“Brewer”:Guinness Anchor Berhad (Diageo/Asia Pacific Breweries-Heineken).
One of my dreams was to become Asia’s leading reviewer of canned shandy, the worst thing to happen to beer since the discovery of shandy. Today that dream is horribly realised.
GAB Says: “The real shandy. Malaysia’s pioneer shandy, since 1978, recently took on a new and refreshing image and look, giving it a more exciting, cooler and fun image while continuing to provide its drinkers a unique and refreshing drinking experience. It is a refreshing blend of fizzy lemonade and beer to be enjoyed on all occasions.”
I say: I hoped that this was a shandy that was built for Malaysia’s pioneers, a drink that smelled faintly of the keropok that injured Tunku Abdul Rahman as a child and Tan Cheng Lock‘s rubber business. The only pleasant feature of this drink is that it pours a beautiful golden amber, the nicest shade of soft drink that I have ever seen. Nose of lemon dishwashing liquid and malt is obliterated by a smoked orange finish that acridly lingers in your throat.
If Anglia pioneered something, that thing would be: Burnt Fanta.
Before people had the option of deadening their palate while getting their booze on with a premixed wine cooler, there was shandy, half beer mixed with half lemonade. It is one of those drinks manages to ruin two otherwise perfect drinks when you make it. I’d first heard of the shandy premix from friends’ trips to Indonesia, where it is available everywhere; there were plans afoot to import a case into Australia for me, possibly to horrify anyone who didn’t believe such a daft miscreant could ever exist.
Carlsberg says: “Jolly Shandy now comes in a great new packaging that is energetic and youthful looking. The Lemon flavour packs a tangy great taste as well as added Vitamin C for that refreshing feeling. Jolly Shandy is the perfect drink for today’s young and trendy who live a lifestyle by the adage ‘Refreshingly Different’. ”
I say: Jolly Shandy sounds like the name of a 1980s bubblegum pop outfit or maybe a character from a Pynchon novel. After drinking it, I was not filled with the jollity that the luminous green can suggested, only with carbonated bubbles of gloom. If there is beer in Jolly Shandy, it is not one with a malt flavour that can be discerned over the chemical lemon-lime concoction. With an alcohol by volume of 1%, fruit juice that has been left for a few days past its best-before date will impart more of an alcoholic kick.
If Jolly Shandy recorded an album with Thomas Pynchon, it would be called: Gravity’s Rainbow Brite
Location:Penang, Malaysia, but available across the whole peninsula.