Radler, aka – Summer 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.
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.
The Leinenkugel Summer Shandy Experience:
- It has a smooth lemon flavor that reminded me of lemon curd. That stuff is very tasty!
- ABV of 4.2 makes for an easy drinking brew.
- 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 – Summer Shandy is just one of many fun and informative articles in Black Bucket Brew Magazine. Subscribe Now to get your free emailed eZine!