverages' since they were established in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, in 1905. The drink that started it all off was ginger beer, with a recipe that Thomas Fentiman received as security for a loan. As the loan was never repaid, he became the owner of the recipe and the company was born. They now have a small but select range of drinks - the original Ginger Beer, Tonic Water, Curiosity Cola, Seville Orange Jigger, Victorian Lemonade, Dandelion & Burdock, the brand new Rose Lemonade, and Shandy. Each drink is the product of a brewing process that takes a week, making a thorough infusion of flavours, many of which are herbal extracts which give them a unique taste.
The Shandy contains a short list of ingredients, which are:
Beer 70% (malt, sugar, hops, yeast and water),
natural lemon flavour,
Final ABV - less than 0.5%
I've only so far bought the bottled version, which is 275ml, but I believe that there is also a canned version available, which is 330ml.
This compact list of ingredients together with their brewing process combine to produce what I regard to be the nicest shandy I have ever met. It isn't too fizzy at all, in fact on the label it states "more beer less fizz". It perfectly suits my sweet tooth and my desire for a full and balanced flavour. The only downside is my inability to find it - it tends to be stocked by visitor attractions and some garden centres, which makes a lovely addition to a day out if I find it! Maybe it's just as well that it's not currently available at my local Tesco, as I don't want to lose the 'treat' element to what has become one of my favourite drinks. I do know a local garden centre that stocks it though.... :-))
There is a full list of stockists, plus a lot more info on the brand and products, at their website: http://www.fentimans.com/
Summary: A very satisfying drink with a great flavour!