Monday, August 20, 2012
Bicycle Beer: Stiegl Radler
Beer geeks love to throw around terms like saison, gueuze and kriek lambic to describe various kinds of malted beverages. But just the other day I tried a bottled beverage I'd never heard of before, called a Radler.
It's kind of like an English shandy, short for shandygaff, a beer combined with citrus-flavored soda, carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale or cider. Radler, the German word for "cyclist," is a light lager combined with an equal amount of lemon soda. With its low alcohol level (around 2.5% ABV), slight effervescence and thirst-quenching citrusy twang, it's apparently the preferred beverage of those bicycling around the Alps.
As averse as I am to flavored beers, I have to admit that from my first tentative sip of the bottle offered to me by the enabling hand of Randy Goodman, I was enthralled. Imagine, I thought. A beer I could enjoy at lunch that wouldn't knock me out for an entire afternoon! Something with a little bit more oomph than lemonade, but with that beverage's refreshing zing. Perfect for a picnic, a barbecue or, gosh, even a bicycle ride!
Details: Stiegl Grapefruit (or Lemon Radler). Retails for around $2 per 11.2 fl. oz. bottle. Available at Vino, 137 SE 28th Ave., 503-235-8545; and Belmont Station, 4500 SE Stark St. 503-252-8538.