big shark lemon radler from urban chestnut brewing co. photo by jonathan gayman

Roll with these 5 radlers in St. Louis

Even if you’re not a fruit-in-your-beer kind of person, there is no denying the refreshing, spritzy relief a radler brings to a hot day. A beer-soda hybrid, the radler was born in the small German town of Deisenhofen outside Munich during the summer of 1922. The story goes that a herd of thirsty bicyclists depleted the beer supply at the local inn, and barkeep Franz Kugler solved the dwindling suds problem by cutting it with lemon soda. Thereafter, the radlermass, or cyclist liter, was the beverage of bike-riders and inn-goers alike.

Almost 100 years later, these juice-cut brews are resurging in popularity. Radlers and shandies (the English version) are sessionable and foster creativity for brewers and those who want to create their own by combining a light-bodied lager or wheat beer with a fruited beverage.

1. Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Big Shark Lemon Radler
Leave it to one of the leading German-style breweries in the U.S. to knock it out of the park. In fitting in with the cycling theme, UCBC partnered with Big Shark Bicycle Co. to give St. Louis a flagship Deisenhofen-ian lemon bomb.
Four-pack: $8

2. TW Pitchers Brewing Co. Radler
If grapefruit is the all-star in this lager-juice blend, then an added touch of blood orange juice is the game changer. Inspired by the greats, Stiegl and Schofferhofer, this radler offers a slightly higher ABV at 5.1 percent, citrus brightness and a very balanced grainy lager finish.
Six-pack: $9.50

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3. Boulevard Brewing Co. Ginger Lemon Radler
This Kansas City warm-weather favorite demonstrates that some spice can be nice in the classic style. Zing from fresh ginger juice and a lot of zest from fresh lemon juice balance out a crisp grain character and delicate pale malt sweetness for an excitingly refreshing beer.
Six-pack: $8

4. Left Hand Brewing Peach Beerllini Radler
This Bellini-tastic sipper proves citrus isn’t required for a killer radler. Juicy peach and a touch of grain on the nose give way to a palate balanced with malt sweetness and a hint of tartness, all amplified by some serious effervescence.
Six-pack: $9

5. The Civil Life Radler
You hold the reins to the blended-to-order Civil Life radler. Try a combination of Sanpellegrino Pompelmo and the house German wheat ale or the Topo Chico Twist of Lime atop a pint of the Vienna lager. It’s my favorite mixture for Sunday Funday.
The Civil Life Brewing Co., 3714 Holt Ave., St. Louis,

*All beers except The Civil Life available at Lukas Wine & Spirits, 15678 Manchester Road, Ellisville, 636.227.4543,

Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine, account manager at Craft Republic and director of beer at STL Barkeep. 

Tags : Places, Beer, Shops