Craft Beer 101: Shandies and Radlers

by: Tierney Pomone

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Hurry, quick, before summer dies, grab yourself a shandy. It’s been hotter than hot this week which is makes it the perfect time to pick up (or make) a shandy. But, what exactly is a shandy, and how can you make one at home? It’s easier and more refreshing than you think.

Originating in 1922 as one of the original “beer cocktails,” the Radler (or Shandy) was given its name presumably due to its popularity among cyclists in German. I know, it sounds random, but see radler means cyclist in German and around this time frame cycling became extremely popular. Cyclists needed a refreshing, thirst quenching beverage on their journeys, so pubs started mixing lemonade with beer in a 50:50 mixture.

The official inventor is credited to Franz Xaver Kugler, a German pub owner, who upon receiving a swarm of cyclists mixed the beer and lemonade to ration his beer supplies. What a grand idea! Radlers are known by many other names including shandy, alster, and reldar.

Just like their plethora of names, the shandy can be made in a variety of ways depending on who you ask. The origin of shandy comes from the Shandygaff served in England and made with a 50:50 mixture of beer and ginger ale or ginger beer creating the perfect Midtown Mule. Some make shandys with carbonated lemon soda, some make them with grapefruit juice or carbonated grapefruit juice. The decision, ultimately, seems to come down to your personal preference. The one thing that can be agreed upon is that they are meant to be refreshing, hydrating, and low ABV.

The two most easily recognizable shandies would be Curious Traveler and Leinenkuge’s Summer Shandy. Both have the unmistakable lemony flavor added to a German-style wheat beer. Step off the beaten path with me to explore some lesser known shandies such as Narragansett Del’s Shandy, Widmer Brothers Hefe-Shandy (if you see this tell me!), Stiegl Radler, UFO Big Squeeze Shandy, or Sam Adam’s Porch Rocker. I can’t speak to all of them, but I did pick up a pounder can of the Narragansett Del’s Shandy when we were in Asheville and enjoyed every drop of it when we were camping the following weekend.

If you’re up for it, you can easily make these at home, too. Grab your favorite wheat beer, blonde ale, or even IPA and make a 50:50 mixture in your glass of beer + lemonade/lemon soda/grapefruit juice/grapefruit soda. Personally, I like it exactly as Zeroday Brewing makes theirs: half Cheap Date and half lemonade and just a splash of ginger beer. If you’re having a party, garnish them with a lemon or maybe even a strawberry for a different flavor. You can even make pitchers of them if it’s that kind of day. Go nuts with your shandies and radlers, maybe use a bit of orange in there too? I want to hear about what you come up with!

Categories: Craft Beer

Weekend Roundup 8/20

by: Sara Bozich

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Yesterday we took the train to Philadelphia to see Social Distortion (and Lucero and Nikki Lane — but WHERE was Benjamin Booker?) at Festival Pier. We started with train beers and then cocktails (rosé for me, please) and lunch at The Continental and then hit up Monk’s Cafe where I had the delicious Russian River Blind Pig (a favorite) before we started drinking gigantic macros at the concert (and a Lagunitas because who doesn’t need a $12.50 beer I guess?).

festival pier philly

You should be reading this stuff too, BTW: 

Anyway, I’m hanging here today, finally checking out Yards before heading home. It’ll be an early night since Kelly bullied me into running the HARRC After Dark 7K tomorrow night. She promised post-run pizza and drinks, so …

On Saturday, you can hear me as I cohost The Bruce Bond Late Afternoon Show on Saturday Morning. Afterwards, we’re off to Hard Pressed, the Pa. cider and wine festival at Lisburn Community Fire Hall.

Apparently I’m golfing on Sunday now, so that should be interesting. And the weekend concludes with an Italian “family dinner” with our crew of hooligans.

What are you doing this weekend? 

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Happy Hour: River City Blues Sept. 2

by: Sara Bozich

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Join us for Happy Hour at River City Blues on Wednesday, Sept. 2!

Featuring: New Belgium Brewing Company — soon to be available in Pennsylvania!

PA Keystone Rollout logo sm

  • Free samples
  • Fat Tire $3 drafts — Buy a pint, keep the glass!
  • $4 bottles of New Belgium Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, & Pumpkick.
  • New Belgium swag giveaways every half hour!
  • HAPPY HOUR: 50 cents off all beer and $1 off liquor.
  • Free snacks
  • LIVE music from Jason Carst
  • Stick around for the Central PA Blues Society Open Jam, starting at 8 p.m.

