Continuing in the strange experimental spirit we started with our ‘Will It Shandy..?’ investigation, Dylan ― of The Bottleneck blog, and my comrade / direct superior at Golding’s Free Dive ― and I ask the yet-more-nonsensical question: Will It Gaff? We realise that’s probably not really a noun, nevermind a verb,1 but we wanted to pick up the thread of mostly-forgotten ginger-beer-blends (with names like “portergaff” and “shandygaff”) that we mentioned in passing last time. For this round, we enlisted Annika Naschitzki ― of Tiamana Brewery, and herself an occasional blogger, who handily hails from a different (and definitely livelier)2 beer-blending culture.
At Golding’s, where I work with1 Dylan of The Bottleneck blog, it’s not uncommon to see us indulging in a little game we call ‘Will It Shandy?’ when we’re trying out new arrivals to the taps. A shandy — that’s a beer mixed with lemonade, on the remote chance the word is unfamiliar to you — is a much-maligned thing, and this upsets us both greatly. They can be truly wonderful, in a few different ways and for a few different reasons. So, starting with the Platonic Ideal of the modern shandy — a simple pale lager and a mass-market lemonade — we sat down to try a few different types of beer and see what twists and nuances we could find; to investigate not just whether we thought something could shandy,2 but also to start to test the why. In the name of both Science and Silliness, we recorded our endeavours and you can listen to the result above — or indeed over at Dylan’s. Very many thanks to him for doing all the editing work, and to The Coconut Monkeyrocket for our theme music.3