The Rise of Radler Beer: A Delicious Lemon Twist on a Classic Style

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
'Radler' is a beer style that originated in Germany. It is typically a mixture of beer and lemon soda or lemon juice, and is meant to be a refreshing and low-alcohol drink.

The history of radler dates back to the early 1900s, when a bartender in the German town of Deisenhofen mixed beer with lemon soda to create a drink for cyclists who stopped at his bar during a long ride.

The drink was called Radlermass ("cyclist litre"). When the drink became popular,radler was adopted as the name for the style of beer.

In terms of flavor, radler is light and refreshing, with a balanced combination of beer and lemon.

The beer used for radler is typically a light-bodied beer, such as a pilsner, wheat beer, or lager, and the lemon soda or juice helps to cut the bitterness of the beer and provide a sweet and tangy flavor.

In terms of hops and malt, the specific ingredients used in a radler will vary depending on the type of beer that is used as the base.

However, most radlers will use a blend of light malts, such as pilsner malt, and a relatively low amount of hops to create a light and crisp beer.
radler beer style

When is the lemon added to the radler brew when making it?

The lemon is typically added to the radler after the beer has been brewed and fermented.

This allows the brewer to create a beer with the desired strength and flavor profile, and then mix it with the lemon soda or lemon juice to create the final radler product.

The addition of lemon soda or lemon juice to the beer can take place either before or after the beer is carbonated, depending on the desired carbonation level and the preferences of the brewer.

Some brewers prefer to add the lemon soda or juice after carbonation so that the final product is carbonated and has a more refreshing, effervescent mouthfeel. Others prefer to add the lemon before carbonation so that the beer is slightly sweeter and has a more consistent flavor.

In general, the process of making a radler involves brewing a light-bodied beer, such as a pilsner or lager, and then mixing it with lemon soda or lemon juice to create a refreshing and low-alcohol drink. The specific process and ingredients used will vary depending on the brewer and their preferences.

What temperature is radler beer best served at?

Radler is typically best served at a temperature between 40°F and 45°F (4°C to 7°C). 

This temperature range is considered to be the optimal serving temperature for light-bodied beers and helps to bring out the best flavor and aroma of the beer and lemon components in the radler.

Serving radler too warm can mute the flavor and aroma, while serving it too cold can make it taste too bitter and overwhelming. 

The ideal serving temperature for radler will also depend on personal preference, but most people prefer it to be slightly chilled and refreshing.

In general, it's a good idea to store radler in the refrigerator until ready to be served, and to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving to allow it to reach the optimal serving temperature.

What are some good food matchings for a radler?

Radler, with its light and refreshing flavor, pairs well with a variety of foods. Some popular food pairings for radler include:
  • Seafood - The light and tangy flavor of radler pairs well with fresh seafood dishes, such as grilled shrimp, crab cakes, and fish tacos.
  • Spicy food - Radler's crisp and refreshing character helps to balance the heat from spicy foods, making it a good choice for dishes like spicy chicken wings, hot and sour soup, and jalapeño poppers.
  • Salads - The light and refreshing flavor of radler complements a variety of salads, such as Caesar salad, pasta salad, and chicken salad.
  • Grilled meats - The crisp and refreshing flavor of radler makes it a good match for grilled meats, such as burgers, chicken, and steak.
  • Light pastas - Radler's light and crisp flavor pairs well with light pasta dishes, such as linguine with clam sauce, angel hair pasta with tomato sauce, and spaghetti with meat sauce.
In general, radler's light and refreshing flavor makes it a versatile beer that pairs well with a variety of dishes and cuisines.

What is the best kind of glass to serve a radler in?

A Radler is a beer-based drink typically served in a tall, cylindrical glass, such as a pilsner glass or a weissbier glass. The tall shape of the glass helps to showcase the drink's light color and carbonation, while the narrow top of the glass maintains the drink's effervescence. 

Additionally, the tall shape of the glass allows for a good balance between the beer and lemon soda, ensuring that each sip has a pleasant mixture of both flavors.

What is the ABV of a radler beer?

The alcohol by volume (ABV) of a radler varies depending on the recipe and ingredients used, but it is typically in the range of 2% to 4% ABV. Radler is often brewed to be a low-alcohol beer style, with a balanced combination of beer and lemon soda or lemon juice, and is meant to be a refreshing and easy-drinking drink.

Compared to traditional beers, which can have an ABV of 5% or higher, radler has a lower alcohol content, making it a popular choice for those looking for a light and refreshing drink that is not too strong. 

Additionally, the combination of beer and lemon helps to create a balanced and flavorful drink that is not too sweet or overpowering.

What was the trade mark dispute about the name radler in New Zealand all about?

radler trade mark dispute
In 2011, there was a trademark dispute in New Zealand regarding the use of the term "Radler" for a type of beer. 

A German company, Hasseröder Brauerei, claimed that the term "Radler" was a trademarked term in New Zealand and that other breweries were using the term without permission.

However, following a case raised by the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand ruled that the term "Radler" was not a well-known term in New Zealand and the trade mark could stand allowing Dominion Breweries to continue to exclusively use the term they had trademarked for their Monteith's Radler.

Some may view the ruling as necessary to protect a specific product and brand, while others may see it as limiting competition and choice in the market.

In NZ, many beer drinkers were astounded at the ruling as they had a common understanding of radler as a style of beer and that DB were being a greedy corporate monster. Many on principle will not purchase that beer as a result. Indeed, one Wellington Bar called HashigoZake has refused to let any DB beers be served following the ruling. 

This ruling only applies in New Zealand, brewers around the world are free to call their lemon infused beers radlers. 


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