Mike’s Authentic Shandy from Mike’s Hard Lemonade Company in Chicago, Illinois pours a cloudy pale yellow colour that unsurprisingly looks like diluted lemon juice, with a loose white head that gets retained as a thin cap and leaves sparse lacing. This lemonade and lager mix has a fairly mild, yet overly sweet and syrupy lemon smell. The only hints of lager come from a dirty metallic note and distinct whiff of corn.
The taste of Mike’s Authentic Shandy is also quite sweet and dominated by what I can best describe as a concentrated, “hypernatural” lemon flavour. This shandy is medium-bodied with lots of fine carbonation, but is extremely syrupy on the tongue and teeth. Some tartness is perceived in the finish, but is swallowed by the sweetness provided by a seemingly unhealthy amount of glucose-fructose that lingers throughout the aftertaste and gets joined by a biting, metallic and chemical-like flavour.
The black can that houses Mike’s Authentic Shandy is cluttered with descriptors and slogans and features the Mike’s lemon logo altered to include a stalk of barley. An ingredients list is found on the side and coded freshness dating is stamped on the bottom. The beer used in this product is brewed by City Brewing Company, LLC, which operates three large-scale facilities in the American midwest and south.
I found Mike’s Authentic Shandy far too sweet to consider having more than one or two at a time, though it could be an appealing refreshment after being in the summer heat in place of a soda or sports drink. I only pared it with light and salty snacks, but it could probably work with a salad as well. I much prefer the recently released Rickard’s Shandy because of a more natural flavour and pared back sweetness, though the best option is to use your favourite lemonade and lager to create your own.
Mike’s Authentic Shandy is available in six packs of cans at The Beer Store in Ontario and is widely distributed throughout the USA.
Type: American Adjunct Lager / Fruit Beer
Country: United States
Brewery: Mike’s Hard Lemonade Company / City Brewing Company, LLC
Format Purchased: 6 x 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 4.2%