Food & Drink

Real Men Drink Shandy (I Swear)

Published On 05/27/2015 Published On 05/27/2015
shandy drinking
SARAH ANDERSON/THRILLIST

I’m a man crippled by insecurity.

I’m not humiliated by my ample #dadbod, or too shy to talk to babes at Whole Foods. It’s my personal taste that mortifies me. See, I can’t stomach Sriracha’s heat; I can’t handle the hop-forward fuckery of your average IPA. These are simple matters of culinary preference, yet my manhood is mocked mercilessly for them. Clever online commenters whose opinions I definitely totally value call me scornful, emasculating names. Wimp, they snarl contemptuously. Chicken. Namby-pamby. Milksop.

And yet, I haven't even revealed my palate’s deepest shame. Until now.

I love shandy. I love drinking it. I love thinking about it. Hell, on a hot summer’s day, I love nothing more than to take off my shirt and douse myself in the sticky, sweet, fruit-beer embrace of a commercially produced, refrigerator-chilled shandy.

Shandy is an all-day elbow drop of flavor to your facehole.

For years, these half-and-half hybrids have been my summer secret, my summer shame. I’ve surreptitiously sipped radlers on rooftops, privately pounded potsdamers in parks, and quietly lager-topped my way to many afternoons of leisure. I’ve drank all manner of shandy in my summers on this Earth, and I’ve done it in the shadows.

But no longer! I stand before you, loveless reader, prepared to be flagellated for my feminine infatuation with refreshment. I reject the toxic masculinity of beer’s elite. I am a real man, dammit, and I drink shandy. I’ll be silenced not one second more by those hateful shandy-shamers. Here are all the reasons my love for shandy is pure, real, and manly.

SARAH ANDERSON/THRILLIST

They taste like sweet summer rain

Here is a bold claim that I cannot back up but will nevertheless shout loudly at you with the masculine swagger of block caps: NOTHING TASTES BETTER THAN SHANDY. Boom. A man has written his opinion online in the largest available typesetting; it is now fact. Shandy -- with its effervescence and sprightly flavor -- is absolutely delicious when the sun is shining.

Wow, I guess this shandy makes me more worldly than you.

From lemonade, to grapefruit juice, to ginger beer, the non-alcoholic component of the drink is perfectly calibrated to deliver a sensuous, inspired mouthfeel. Does it sound like I’m incongruously talking about oral sex right now? Good, because that’s what real men do, so obviously it was intentional. You heard it here first: shandy gives great mouthfeel.

SARAH ANDERSON/THRILLIST

You can drink lots of ‘em in one sitting

Speaking of non-alcoholic ingredients: a shandy may be up to half virgin, which also sounds like terminology dudes use to describe blowies, but is actually a characterization of the category’s lower-than-normal ABV.

Less booze?! What obnoxious bro of sound obnoxious mind would actually enjoy such a thing? Shandies are for chicks! Right bros?

No. Wrong, bros. Wrong indeed. Have you ever heard of session beers? God, I hope so, because they’re extremely common these days. All real men have heard of session beers. Shandies are the original session beers. You can kick back and whack, like, a whole bushel of ‘em with nonchalance & zeal. Is there anything more macho than drinking beers for hours in the scorching American sun? Besides Mister R. Mario Poffo, aka Randy Motherfucking Savage, no: there is nothing more macho. Shandies are basically an all-day elbow drop of fruity flavor straight to your facehole.

SARAH ANDERSON/THRILLIST

They’re sophisticated and impressive

Let me tell you something else, reader. Something you wouldn’t know, because you are small-minded, xenophobic, and utterly unable to comprehend disparate perspectives. When a man drinks a shandy, it says something about him. "Oh, hello there," it croons on his behalf in a tangy, energetic tenor. "Have you traveled extensively? You really should some day. Wow, I guess I’m more worldly than you are."

Feel that? That’s a sense of inferiority welling up in your chest. It’ll pass eventually. (I should know -- I feel inferior quite often.) See, the shandy is originally from Europe. In a deviation from other continental inventions like world wars or bidets, this one is brilliant. The only reason the beer-juice mix-up hasn’t earned the same warm reception in America as it has across the Atlantic is because real heroes (like me) have been muzzled by our own humiliation.

But you know what? I enjoy this brilliant, fancy European concoction, and despite your disdainful glance, I know -- in my flavor-addled heart! -- that you admire my international tastes. 
 

Conclusion

I have lived much of my drinking life in the darkness of society’s disapproval. Shandies are my albatross to carry; they are my cross to bear. Each summer, I wonder -- is this the year that I break my shandy silence? The season when I stand up and boldly tell the IPA-jocking beer bro-lluminati that yes, I like fruity beer, and I'm proud of it? The moment I break down this gendered wall and show my fellow man that it's not too twee to enjoy a refreshing radler?

This summer, I wonder no more. The time is now. The confession is thus. I am a man who drinks shandy, and I am not ashamed.

Cider, though? That stuff is for chicks.

Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist. He is an embarrassment in most ways, but not in this particular way. Follow @dinfontay on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

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