Radlers have their roots in cycling folklore, in fact radler means cyclist in a southern German dialect. In its simplest form, a radler beer is a Bavarian beer mixture consisting of 50% German light lager and 50% sparkling lemonade. The traditional radler is mixed with Munich Helles and Zitronenlimonade. This results in a light refreshing drink with serious tart citrus undertones. Radlers have evolved over time, subsequently there are a whole new family of radler flavours to explore.
The story goes that back in the 1920s there was a boom in recreational cycling. To cater for these thirsty cyclists, inn keeper, Franz Kugler, created a trail that lead from Munich, via the woods to his inn in Deisenhofen. The route proved to be very popular and one hot day in June 1922, overwhelmed by 13,000 thirsty cyclists, the unthinkable happened; he was running out of beer… In a flash of brilliance, Franz blended the remaining beer with lemon soda and the radler was born. As well as being a great refreshing beer, it was low in alcohol thus keeping more cyclists safely on their bikes!
The popularity of the radler soon spread from Munich to the rest of Germany. In the north of Germany, a radler is known as a Alsterwasser, where is it mixed with a German style Pils lager, resulting in a bitter and stronger radlers beer. Every curious brewers began to experiment with other flavours (including juices and fruit teas), especially as interest in no or low beers has grown. If you are looking for a home grown radler beer UK style, try Anarchy Teeny Weeny Tangeriney Can, which is made with Marlish Waters Brazilian Orange, in combination with slowly filtered spring water, plus Brazilian orange extracts and oils, producing a sharp and clean beverage. Anarchy Teeny Weeny Tangeriney is also a vegan friendly beer.
No matter the style of radler should always be served ice cold, traditionally in a Willi Becher beer glass or a stein/masskrug.
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