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German Beer

We just returned from an amazing trip to Munich and surrounding area. A big thank you for all the tips received before the trip. We stayed at Blauer Bock, which was excellent location. My question is about a sweet beer I ordered in Germany. I think it was called something like Radha.... or Rade..... Does anyone know the name of this sweet beer?
And if it is available in America? I LOVED the beer gardens!!! What fun! A big thank you to Rick Steves for all the inspiration I have received from watching his shows on TV and reading the travel books and also this wonderful site! I will Keep On Travelling!

Posted by
18527 posts

It's Radler, a mix of beer and citrus juice, probably lemonade or lemon soda. Radler, by the way, translates as cyclist.

Posted by
21 posts

Ohhhhh....it is a mix!
I thought is was just sweet beer. Funny! Thank you for posting!

Posted by
18527 posts

Samuel Adams Porch Rocker A sweet German beer would be rather unusual. Per the Reinheitsgebot, they only brew beer from Barley, Malt, Hops, and Water. You could find sweet beer in Belgium, where they make it from berries, honey, old benches, etc.

Posted by
2876 posts

Stiegl Radler is imported from Austria by Glunz Beers in Chicago, in both lemon and grapefruit flavors. I think it's pretty widely available, at least around the midwest. You might want to check with your local liquor retailer. http://www.glunzbeers.com

Posted by
6583 posts

I'm not much for sweet beer but I actually like Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy (didn't think I would). They also make a lemmon/berry shandy that I didn't like as well, thought it was too sweet. Lots of US brewers do a fruit/beer mix in the summer. The best mixture I've had was a pear cider/beer combo in a pub in Ireland many years ago.

Posted by
4125 posts

I like Leinenkugel's Summer Wheat as a shandy (mixed with lemonade). But I have low tastes.

Posted by
12040 posts

"Per the Reinheitsgebot, they only brew beer from Barley, Malt, Hops, and Water" Hasn't been in legal effect for a few decades. If you buy beer in Germany, they don't even mention it on the bottle anymore. It's now only a marketing gimmick for beer intended for export. If you drank a Radler at a restaurant or Biergarten, they probably mixed it right there at the tap, although you can buy premixed bottles in the stores. So quite literally, if you wanted to replicate this at home, just mix your favorite German beer and lemon soda in about a 60/40 ratio, and voila, you have a Radler.

Posted by
791 posts

"It's now only a marketing gimmick for beer intended for export." I've always thought that was strange because from what I read, the German gov't had to basically waive the reinheitsgebot for brewers who wanted to export their been so they could put preservatives in it.

Posted by
698 posts

I had a Radler our last night in Frankfurt a year ago. The waitress said it was made with Sprite, but I don't know if it was 50-50 or something different. When I saw Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy in the grocery recently I tried it. My taste buds said it did not compare favorably to my last Radler!?!

Posted by
12040 posts

"from what I read, the German gov't had to basically waive the reinheitsgebot for brewers who wanted to export their been so they could put preservatives in it." No, it was because of EU trade rules that they had to get rid of it. Other countries (like Belgium in particular) who may supplement their wort with other grains like oats, corn or sugar, or add fruit and herbal flavoring objected that they couldn't sell their product in Germany under the moniker of "beer" under the old law. They argued successfully that it acted as a form of protectionism that prevented them from expanding into Germany. Most beer only contains one preservative anyway- hops. And I'm not sure why Hefeweissen was exempted for all that time, since it uses wheat as its base grain. Come to think of it, how did Berliner Weiss escape also? I think the downfall of the law is actually quite a good thing. I know it originally probably had some value in consumer protection, but over time, it probably stifled the creative development of the beer industry in Germany. Yes, German beer is usually quite good, but compared to the variety that you find in Britain, Belgium and even the US and Canada, German beer can at times seem like more of the same. Pils, pils, more pils, a few Bocks, Hefeweissen and Märtzen here and there, then more pils, and if you've had enough, here's another pils. I don't mourn the demise of the Reinheitsgebod at all.

Posted by
8292 posts

A "Radler" is made with Sprite. Due to translations on menus, Sprite is often listed as limo or limonade, though it has nothing to do with the lemonade that most of us think of. All soda or pop is referred to as limo. A different version is a "Dreckiges", or "Dirty Beer", which is made with cola. This isn't often seen in bars, but is more common among locals in the Frankfurt area. You can make these at home, saving yourself money instead of buying some specialty in the store. It is 2/3rds beer and 1/3 Sprite. Give the cola one a try too. Once I got over the idea of beer and coke, I came to enjoy it. PS - I used to own a small pub here. Feel free to ask me your German booze questions.

Posted by
13361 posts

It's a real pity that the Reinheitsgebot has seen its last days because of the EU.

Posted by
868 posts

>" Pils, pils, more pils, a few Bocks, Hefeweissen and Märtzen here and there, then more pils, and if you've had enough, here's another pils." Schwarzbier, Gose, Berliner Weiße, Rauchbier, Alt, Pilsator, Zwickel, Dampfbier, Export... you just have to leave Bavaria to enjoy them.

Posted by
12040 posts

Fair enough, but compared to the readily available variety you find in some other beer-heavy countries, that variety just isn't as easy to come by in Germany. At least not where I live, but then again, I live in wine country.

Posted by
18527 posts

I had also read that the EU requires Germany to allow the sale of beer that does not meet the requirements of the Reinheitsgebot, but I've wondered how many Germans would buy it. But then, they seem to buy Weissbier, and it's made from wheat, not barley, so it's not strictly by the Reinheitsgebot. I've got bottles of two different German (Munich) beers in my refrigerator, and both say the are brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot. (But that might only be printed on bottles for export.) Incidentally, the Reinheitsgebot also set the price of bier at 1 Pfennig per liter. I guess they ignore that part of the law.

Posted by
16 posts

I loved radler too but i'm not really a beer drinker. The leinenkugels or whatever its called it nothing like radler-don't waste your money on it. You'll just have to return to germany!

Posted by
3784 posts

Importers now supply the authentic Stiegel Radler to serious pubs in both the United States and Canada. The company website http://www.stiegl.at/en/stieglat/ explains that its citron version mixes raspberry and lemon into the beer. I prefer the grapefruit version for its tartness, especially in hot weather. The concoction is low both in calories and alcohol content.
The website calls it a "shandy" style which is the traditional British pub term for diluting a bitter or lager with lemonade or ginger ale or hybrids such as Sprite and Fanta.

Posted by
13361 posts

"...leave Bavaria to enjoy them." How true! Mary Ann,
I recommend the various Dormunder Biere (Export, DAB, Union, Pils, etc.), Herforder Pils, the various Berlin beers...Schultheis, Berliner Kindl, and, of course, Berliner Weisse.

Posted by
21 posts

My goodness tons of interesting posts about beer! I must admit I am new to the world of beer and I am having sooo much fun trying different beers! Embracing you all for your wonderful tips and knowledge! May the discovery of great beers continue! Yeah!