An Austrian-Engineered Beer Makes a Friend in the States

Stiegl-shandy-585On a normal spring day in Kansas City, the temperature usually only reaches the mid-50s. So when the mercury finally topped out at 80 degrees, this FBG was happier than the proverbial pig in s***! Visions of bike rides, boating, sultry late nights on the patio and all matters pertaining to those glorious months known as summer danced through my head. Naturally, I went in search of my favorite warm weather drink—Stiegl Radler.
Not the run-of-the-mill adult beverage, this specialty half-beer, half-natural soda concoction is extremely refreshing. The family-owned makers of Stiegl products use only high-quality ingredients cultivated from the motherland, making it a purely Austrian brew. They mix Goldbrau lager, one of their top sellers, with natural-fruit flavors to create the shandy-style beer they call Radler.
The tart and twangy grapefruit flavor is cool, crisp and uniquely satisfying. Austria’s favorite Radler, the Zitrone or lemon is bubbly, fun and not as sickly sweet and overpowering as the Americanized hard lemonade. My search for the specialty red Salzburg shandy has so far proven itself an insurmountable task. (Rumor has it they are not letting it out of the country—road trip, anyone?)
While many of our male counterparts will probably shake their heads in disgust and claim it is not a true beer, I disagree. While the fruit flavor is definitely in the forefront, there is no disguising the floral hoppiness and slight hint of malt, which qualifies it as a beer in my book. No matter—I like it, and with 116 calories per bottle and only a 2.5-percent alcohol volume, it has become my new healthy obsession.
Unfortunately, the next day the weather dropped 40 degrees, and we were sent right back to the doldrums of late winter. Luckily for me I have a six- five- four-pack left of my new best friend to cheer me up.
Does a shandy quench your beer cravings or are you with the guys on this one? —Karen

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