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rad radlers WRITTEn By BEThAny chRISTo | PhoTogRAPhy By JonAThAn gAymAn

Radler is a refreshing drink traditionally made with equal parts carbonated lemonade and lager. Radler translates to “cyclist” in German and is popular among cyclists in the summertime, but radlers also make crisp fall sippers to counterbalance the heavy stouts and porters dotting menus this season.

blood orange LAwRENCE, KS. Technically, Free State Brewing Co. has had a

radler on its brewpub’s “secret” menu in lawrence, Kansas, for more than 10 years, according to head brewer geoff Deman. The cyclist is simply half housemade lemonade and half Wheat State golden. Three years ago, Deman was inspired by Stiegl’s popular grapefruit radler (and his girlfriend’s urging) to release his own. The resulting blood orange radler was so popular this year that Deman had to double production. Seven barrels of blood orange soda are made in the brewpub’s kettles, cooled and then run through hoses out the back to a portable trailer, which hauls it across town to the production facility. The soda is then blended with a version of Free State’s maibock grain bill. “I think there’s a certain segment of drinkers who gravitate toward wine or cider who like the fruity, refreshing flavor of a radler,” Deman says. The radler ran on draft in the summer and is no longer available, but Free State will release it again next year. Deman is considering adding a cold-weather radler with a more savory flavor like lemongrass. 785.843.4555,

grapefruit Local beer experts recommend pairings to make radlers at home:

Boulevard Brewing Co. Reverb Imperial Pilsner


Boulevard Brewing Co. KC Pils



(sold at Trader Joe’s) SoNIC STRAwBERRY LImEAdE

▶ bonus drinks

Mix Boulevard Brewing Co. Cranberry-Orange Radler with vodka and a rosemary garnish, or use in place of sour mix for a radler-rita. -Jeremy Danner, Boulevard Brewing Co.

The Rummy RadleR REcIPE couRTESy ExcEl BREWIng co. SERVES | 2 |

1 1

12-oz bottle Excel Brewing Co. Flash Bang 12-oz bottle Excel Bottling Co. Rummy grapefruit soda

| preparation | In a beer glass, pour half of beer. Top with equal amount grapefruit soda, or to taste.

Excel Brewing Co. Flash Bang


Excel Brewing Co. Lefty’s Lager



-Ben Bruker, Excel Brewing Co.

Free State Brewing Co. Garden Party



-Geoff Deman, Free State Brewing Co.

Excel Brewing Co. Flash Bang



Excel Brewing Co. East Side IPA



-Brandon Nickelson, Craft Beer Cellar Clayton

BREESE, IL. Sister companies Excel Bottling Co. and Excel Brewing Co. give home bartenders the opportunity to test their skills with The Rummy Radler. The cocktail combines equal parts Rummy grapefruit soda with Flash Bang, a hoppy American wheat ale. Excel sales director Ben Bruker says the cocktail works because “The hops have citrus flavor, as does the soda, and so they marry well together.” The beer also balances out the sweet and slightly bitter notes in the soda, which Excel has been making in Breese, Illinois, since 1936. Although it would seem natural for a bottler that’s been brewing beer since 2012 to make the progression into radlers, Bruker says it’s not quite that easy. “We’ve talked about it, but the main issue is that we don’t have a pasteurizer,” he says. “When you’re adding that element of extra sugar, the worry of a yeast cell getting through and blowing caps off is always there.” Fortunately, Excel gives us the tools to make it ourselves.


cranberry - orange KANSAS CITY. As of this month, a radler will be available almost year-round from Boulevard Brewing Co. After the success of its spring and summer seasonal ginger-lemon radler over the past two years, “We wondered how a very decidedly summer beer would do in the fall,” says ambassador brewer Jeremy Danner of Boulevard’s cranberry-blood orange autumn offering. “While it very much typifies the thirst-quenching, refreshing nature of a radler, people still view it as a beer. The 4.1 percent ABV is only .3 percent lower than our unfiltered wheat.” That unfiltered wheat beer, in fact, is the base of the radler, which is made with blood orange and cranberry juice concentrates and carbonated soda water and sold in 12-ounce cans. “Radlers are an approachable style for people who don’t really like beer,” Danner says. “For me, spending all day in a brewery and thinking about beer in such a critical and technical way, it’s nice to have something where you can turn your brain off and just drink.”


October 2016 Feast Magazine  

Inspired by our love of nature, this issue of Feast is dedicated to the joys of fall in the Midwest. Crack open a cold one, find a place to...

October 2016 Feast Magazine  

Inspired by our love of nature, this issue of Feast is dedicated to the joys of fall in the Midwest. Crack open a cold one, find a place to...