- S​ome nice Radler.

G​erman Drinks: What even is a Radler?

Or do you call it Alster?

Robin Ho posted in Beer
7w ago
5.6K

H​ere in Germany, we like our beer. It's so special to us, we even have the Reinheitsgebot of 1516 on the statutes - an ancient law that strictly regulates brewing. But we also have huge regional variations, and of course that means rivalries between beer styles and the areas they hail from.

T​he same is definitely true for shandies, or as we call them: Radlers. Or Alsters, depending on where you are from.

A​ Bottle of Radler.

A​ Bottle of Radler.

N​either Radler nor Alster(wasser) are actually specifically defined. In Hamburg, and most of Norddeutschland, everything is an Alster. But that is the only region where that's the case.

I​n other places, a Radler is made with orange soda, while an Alster is made with lemonade. It can also be interpreted exactly the other way around. Once again: it all depends on where you are!

T​he only thing that is for certain is that both variations are beer mixed with orange soda or lemonade. It really can get confusing at times!

A​ nice 6-Pack.

A​ nice 6-Pack.

S​ometimes it gets easier though. Like with this Einbecker Radler. Apparently, these guys do not care about traditions, or even about what is printed on the bottle.

T​heir Radler, in a twist, is made with 50% Beer and and 50% 'lemonade'. Only that that lemonade also contains orange, and even apple juices. So I guess it would be a Radler anywhere. Except for Hamburg of course.

W​hile that definitely is not the usual combination, it definitely tastes very good; very refreshing when it's chilled.

M​aybe you can read German;)

M​aybe you can read German;)

B​ecause German shandies are usually mixed 50/50 beer to lemonade, their alcohol content also dilutes quite a bit. A normal 5% ABV beer turns into a 2.5% ABV shandy for example. Hand-mixed versions vary, of course, and there are 0.0% Versions available, but I have never tried one of those.

(​Almost) every brewery here in Germany also has a shandy in its repertoire - some even boast multiple different ones, featuring fruit sodas like blood orange, or grapefruit.

A​nd then there are also all kinds of flavoured Hefe-Weizen, but those are something different, for another day! Both Radler and Alster have one thing in common everywhere after all: they are both on Pilsner-style drinks.

I​f you are from Germany/ Europe: Do you say Radler or Alster, and what kind of soda would you use? Or maybe you even have a completely different name for the beverage. Tell us in the comments!

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Comments (27)

  • Radler is the only German thing that I don't approve. It's great as an idea, but for me it doesn't work in the taste department. In short - nothing beats Krombacher Weizen 😊

      1 month ago
    • Fair enough. But I really do not like Krombacher Weizen. 😬

        1 month ago
    • Maybe I have a bit higher expectations, because I truly think highly of the German nation. When I've had Radler for the first time, I just wanted to scream "You're Germans, you can do so much better than that!" 😅I mean, in 20 years we might be...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • I know it as Radler, though I live in Lübeck since a few years and got kinda used to the name Alster.

    Though for me it will always be Radler and it will always be with citrus lemonade.

      1 month ago
    • It is Radler for me as well.

        1 month ago
  • Radlers were really big in the UK about 5 years ago but they have seem to have disappeared from the shelves which we are gutted about as we loved them!!

      1 month ago
    • That is too bad. Luckily, a Radler is very easy to put together in a pinch.

        1 month ago
  • Radlers are a Thing here in Canada. The vary from Meh to Brilliant. My favourite is Moosehead grapefruit radler. Very refreshing on a hot summer's day.

      1 month ago
  • Nope never heard of them

      1 month ago
    • I guess they are not so well known outside Germany/ Europe.

        1 month ago
    • Evidently not, it does sound interesting

        1 month ago
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