Radler, aka – Summer Shandy

Light and Lemony Radler, aka – Shandy

Radler – aka Shandy

Radler  is a coolant that refreshes, is light on taste and gives you a “livin’ is easy” feeling? You know – this one could be called a “lawn mower” beer.

Summer Shandy or Radler?

  • A Shandy is a drink that uses beer as a major ingredient. The summer version uses lemonade or other fruit flavors, plus either wheat beer, a light lager, or pilsner mixed together, usually in a 1 to 1 ratio, beer to lemonade.
  • The Shandy (the English name) originated in Bavaria where it’s called a Radler (Cyclist). Radler – “Rahd-luh” is the simple name for – Biermischgetränk – the technically correct name. This is a good example of how Germans can put a few words into only one that looks completely impossible to say or spell. Very clever people.
  • So, bier-misch-getränk, means literally, beer-mix-to-drink.
German Radler Beers – Look at all the bikes!

So, how’d it get the name “Radler”?

There’re a few stories of the origin of the name Radler for this brew. I believe that German bicyclists simply needed a light brew that was refreshing, not heavy, and light on alcohol, so they could pedal their bikes in relative safety. The Bavarian Alp drop-offs are brutal, I’m sure.

The preferred lemonade is Euro style, a carbonated lemon flavored beverage, like Sprite, 7up, or lemon flavored sparkling water.

 But it’s German – where can I get some here?

We’ll make our own version. See Shandy in our “Home Brew Recipes!”

Wait – what if I don’t want to mix it myself?”

No trouble, here’s an easy way out – Leinenkugel. Wisconsin brewery Leinenkugel brews a refreshing Summer Shandy.

The Leinenkugel Family brewery was founded in Chippewa Falls, WI, in May 1867. It’s a 5th generation brewery that’s very popular. I think that much of its popularity is because it creates beers that are in between a “hard core” craft beer and the light fizzy yellow “beer water” that Big Beer sells.

It’s available in some states, and I was given one by a friend who returned from Wisconsin recently.

An unexpected gift in the patio garden?
ONE delicious Leinenkugel Summer Shandy was in the box!

The Leinenkugel Summer Shandy Experience:

  1. It has a smooth lemon flavor that reminded me of lemon curd. That stuff is very tasty!
  2. ABV of 4.2 makes for an easy drinking brew.
  3. Made with wheat and pale malt for a light straw-colored beer.

I’ll get some more if I can find it locally. It’s distributed by MillerCoors. A more extended taste test is in order. 🙂

Until then, I think mine will be looking something like this: 🙂

Radler (Shandy) with Elderberry Flowers

Radler – Summer Shandy is just one of many fun and informative articles in Black Bucket Brew Magazine. Subscribe Now to get your free emailed eZine!

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