Shandy is making a comeback 29



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When Prime Minister Tony Abbott downed a beer at Sydney’s Royal Oak Hotel last month, he probably should have stuck with a shandy instead of a full-strength beer. He would have been very much on trend.

Shandy is on a comeback (did it ever go out of fashion)? In New Zealand, a bar in Auckland has even reinvented the shandy, transforming it from a beverage of half lemonade and half beer, to a sophisticated concoction complete with a lemon foam.

The New Zealand Hospitality Association says the foamy lemon shandy is part of a new wave of drinks hitting the market as customers demand a better and wider range of mid-strength drinks.

Mark Keddell from the Matterhorn Bar says the mixtures are their upmarket answer to the demand for mid-strength drinks. This is what he told

“I think people really are more aware of how many drinks they are having. It’s definitely having an impact. The after-work crowd has declined: they’re having one drink instead of four. There’s a lot of self-regulation and a growth in mid-strength beers, so this is our answer to it”.

It’s a pattern that’s similar in Australia if the latest statistics on beer consumption are any indication.

Beer consumption has fallen to a 68 year-low as Australians turn away from beer to wine, ready-to-drink spirits and cider. The total amount of alcohol being consumed is also at its lowest level in 50 years.

Bureau of Statistics figures show beer consumption fell in 2013-14 to 4.01 litres of pure alcohol per person, the lowest in 68 years. Beer now makes up 42 per cent of all alcohol consumed in Australia, having dropped from 75 per cent in 1963-64.

Wine has increased from 12 per cent to 38 per cent of the alcohol market in the past half a century. Spirits now represent 13 per cent of all alcohol consumed and cider now makes up 2 per cent.

How about you? When it’s time to crack open a coldie, is full strength beer still your drinking pleasure of choice? Or is the humble shandy, once considered the bevvy of wowsers or underage drinkers, making a comeback at your place?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I saw many Liberal voters in here saying he had a shandy, that is not what the news said or the photos were showing, I don’t drink but I think if I was going to have a beer it would be a shandy it is not as bitter and it is probably cheaper

    1 REPLY
    • I wouldn’t believe anything the media turns out, they quite often twist stories, very rarely present the real facts….so who knows!

  2. Oh, God, the memories! Driving back to Nyngan from a gymkhana, races or day in Dubbo, whatever, and we’d always pull up at the Trangie Hotel! Mum and us kids would sit in the car, (none of your ankle biters running wild in the beer garden with a raspberry drink and packet of chips!) Mum would be handed a sticky, lukewarm pale brown solution called Shandy! Once when she ducked inside, I drank the half inch left in the glass. GROSS!!!!! Never touched it since! I’ll stick to Cham-poo! Vx

    1 REPLY
    • Oh yes. As a 14 year old I played senior cricket and my reward after a Saturday slog was to sit in a car parked outside the pub door and have my much older team mates deliver a shandy to me. The experience turned me into a life long wine drinker.

  3. Always been a favourite in hot weather at ours. Visitors enjoy it and say it’s ages since they enjoyed a drink so much and it’s nice to be able to control its strength to individual tastes.

  4. “There was an old man called Ghandi. Went to the pub for a shandy. He lifted up his little loin cloth to wipe of the froth. And the barmaid said blimey thats handy.”

    2 REPLY
  5. Shandy is a great thirst quencher on a hot day. Had one at Green Island 3 weeks ago, surprised me they knew what I meant and how to make it. Got 2 drinks from a can of beer. Just got the Lemonade as required.

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