Radlers have a long history in German speaking regions and often make a splash in the summer with their 50/50 mix of beer and lemonade or soda. This Saturday the refreshing, low ABV drink will debut as the focus of the 1st Annual Portland Radler Festival at StormBreaker Brewing.
19 breweries and three cideries will be pouring blends that include the traditional lemonade as well as ones using sodas and juices. We had a chance to try some of the radlers earlier this week and they ranged from those that are already commercially available and canned to those that were the result of in-house blending and will be unique to the festival.
One of the ones at the preview we enjoyed most was Hopworks Totally Radler, a beer that we were introduced to at NAOBF a few years ago, and is now available in 16oz cans. It has a pleasant, real lemon juice bite from the organic lemon juice that is blended perfectly with organic HUB Pilsner. (Those who prefer grapefruit to lemon should keep their eyes out as Hopworks will soon be debuting that version in 16oz cans). Just as delicious was the passion fruit flavor of Hi Five Cider Rosemancing the Radler. It's a blend of passion fruit and pink guava cider and rose cordial soda from Portland Soda Works.
Tea lovers should be particularly fond of Oregon Mead and Cider's Lime Ginger Trinity Mead Radler. The name is a mouthful and so is the complex blend of their Trinity mead and the Pearl Soda Company lime ginger soda. Owner Brooks enjoyed the process of creating the radler so much that he's already planning to offer three or four radlers next summer.
Those who prefer a sweeter radler should make a beeline to Zoiglhaus Orange Creamsicle Gose Radler. The blend of brewer Alan Taylor's traditional Gose and orange cream soda smells and tastes exactly like an orange creamsicle that has melted.
Stiegl, one of the event sponsors along with StormBreaker and Hotlips, will have both their Grapefruit and Zitron Radlers at the festival. We've had both multiple times but it was still fun to have them side-by-side, confirming our slight preference for the grapefruit version. As a side note, Portland is the #1 market for it, recently dethroning Chicago.
1st Annual Portland Radler Festival
Saturday, August 12th 12-8pm
StormBreaker Brewing, 832 N Beech St.
Advance tickets $15, at the door $20 (both include tasting mug and 8 tickets)
Full radler lineup