Shandy vs. Radler

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Phantomegg, May 21, 2013.

  1. Phantomegg

    Phantomegg Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    Would like to know in easy terms as to what exactly is the difference between a "Shandy" and a "Radler" is. As of this time it seems like this summer is going to the summer of the Shandy's no matter the brewery.
  2. woosterbill

    woosterbill Poo-Bah (2,616) Apr 6, 2009 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    I'll take a stab: a Radler is a specific type of Shandy, in that the former is beer mixed with German-style lemonade (i.e., carbonated lemon soda, like 7up or Sprite), while a Shandy is any beer/soft drink mixture.

    Square/rectangle sort of thing.
  3. WhatANicePub

    WhatANicePub Initiate (183) Jul 1, 2009 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Shandy is the English word and Radler is the German word.

    That’s the basic difference.

    In Germany a Radler will always be a pale lager (Helles, Export or Pils) mixed with 7up 1:1. Other combinations exist, but have different names (e.g. Hefeweizen and 7up is called a "Russ").

    In Britain shandy is not really very common any more. The proportions of beer to 7up may vary too. Mass-market lager mixed with 7up is often called "lager top" rather than shandy.
    Ranbot, rauchfest and steveh like this.
  4. Bad_Trader

    Bad_Trader Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 Namibia

    One means "To ruin beer" the other means "To ruin Lemonade"

    Just depends on the etymology.
  5. GimmeGumballHead

    GimmeGumballHead Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2010 Illinois hilarious as I find this post, I actually have to admit that I tasted the stiegl radler grapefruit recently, and really enjoyed it... it tasted like grapefruit soda... but i guess there was alcohol...

    IMO: grapefruit soda with alcohol > grapefruit soda w/o alcohol
    Docrock, sgwagner, Providence and 4 others like this.
  6. beerindaglass

    beerindaglass Aspirant (217) Feb 20, 2013 Florida
    Beer Trader

    If its that scorching outside that I need to add soda or lemonade to my beer, I'm drinking icewater.... or a better beer indoors.
    DStoked and 5thOhio like this.
  7. stevegoz

    stevegoz Aspirant (255) May 5, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I recommend two parts Anchor Steam Summer Ale to one part San Pellegrino Limonata. The only label you'll need is...refreshing!
    tlema1 likes this.
  8. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (501) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    The Shandies made in the US all seem to be a beer/lemonade combination. From what I've learned, this was caused by US brewers misunderstanding the use by the English of the term "lemon soda" (comparable brands in this country being Sprite or 7-Up) and assuming it meant lemonade.

    There is a statement, attributed to several different authors, (Churchilll, Wilde, Shaw to name a few) "England and the US are two great peoples separated by a common language."
  9. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    Same here. It tasted like a natural grapefruit soda, not Squirt. It tasted very good, but not much like a fruit beer. Our market was the first to get the cans.


    I think they are around 2.5% abv.
  10. patkorn

    patkorn Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2007 California

    Love that stuff. Is that available in Chicago now?
  11. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    Yes, I saw the cans in the store for the first time the other day. The bottles have been around for several years. The Stiegl importer is based here.
  12. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2011 Colorado

    beer only /thread.
  13. patkorn

    patkorn Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2007 California

    We get it on draft from time to time in San Diego. Want some cans now.
  14. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    They only plan to distribute the cans in the Midwest for now. You might be able to order some from Archer Liquors.
  15. smartassboiler

    smartassboiler Champion (871) Apr 9, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Yes. I just bought a 6 pack of bottles last weekend. Not sure about the can format.
  16. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Stiegl lager is the Bud of Austria, and the radler would gag a maggot
  17. sukwonee

    sukwonee Crusader (740) Dec 13, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Stiegl Radler is delicious. It tastes like

  18. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    I'm aware Stiegl is the Bud of Austria. Saying their radler would gag a maggot is quite ridiculous.
  19. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Stiegl's lemon Radler is EXCEPTIONAL.
  20. olekern

    olekern Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2010 California

    Schoefferhofer has one too (w/ grapefruit).
    tlema1 likes this.
  21. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    I can buy that one locally and have been tempted.
  22. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,791) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I make a very tasty one by mixing Chuckanut Pilsener and Squirt 1:1. Great on our rare hot days.
  23. jjchristiano

    jjchristiano Aspirant (259) Sep 24, 2009 New Jersey

    I once drain-poured an entire 12 pack of Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy.
    After taking a sip, I decided neither I, nor any of my quests should dare actually try to choke this stuff down.
    Tut likes this.
  24. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York


    Find a well ripened road kill, pour some on, and watch the maggots abandon ship!
  25. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Two each their own man, two each their own....
  26. rauchfest

    rauchfest Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2008 Pennsylvania

    At least pour it on your lawn where the dog peas or burnt areas of the lawn its good for the lawn it is at least that good.
    Tut likes this.
  27. Docrock

    Docrock Defender (686) Jan 21, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Many years ago when I was in Southern Germany they used the term Gespritzt. It was the local beer plus a splash or squirt of lemonade but nowhere near 1:1. I loved it back then and enjoy the Steigl versions after mowing the lawn..
  28. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,089) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I've had a few shandys/radlers to sample over the years (simply to see if they tasted good or bad), and I generally have to say I enjoyed the flavor/drinkability in most of them with only a few exceptions. But I really think it is nothing more than a genius scam by many brewers as a way to make high profit margin/easy money. Here's my take on them:

    - Their alcohol level ranges from .5% to ~4% so the first thing we need to note, is that unless guzzled in quick consumption with maximum effort, there is virtually no intention of this beverage by the consumer to gain any of the typical effects from alcoholic beverages.

    - If a person doesn't like the taste of most all lower ABV beers in general, but is willing to buy a hybrid fruit/beer beverage of a shandy/radler, why would they decide to select this beverage over a soft drink, water or other non-alcoholic fruited beverage of their choice?

    My theory: It is simply to feel good about themselves in one way or another. Or the thoughts I'm in relaxation mode, vacation mode, at a summer party/gathering etc, and thus the situation calls for an alcoholic drink, but I really don't want to feel anything from the alcohol and also want something that tastes good to me". Thus the shandy/radler fills that bizzare psycho/social requirement to many people.

    Maybe I'm way off base, but that is my take on it.
  29. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (856) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Funny how the OP's question asking how shandys differed from radlers morphed quickly into a love/hate thread about shandys in general.

    Nonetheless, I always thought that an American shandy was beer+lemonade and a German radler was beer+lemon/lime soda.
    LambicPentameter, gopens44 and drtth like this.
  30. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (467) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    That's my understanding too.

    Shandy and radler recipes can vary significantly, so I would hesitate to give any specific characteristics other than there is some combination of light or pale beer to juice/soda/flavorings.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  31. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,089) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I'm to blame. I dredged up this old post from 2013, and sort of took it in a slightly different direction instead of starting a new thread on the topic.
  32. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,245) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    A Radler is a type of Shandy made with lemon/lime soda.

    A Shandy is a drink made by mixing beer and some soft drink.

    Proportions vary depening on who and where.
  33. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (856) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Ha! I didn't even notice this was a zombie thread! :wink: (Even so, yours was not the first commenting on liking / not liking the concoction... )
  34. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,089) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Here is how it's genius for brewers to make a shandy/radler looking to maximize profit margin and sales:
    Brewer "x"'s top selling 6 pack of 5% lager = $9.99
    typical 2 L bottle of lemon lime soda = $2.99

    50/50 mixed Shandy sold in 6 packs = $7.99-$8.99

    Sales volume of the Shandy sells 200%+ increase over the lager as well.
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.