Germans put soda in beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by brianthelion23, Feb 17, 2013.

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  1. brianthelion23

    brianthelion23 Initiate (0) May 21, 2012 California

    Someone that was stationed in Germany told me its common practice for them to put soda in their beer. I didn't believe him because I thought it would be a sin to them, being they have purity laws and love their beer. Can someone shed some light on this. I am very confused.
  2. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (296) Jul 16, 2011 New York
    would be a sin if it was good beer, but it isn't. No loss mixing beck's + soda.
    On the flipside, I doubt anyone is going to mix a good sipping whiskey... or make a margarita with a 30 year old 100% agave tequilla. craft beers are also safe from that insanity.
  3. Davidsoul

    Davidsoul Aspirant (209) Jan 8, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    Look up the radler or the biermischgetränke. Story I always heard is that German cyclists would cut their beer with soda or lemonade so that they could ride, get a drink, and then get home without dying. Now known as a shandy, as a catch all name. Someone with a better knowledge of this drink will surely come in and correct me but I think that's at least generally accurate.
    boddhitree, Lordkrystic and einhorn like this.
  4. jcb7472

    jcb7472 Zealot (535) Jul 13, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Yes, they do this. I have a couple of friends either from Germany or that have lived in Germany and they told me about it. One time I was with my friend that used to live in Germany and we met up with 2 girls that were visiting Florida from Germany. We went to a German pub on the beach and they ordered something like this - a wheat beer mixed with Ginger Ale or Sprite. Can't remember what they called it - this may shed some light ( I didn't even want to try it and kind of laughed, but these chicks said it was a normal thing in Germany - especially during the summer to drink these half beer/half soda mixes, because according to them it was more refreshing. Blecch!
  5. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,318) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    There are several variations, but mainly youngsters drink it. Radler, Diesel, and so on.
  6. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    If my knowledge is correct here, they put lemonade in their beer in the Spring and Summer to help refresh and hydrate all the cyclists. It's common place in Munich I believe. As for the soda and beer, I've seen it, and they even import Steigl beer mixed with grapefruit soda in a lot of places here in California.
    kojevergas likes this.
  7. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (296) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    what gets me more is when they turn a very nice reisling into s "spritzer" in the summer by adding club soda. argh!

    For insight into their minds: good white wines and good beers abound in germany, so they take both for granted somewhat. Just as they take good pork, cheeses, and breads for granted. They're swimming in all of them. unfortunately, often in a sea of soda.
    boddhitree likes this.
  8. Tashbrew

    Tashbrew Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2007 California

    Yeah, cola + bier, lemonade + bier, lemon-lime + bier. Sad, but a lot of young folks grew up on coca cola. Beer is seen by quite a few as boring old folks drink.
    boddhitree likes this.
  9. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,278) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Diesels... and Radlers... both very common. In fact many German breweries even bottle their own.
  10. sajaffe1

    sajaffe1 Aspirant (274) Feb 16, 2013 Utah

    Its not that unusual for people to do that. It is called a shandy.
  11. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,318) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Shandy is a term I am familiar with in England, not Germany. Local terms.
  12. DJLamar

    DJLamar Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2009 Georgia

    They don't just do it with iffy beers like Becks, they also do it with good ones like Augustiner and Tegernseer. I studied abroad for a year in Munich in college and went back for a summer internship later, and it was pretty common for even the most beer-loving German friends of mine to have one like that occasionally. It's refreshing and can actually be pretty tasty. My favorite combination was the Cola-Weißbier, which I tried to emulate the other night for the first time in at five years or more. Apparently 50/50 is not the way it was mixed for me in the restaurant in my apartment complex -- I'm thinking a 2:1 beer:cola ratio is appropriate (and in the U.S. you would definitely want to use Mexican coke to get it right, not the high fructose corn syrup variety which probably wouldn't balance quite right). The other most common ones were a Radler (lager and Limonade -- "European" lemonade which is sort of like Sprite except much less sweet) and a Russ (Weißbier and Limonade), Radler meaning cyclist (since it's so light you can have it at the end of the night and bike home after) and Russ meaning Russian.
    boddhitree likes this.
  13. DJLamar

    DJLamar Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2009 Georgia

    Also, you have to keep in mind that the local good beers over there are 50 cents to one Euro per half liter in stores and around three Euro (four or five bucks) per half liter in bars, and those prices are Munich scale, and Munich is actually one of the priciest cities in Germany.
    boddhitree likes this.
  14. turfy

    turfy Aspirant (227) Mar 17, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    My son went to Germany 4 years ago and said that his favorite brew was a German wheat beer mixed with a lemon-line soda like Sprite. So it is commonplace.
  15. GRPunk

    GRPunk Meyvn (1,197) Apr 5, 2007 Michigan

    Did a study abroad in Germany and really enjoyed a radler during a hot day. I have yet to get one in the US that tasted right. I think it's whatever they were using as the pop that I can't accurately emulate.
  16. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    at least 90+% of their beer sold isn't American adjunct lager. :wink:

    (not that I'm defending the radlers)
    AnotherImperial, boddhitree and mh007 like this.
  17. damngoode

    damngoode Aspirant (297) Sep 22, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    There are all kinds of different things going on with great beera in Germany. The Radler is a favorite, the Diesel is a bit weird, but they're totally into mixing things like that - very popular to mix Coke and Fanta Orange for a Spezi. Just different strokes. Last summer in Heidelberg my Mom got a Banana Weizen. While I didnt like it, I applaud them for creativity! I'd take a German Hefe & grape Koolaide any day over that crap that Leinenkugels is puking out.
    GRPunk and fuzzylogic like this.
  18. DJLamar

