Meet the Radler, a low-alcohol summer beer with lemonade
There’s a new grapefruit shandy in a can and Clare brewers Western Herd has a special whiskey stout release
Stiegl’s Grapefruit Radlers is made with 60 per cent fruit soda and 40 per cent lager
My first (supervised) alcoholic drink was a half pint of lager shandy after a trip to “the pictures” with my mum. I was probably too distracted by the very fact of sitting in a bar, with an adult, and having a real drink – or something that wasn’t MiWadi with a packet of crisps – to remember much about the taste of it, though I’m pretty sure it was extra heavy on the lemonade side.
You don’t hear many people ordering shandies these days (or white wine spritzers, which also seemed to be more of a thing back in the day), though in Germany the Radler-style beer is popular, which is the same kind of idea. Radler means cyclist, and the story goes that they preferred something lighter and lower alcohol while out pedalling about. The Radler beer is a blend of pale lager or pils with lemonade and Stiegl’s grapefruit version has recently hit the shelves and taps here.
Made with 40 per cent Stiegl Goldbräu lager and 60 per cent fruit soda, it has a lovely grapefruit aroma. It pours as a straw yellow, with a bit of haze, and you’ll get a little hint of lager graininess on the finish. It’s light-bodied, the gentle bitterness of the grapefruit flavour builds as you drink, and overall it makes for a refreshing summertime drink at 2 per cent, with 500ml cans priced at about €2.99.
For something completely different, the Western Herd brewery in Ennis, Co Clare, has a new limited edition Dolmen Whiskey Stout which was part of a collaboration with small local businesses. Made with coca nibs from Hazel Mountain Chocolate and coffee beans from Anam’s coffee, the beer was matured in casks from their neighbouring Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company. This is a deliciously rich, layered and complex sipper of a beer – get it now and keep for a quiet, and cooler, evening to yourself.