The Specs: Bowen Island Brewing’s Easy Radler
3.2 ABV, 355mL
Today’s Bad Rider post is brought to you by the Google search ‘what’s the difference between a radler and a shandy?’
You smarter beer geeks are already laughing, but for the rest of you on the same page as me: Nothing, other than country of origin. Per a variety of sources, radler is the favoured term in Germany, while shandy is preferred by the British. In both cases, it’s traditionally a combination of beer and lemonade, ginger ale or other mixer of your choose.
The reason for the confusion is fair enough, I think. Every shandy I’ve ever had has been OK to dreadful, and my one radler experience — Parallel 49’s Tricycle Radler is one of the great summer beverages. I mean, it’s basically really good grapefruit juice that gives you a little buzz.
Bowen Island’s offering make the shady-radler linkage clearer. Like other commercially available, pre-mixed shandies it’s lemon flavoured. Unlike most of the competition it doesn’t immediately taste like dish soap from the glass you didn’t rinse quite as well as you thought, so props there. But lemon’s likely to be more divisive, because the amount of sweet required to make a palatable mix is a lot higher than what seems to be required for grapefruit.
The extra sweetness and a thinner mouthfeel more reminiscent of soda made Easy Radler feel much more of a piece with what’s coming from the bigger breweries, though it’s miles ahead in terms of flavour. At the end of the day, I’ll stick with grapefruit for my needs, but of the options out there this one’s not half bad.