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What we know about Chandy

Chandy was a brand of lemonade and beer shandy introduced by Whitbread in 1952 or 1953 and sold in the UK until around the early to mid-1970s. Chandy was available in bottles and, for at least some of its lifetime, cans. According to their adverts, it was sold in “pubs, clubs, bingo halls, bowling lanes and cinemas”. As a lemonade and beer shandy, it was a “soft drink” advertised as being "non-alcoholic" during the mid-1960s and then, as more modern regulation presumably demanded it, “not more than 2% proof”. This is just over twice as strong as soft drinks are allowed to be today and we guess that Chandy was probably made with perhaps around 20-25% beer to 75-80% lemonade.

 

Despite being launched by the brewers Whitbread and all known cans and bottle labels featuring the Whitbread hind’s head logo, Chandy was not marketed as Whitbread Chandy. Instead Chandy production was credited to the Chandy Bottling Company of 52 Chiswell Street, London E.C.1, the same address as the Whitbread Brewery. The Whitbread Brewery had been established at Chiswell Street in 1750 and brewing continued there for 225 years until brewing at the site came to an end in 1976. The brewery building at 52 Chiswell Street survives to this day, but it is now a conference and events venue, still named “The Brewery”, but no longer owned by Whitbread, who themselves no longer have brewing interests and are the UK's largest hotel and restaurant company with brands including Costa Coffee and Premier Inn.

Chandy bottling was also credited to the Chislehurst Mineral Waters Company, Kent according to a rare surviving Chandy bottle from the 1950s. The Chandy Bottling Company itself later changed address in the early 1970s to 154-176 Albany Road, London S.E.5 and then, towards the end of its existence, on to an address given simply as “London E6 4LF”, which postcode was home to R. Whites in the 1970s and is today home to Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd.

bottle with lion

The Chandy brand mascot was the Chandy lion, immortalised in  small and large plastic figurines and seen on beer mats drinking Chandy, driving, walking and sleeping, but always looking rather pleased with himself.

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Chandy was promoted by any number of different items, advertising slogans and sporting sponsorships during its lifetime, details of all of which you will find covered elsewhere on this website in as much detail as we can find.

 

However, there is no evidence we can find of Chandy being around by the mid to late-1970s and by 1975 Whitbread Shandy had been launched, presumably being a rebranding or replacement of Chandy. Ironically this was probably a reaction to the success of the Shandy Bass brand, which had been launched in 1972, and which, unlike Chandy, explicitly linked its name to a big brewery brand, Bass.

 

The Chandy name now lives on only in a handful of items that reproduce one of their advertising images, in still-awarded parachuting trophy prizes originating from an event Chandy sponsored in the 1960s and at the Chandy Museum, the website dedicated to memory of the drink for thirsty drivers!