Today, Hopworks Urban Brewery is celebrating its first annual National Radler Day with the release of its organic "Totally Radler" in 16oz cans.
The history of the Radler begins in 1920s Bavaria with a man named Franz Xaver Kugler, a former blacksmith who lived in the small town of Deisenhofen. In those days, bicycling was a hot new craze, so Kugler decided to open an alehouse along a brand new bike trail from Munich, a mere 12 miles away. According to one possibly bogus history (defintely not factchecked by us), on a sunny June day in 1922, 30,000 thirsty Munich cyclists showed up at the Kugler Alm, threatening to drain his entire stock of beer. The quick-thinking German came up with a plan: Dilute his stock of beer with a bunch of clear lemon soda from his cellar. He called his invention the "Radlermaß" (cyclist liter) after the thousands of bikers whose thirsts he quenched.
These days, the Kugler Alm still stands, and the Radler is a ubiquitous summer time refreshment throughout Germany, Austria, and parts of Eastern Europe, frequently quaffed some sort after outdoor recreation. True to tradition, the Radler is still frequently mixed on the spot, using 50/50 ration of lager and lemon soda. (Note: A Bavarian variation is the Russ, half Weissbier, half soda.)
Check out our homegrown version of the Radler at Hopworks BikeBar on N Williams. For more information, visit hopworksbeer.com.