From fruit beers, light lagers, and beyond, there are a myriad of refreshing summer options when it comes to craft beer. However, there are some days when you just want to mix it up! Enter the wonderful world of craft beer mixed drinks!
The Radler/Shandy/Beermosa situation can get a little bit confusing. Are they the same thing? If not, how so?
There are so many ways you can take a great beer and get creative with add-ins for a unique seasonal beverage. We decided to break down what all these options are and include a few of our own suggestions using Six Mile Bridge brews.
A Radler is a beer (usually a lager or hefeweizen) mixed 50/50 or 60/40 with a citrus soda or sparkling citrus drink such as a carbonated lemonade. The legend of the Radler is that supposedly in 1922, an innkeeper outside of Munich was overwhelmed with thousands of cyclists and was running through his beer too fast. He mixed what remained with a lemon soda and “TA DA!” it became a Radler.
A Shandy is extremely similar to a Radler and often the term is used interchangeably. The subtle difference is that a Shandy is usually a beer mixed with a fruit “juice” instead of a soda, although a lemonade is still on the table and so is a “carbonated juice.” One distinction is that a Radler is almost always a citrus mix-in like lemon-lime soda, while a Shandy can venture away from citrus with things like mango or apple juice.
The supposed origins of Shandies involve a 19th century trend in mixing ale with champagne. However, as sparkling wine was on the pricey side, people began substituting lemonade or ginger beer instead. How that eventually lead to “juice” being the standard mix-in is a little more unclear, but we’re happy with the result either way!
While Radlers and Shandies typically use lagers or light wheat beers, a Beermosa is a more flavorful ale mixed with juice (a la Shandy style). As the name implies, a Beermosa is essentially a mimosa made with beer instead of champagne. The goal with a Beermosa is more about a satisfying brunch drink with sweet fruit juices, than it is about creating a very light sessionable drink. For that reason, a Beermosa is a great application for a sour beer, a heavier textured or flavored ale, and/or higher ABV base beers. Radlers and Shandies are known for being between 2.0% and 4.5% ABV while Beermosas vary more widely.
Which one is right for you? They all are. No matter what ingredients you have on hand, or what your taste preferences are, there’s a fun way to put a twist on your favorite beer. We have included a few fun options using our own beers, but the sky is the limit! If you come up with something delicious, please share your recipe with us.
OR if you like to leave it to the professionals, mark your calendars for our August 24th Anniversary Party! Alongside several beers brewed with tropical fruits, Head Brewer Ronnie Fink will be handcrafting a selection of Radlers/Shandies/Beermosas for your summer enjoyment!