Having attended Oktoberfest in Munch this past fall I was introduced to Radlers, a 50/50 or 60/40 mixture of beer and German-style soda or lemonade. This thirst quenching combination was unlike any Shandy I’ve had in the states. Then again, Oktoberfest was unlike any experience I’ve had in the states, so maybe there are other variables at play.
Radlers have been popular in Germany since the early 1920’s. Legend has it that in 1922, a bar owner, short on his supply of beer, became threatened by a group of cyclists (“radlers” in German) who were thirsty from their travels. In distress, the bar owner mixed whatever beer he had with lemonade. And from there, the Radler was born.
Since returning from Germany I’ve enjoyed an occasional Shandy stateside. Both from the bottle and through recipes of my own, however, it still doesn’t compare to the Radlers I enjoyed in the hills of Bavaria. And although I won’t be returning anytime soon, the news of Steigl’s bringing their Austrian Radler to the US has me excited. This grapefruit Radler is a blend of their signature Glodbrau lager with soda containing real grapefruit juice. I’m thinking the grapefruit flavor will be a great addition to this effervescent concoction.