PLUS: WIN 2 tickets to the New Belgium Experience at Zac Brown on Saturday, Sept. 5!

TO ENTER: You must register for a FREE ticket HERE. Bring the ticket (printed or digital) to the Happy Hour and trade it for a raffle ticket. YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN.

FREE & Open to the public.

RSVP appreciated, but not required. You MUST get an eventbrite ticket to be entered to WIN the Zac Brown/New Belgium tickets!

Wine for beginners, A Guide: PICKS

by: Sara Bozich

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Read more about Wine for beginners: A Guide on PennLive

andy-wine

Looking for Zinfandel, the perfect date night bottle, according to Fine Wine & Good Spirits Retail Wine Specialist Kirt Heintzelman? 

Kirt says women “love Zinfandel … A LOT. They might not even know it, but they’re buying Zinfandel left and right. It’s the basis of cutesy named blends such as Menage a Trois, Apothic Red, The Crush, Essential Red, Summation and Dialed In. Trust me – your date probably digs Zinfandel whether she knows it or not.”

If you’re looking for something to pick up at your local store, Kirt recommends Ravenswood, Rosenblum or Cline Ancient Vine (all for $12-$15.99) but if you search a little harder (meaning, at your Premium Collection Store) try to find Seghesio Sonoma ($19.99) or either of these two Chairman’s Selections: Lillium ($17.99) or Shannon Ridge ($9.99).

Josh Hull says Chianti or other Sangiovese-based Tuscan wines are ideal for ordering at dinner, or bring a bottle home of Oregon Pinot Noir. His current picks:

  • Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2011 ($24.99) – Code 43904 – Available in select Premium Collection stores
  • Elk Cove Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2013 ($25.99) – Code 42273 – Available in select Premium Collection stores

Dispelling the myth that a good bottle of wine has to cost more than $50, Josh’s under $50 pick is “a dense, structured and black-fruited Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend from the Columbia Valley in Washington.” Look for:

  • Board Track Racer The Chief Red Blend Columbia Valley 2012 ($26.99) – Code 42625 – Available at select Premium Collection stores

For an ideal wine to bring to a party, Kirt says vinho verde all the way. 

  • Try Gazela or Aveleda, which you should be able to find at any Fine Wine & Good Spirits store in the entire state. If you’re at your local Premium Collection Store, check out Arca Nova or Broadbent, both $9.99 or less.

Josh says to look for fruit forward (but dry) reds, a barely off-dry Riesling or a dry rosé to please the most palates. His picks:

  • Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot 62 California ($12.99) – Code 42743 – Available at select Premium Collection stores
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle – Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling Columbia Valley 2013 ($21.99) – Code39524 – Available at select Premium Collection stores
  • Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rosé Pays d’Oc 2014 ($12.99) – Code 47536 – Available at select Premium Collection stores

Impress your guests by stocking bottles of Austrain Zweigelt or Blaufrankisch, Kirt says. You’ll have to find a Premium Collection Store for these. 

  • Try one of these two grapes from Rosi Schuster, Heinrich, Feiler Artinger or  Sattler (be prepared to fork over around $20 for any of these)
  • Or, try the Anton Bauer ($11.99) if you still want some green left over for some beer and hot wings on Monday night.

Josh says a red Chateauneuf-du-Pape from France will pleasantly surprise guests. His pick is a Chairman’s Selection that arrived at our Premium Collection stores recently. It comes from the highly acclaimed 2009 vintage and is quoted at $68, but their Chairman’s Selection pricing brings you an incredible wine for under $40 retail.

“If you can pronounce the name of this wine correctly, you are sure to impress your guests almost as much as the wine will!” says Josh.

  • Domaine Monpertuis Chateauneuf du Pape Secret de Gabriel 2009 ($39.99) – Code 33779 – Chairman’s Selection – Available at select Premium Collection stores

If you’ve never tried wines from ___________, now’s the time.

Josh and Kirt agree it’s all about Portugal. Josh’s current picks include: 

  • Quinta do Portal Mural Reserva Douro 2011 ($11.99) – Code 44061 – Available at select Premium Collection stores
  • Arca Nova Vinho Verde 2014 ($8.99) – Code 43961 – Available at select Premium Collection stores

Read more about choosing wines from Josh, Kirt — plus a woman’s perspective, from Lauren Gutshall — on PennLive.

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