Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

SHANDY STRENGTH VARIATIONS HIGHLIGHTED

 

Trading Standards departments across the Yorkshire and Humber regions have taken part in a survey into the alcohol content of shandies made up in pubs and clubs. Concern has been expressed about the possible variations in practices of mixing shandies across the region, which may lead to purchasers unwittingly consuming more alcohol than they intended. In the run up to Christmas, with the party season in full swing, those consuming shandies before driving may wish to take note of the findings.

The majority of beers and lagers sold in pubs have an alcoholic strength of between 3.5% alcohol by volume (abv), for example John Smiths Smooth Bitter and 5.0% abv, for example Stella Artois 5.1% abv. This means that a pint of beer or lager contains between 2 and 2.8 units of alcohol. A unit of alcohol equates to two teaspoons of pure alcohol or a pub measure of a 40% vol spirit drink. By drinking shandy you would expect to halve your consumption of alcohol, so that a pint of shandy should contain between 1 and 1.4 units of alcohol.

The survey has shown a wide range of proportions of beer or lager in shandy, ranging from 39% to a staggering 93%. Although the latter finding was way over what was expected, quite a few samples contained around 70% of beer or lager in the mix. Using that level as a more typical upper limit, the range of units of alcohol consumed could vary from 0.8units to as high as 2 units if you drank a Stella shandy containing 70% Stella.

So if you believe that you can drink one pint of beer and still drive safely you may think that you can have two pints of shandy and the same will apply. The results of the survey show that two pints of shandy could  be equivalent to 1˝ pints of beer.

Martin Wood, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service commented,

“There is no easy way to tell how much you can drink and stay under the legal blood alcohol limit. Blood alcohol levels are affected by many things, such as gender, weight and how much you’ve eaten. Just because you are under the legal limit doesn’t mean that your reactions and judgement are not impaired. This survey shows that even drinking shandy can pose a risk. The only sure way is to stick to soft drinks.”

For further information contact:

Graham Hebblethwaite, Divisional Manager/General Media Contact Tel: 0113 2898218

Steven Kaye, Principal Officer 0113 2898229

Andrew Bibby, Principal Officer 0113 2898237

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

 

The results for each authority, which took part in the survey are detailed below:

Yorkshire and The Humber Trading Standards Group

 

 

Quality Standards Technical Group

 

 

 

Shandy Survey 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authority

Brand

Declared

Actual

Shandy

% Beer in

 

 

ABV (% vol)

ABV (%vol)

ABV (% vol)

Shandy

Barnsley

J Smith Cask

3.8

3.8

2.0

53

Barnsley

Carling Black Label

4.1

4.1

1.8

44

Barnsley

Bass Cask Ale

4.4

4.2

2.2

52

Barnsley

J Smith Smooth

3.5

3.8

1.5

39

Barnsley

Foster's Lager

4.0

4.0

1.8

45

 

 

 

 

Average

47

 

 

 

 

 

 

N E Lincs

Carling Lager

4.1

4.2

2.5

60

N E Lincs

Smoothflow Tetley's Bitter

3.6

3.8

2.7

71

N E Lincs

Stella Artois Lager

5.1

5.3

3.2

60

N E Lincs

J Smith extra Smooth Bitter

3.8

3.9

2.3

59

N E Lincs

Carling lager

4.1

4.1

2.9

71

N E Lincs

Boddingtons Bitter

3.8

3.8

2.4

63

N E Lincs

Carlsberg

4.1

4.0

2.2

55

N E Lincs

Castlemaine XXXX

3.9

4.0

2.1

53

N E Lincs

Bass

4.4

4.6

3.7

80

N E Lincs

Stones

 

4.0

2.6

65

 

 

 

 

Average

57

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rotherham

Trophy Bitter

3.6

3.6

2.0

56

Rotherham

Lemonale Bitter

4.0

4.3

2.2

51

Rotherham

Tetley Bitter

3.7

3.7

2.0

54

Rotherham

Stones Bitter

3.8

3.6

1.6

44

Rotherham

Bass Bitter

4.3

4.3

2.4

56

 

 

 

 

Average

52

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheffield

Theakston's Bitter

3.8

3.5

2.1

60

Sheffield

Stones Bitter

3.7

3.5

2.3

66

Sheffield

Boddington's Bitter

3.8

3.5

2.1

60

Sheffield

Big Break Bitter

4.4

4.4

2.9

66

Sheffield

Hares Breath Bitter

4.2

4.3

2.6

60

Sheffield

Boddington's Bitter

3.8

3.5

1.9

54

Sheffield

Boddingtons Bitter

3.8

3.7

1.9

51

Sheffield

Teley Bitter

3.7

3.5

2.3

66

Sheffield

Stones Bitter

3.7

3.5

2.2

63

Sheffield

Tetley Bitter

3.7

3.7

2.1

57

 

 

 

 

Average

60

 

 

 

 

 

 

W Yorks

Tetley Bitter

3.7

3.9

2.3

59

W Yorks

Abbot Ale

5.0

5.1

3.2

63

W Yorks

Carling Lager

4.1

4.2

2.1

50

W Yorks

Theakstone Milk

3.5

3.8

2.9

76

W Yorks

J Smith Cask Bittter

3.8

4.0

1.9

48

W Yorks

J Smith Extra Smooth

4.2

4.0

3.7

93

W Yorks

S Smith Soverein

4.1

4.2

2.6

62

W Yorks

Fosters Lager

4.0

4.2

3.0

71

W Yorks

S Smith Old Brewery

4.0

4.2

2.5

60

W Yorks

Tetley Bitter

3.7

3.6

2.4

67

 

 

 

 

Average

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall Average

56