In German, the word radler literally translates to “cyclist.” But for most of us, it means a wonderful beverage that is part beer, part lemonade. That makes it quite excellent for drinking during or after just about every athletic activity under the sun, including cycling.
And these days, many brewers have gotten on board and introduced their own radlers or shandies (a larger category that incorporates similar beverages).
We’ve tried a few variations recently, and you should too. Here’s the scoop.
Amstel Light Radler
More than any other beer on this list, Amstel Light’s Radler is committed to its radler-ness, if you will. How so? It’s 60 percent natural lemon juice. That drops the alcohol content to 2 percent while delivering an ultra-refreshing beverage you can sip all afternoon.
Perfect for: Biking to the beach
Samuel Adams Porch Rocker
Sam’s offering marries a golden Helles lager with a blend of lemons. It’s a little beer-ier than most, making it great for outdoor activities that don’t demand huge levels of hand-eye coordination.
Perfect for: (Watching the kids play) Whiffle ball
Coors Light Citrus Radler
Coors takes a tropical vacation with this version, marrying their classic beer to a citrus-y mix of orange, lemon and lime. The effervescently fruity result provides a nice buzz that some tasters prefer to the original.
Perfect for: Chilling by the pool
Shock Top Lemon Shandy
Shock Top aims to reinvent the Shandy with this meticulously crafted concoction. We’re talking Belgian-Style Wheat Ale and five kinds of hops combined with citrus peels, coriander, lemonade and sugar. It’s basically craft beer with a tangy lemon twist.
Perfect for: Grilling on the deck
Curious Traveler Shandy
Another craft beer approach, Curious Traveler’s brew is a true American wheat ale blended with fresh lemon and a bit of lime. At 4.4 percent ABV, it’s got just enough booze to add hazy pleasure to outdoor tasks. Also, there’s a mustache on the bottle.
Perfect for: Washing your Triumph Scrambler