Let’s talk about Radlers, the perfect cocktail for a summer picnic. Brought to you by Owl’s Brew.
But No Seriously WTF Is A Radler?
Alright, let’s get into it, folks. A radler is a German cocktail made of 50% beer and 50% lemonade, limeade, or other citrusy soft drink. Since they are basically diluted beer, they are low in alcohol and perfect for picnics, day drinking, brunches, basically any occasion where you don’t want to get too buzzed.
Don’t get me wrong. I love New Belgium. Their Voodoo Ranger line is awesome and I love Fat Tire, but the Juicy Watermelon just wasn’t muh thang.
Then, I was in NYC and got to taste a Wicked Watermelon Radler by Owl’s Brew and damned if I wasn’t impressed. It actually tasted like watermelon!
What’s The Story Behind Radlers?
I’m basically just going to quote Eater on this:
Bavarian tavern owner Franz Xaver Kugler invented [it] out of necessity in 1922 when his daily supply of beer was running low. In fact, Kugler managed to kill two birds with one stone: he ensured that his customers had something beer-y to drink and got rid of the lemonade nobody was buying. Kugler named it radler, or “cyclist” in German, after his thirsty patrons.
While radlers are mostly popular in Germany, they’re now also widely available anywhere between Romania in Eastern Europe and The Netherlands in the west. Fairly recently, commercially produced radlers and shandies crossed the ocean and landed in America.
There is actually a lot of room for creativity here which is always a plus for me. Owl’s Brew did exactly that with a whole line of radlers that are 40% tea and 60% craft beer. They have Wicked Watermelon (wheat beer blended with organic white tea, watermelon and pomegranate juice), The Blondie (wheat Beer paired with organic English breakfast tea, lemon peel, lemon and lime juice), That’s My Jam (amber ale paired with organic darjeeling hibiscus, strawberry and lemon juice), and Short & Stout (stout blended with organic chai Spices, coconut and pineapple).
So, I got to talking with the peeps at Owl’s Brew and they told me that they have a line of tea-based cocktail mixers so you can make your own. They sent me some to work with and I had a lot of fun playing around with the combinations. You can also mix them with any kind of booze to make your own cocktail. Maybe I’ll play with that another day, but today it’s just beer.
Wicked Watermelon Radler
I’m gonna start with watermelon because It’s so damn hot out and I could really go for a Wicked Watermelon Radler right about now. (is 10:30 AM too early?). Grab yourself a beer glass and pour in 4 ounces of White and Vine. Top it off with a good white ale like Allagash White, Blue Moon, or (one of my personal favorites) UFO.
Garnish with a lemon twist or a small slice of watermelon and BOOM, you got yourself a Wicked Watermelon Radler.
The Blondie Radler
The Classic Radler is made with lemon, lime, and English Breakfast Tea and the formula for the radler hasn’t changed. Add fiddy percent mixer and fiddy percent light in color beer. In that I mean, you can use white ale, and if you have UFO on hand I highly recommend it, but I went crazy, ese, and I picked up one of my favorite saisons to make the Classic Radler.
If you can find it, I highly recommend Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace. It’s delicious on its own and makes a good radler.
That’s My Jam Radler!
Last but not least we have the That’s My Jam Radler. Made with darjeeling hibiscus tea, strawberry, and lemon, you mix this puppy with an amber ale. I spent way too much time looking for the perfect amber ale for this but I found it!
You know Ommegang, the dudes who make the Game of Thrones Beers? I picked up their Rare Vos Amber Ale and mixed it with the Pink & Black to make a pretty dope radler. All it takes to make one is 50/50 ale and mixer.
Alright kids, so now you know about radlers and knowing is half the battle!