    DJLamar Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2009 Georgia

    Definitely. That Limonade isn't even remotely similar to Sprite or 7-Up, even if those were made with cane sugar. I think you could find "European Lemonade" at some grocery stores if you looked hard, and failing that I would bet that some mixture of cane sugar Sprite (Mexican Sprite?) and plain soda water could help approximate a Radler.
    GRPunk likes this.
  19. damngoode

    damngoode Aspirant (297) Sep 22, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Go to the international section of your larger supermarkets. You're looking for fizzy lemonade/limeade depending on the store. German limonade (limo-nah-duh) is delish, and toally different from any citrus soda we sell on a large scale here.
    GRPunk likes this.
  20. damngoode

    damngoode Aspirant (297) Sep 22, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    That said, Squirt gets closest to what you're looking for, IMO.
    GRPunk likes this.
  21. GRPunk

    GRPunk Meyvn (1,197) Apr 5, 2007 Michigan

    There was this spot in Heidelberg, right on the Rhine, that sounds like what you're describing. Good to know things haven't changed too much in a dozen years or so.

    I used to buy liters of spezi at the commissary. My weight kinda peaked during those 5 months...
  22. GRPunk

    GRPunk Meyvn (1,197) Apr 5, 2007 Michigan

    I have a limonata San Pelligrino in the fridge. I'm thinking of getting some Bitburger tall boys to experiment.
  23. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Radlers are super common to the point that they are universally served at Oktoberfest tents.
  24. Mr_Brodie

    Mr_Brodie Initiate (16) Dec 13, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    Sorry for the hijack here.. Had to ask.
    A few days ago I saw a german beer in a plastic 2 liter bottle for 99 cents. It was the sample old school plastic 2 liter used by coke, pepsi, etc.... Anyone ever see this before. 99 cents? Forgot the name but it had the word lager.
  25. damngoode

    damngoode Aspirant (297) Sep 22, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Could it have been ScheiB-lager?
    fx20736 likes this.
  26. LieutenantDan

    LieutenantDan Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2012 Texas

    Not the first time ive heard of this, we have alot of german soldiers down here on ft. bliss and ive seen some of them mixing banana juice with vitus and franziskaner. looked pretty interesting.
  27. MacJenkins

    MacJenkins Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    A bartender at a local pub suggested putting a splash of Coke in a Hacker Pschorr weiss once. I thought he was crazy, but it actually wasn't too bad.
  28. DJLamar

    DJLamar Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2009 Georgia

    The San Pellegrino lemon drink isn't quite right either -- if you mean what I think you do then that one is way too heavy on the *actual* lemon and would be waaaay too tart for a Radler. The right beverage is a lot more like Sprite, but like I said it's also much, much less sweet. damngoode's suggestion to check the international aisles of a good supermarket for such a thing is a good one -- I think I may have seen roughly the right thing at Wegmans before.
    GRPunk likes this.
  29. crossovert

    crossovert Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2009 Illinois

    Yes, they do:
    Black Currant to pear and ginger. I;ve also had way too many of the above...
    boddhitree, Willbfun, mfnmbvp and 3 others like this.
  30. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (296) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    get grown up soda (GuS)... made w/ sugar, and much less sweet than regular stuff. bet it would work perfectly.
  31. damngoode

    damngoode Aspirant (297) Sep 22, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Loooove the Deutsche 4Lokos beer - bee-bop! Perfect.
  32. nwboss429

    nwboss429 Initiate (28) Jan 3, 2011 Texas

    My mother in law is from germany and while she is not a beer drinker at all she loves 50/50 mixture of sprite and SABL. She's always called it a radler, not too bad has like a cream soda taste to it, go figure.
  33. devlishdamsel

    devlishdamsel Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 Washington

    yikes. Sorry but if i wanted soda I would drink soda. The bottles are neat and all and its interesting to see what people are doing in another country, and maybe i would even try it, but something just feels wrong :sunglasses:?
  34. einhorn

    einhorn Aspirant (298) Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    For the most part, they are simply making the beer "sessionable" without losing flavor. Different strokes for different folks.
    LambicPentameter likes this.
  35. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Some of the ones available in the US (like Stiegl) aren't half bad for what they are.
  36. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Aspirant (279) Nov 27, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Pretty common here and common in Japan too. They added juice to beer as well.
  37. endovelico

    endovelico Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2008 Portugal

    A lot of countries do it. The majority of German people doesn't have the reverence we think they have for beer. Also, I'll bet their most popular beer is an adjunct lager. In Belgium it's the same by the way.
  38. MrOH

    MrOH Defender (690) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    I've worked with a fair amount of Germans and Austrians over the years, and boy do the love a Radler or Diesel after a rough Saturday night service.
  39. TheSixthRing

    TheSixthRing Poo-Bah (2,409) Sep 24, 2008 California

    I always add Sprite to my Bud Light Lime; the default amount that's already in it is never enough.
  40. Gregfalone

    Gregfalone Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    They do indeed...I don't think I would ever straight up mix soda with a beer, but I have drank a beer with my food at a fast food restaurant, out of the soda cup, then filled it with cherry coke after finishing the beer.

    I can tell you that cherry coke with a hint of ten-fidy is pretty damn good...
    Willbfun likes this.
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