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Shandies and Radlers for Summer

Here are some of the most refreshing beers you can drink right now.

Everyone knows that the most refreshing beer in the world is a shandy. It’s not even opinion; it’s fact. No one – no one – can argue with me that on a hot sunny day, when you’re really thirsty, especially if it’s the First Beer of the Day (capitalised for importance), that a shandy beats any other beer. If you’re sitting there in the sun struggling through your hazy Double IPA then you just picked the wrong pint, pal.

Inspired by talking about shandies recently on Sunday Brunch (it’s online), here’s some shandies which I’m enjoying right now. And if you want to know some history about shandies and radlers then there’s some interesting stuff in another post over here (you won’t believe what happened in 1870… that’s how you write engaging web content nowadays, right?).

Stiegl Grapefruit Radler is my favourite. It’s just 2% ABV and that comes from a 40/60 mix of Stiegl’s Goldbräu and grapefruit soda, which the brewery makes themselves (it actually contains grapefruit, lemon and orange). It’s pale yellow and deliciously, refreshingly grapefruity without being sweet.

Schöfferhofer Grapefruit is another exceptional grapefruit radler, this one a 50/50 mix with the brewery’s Hefeweizen – it’s quite a bitter Weizen, which works well with the fruit. Schöfferhofer smells like you’ve just cut into a ruby grapefruit and it’s the same blushing orange-red colour as the fruit (by the way, in Germany they have other radler flavours like passion fruit, lemon and pomegranate). Stiegl and Schöfferhofer have become cult-like beers with proper guilty pleasure appeal. And why? Because they’re really fun and pleasing to drink.

While we’re on guilty pleasures… Lidl’s own-brand Perlenbacher Radler is another to try. It’s half Pilsner and half cloudy lemon – the cloudy, tangy lemon is way nicer than sweet lemonade. I also think that the regular Perlenbacher Premium Pils is one of best value beers available in the UK.

If you like lemons then 71 Brewing’s Lemon Loca is the shandy for you. This Dundee-brewed beer is super lemony, like sucking-on-a-lemon lemony, and that makes it a puckering experience in a way which zings with citrus – it’s a beery homemade lemonade. I’d even think about drinking this one on ice.

And then there’s the Bavarian Beer Garden Radler. Above is a photo from the largest beer garden in Bavaria (which pretty much makes it the largest in the world) and on the bar in front of that big barrel of Augustiner beer is a tap for lemonade. Here, you collect your own mug and can choose whether you want lemonade in there or not – and you can choose the exact amount that you want, too. A splash, a quarter, three-quarters, whatever you want, then you just pay and the server fills your mug. Whether you have all beer or a radler the price is the same.

Want to know more about shandy and radler? Then you can read some history of these drinks here.


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