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Tim Bissell Tim Bissell
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Three Pint Stance - Summertime radness with radler!

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(Editor’s note: Because Tim has been swept up by springtime much like the rest of us, he was unable to complete a new Three Pint Stance this week. He says he’s sorry, though I’m unsure whether to believe him. Anyway, this column ran previously in the May 31, 2017 edition of The Maine Edge.)

If you are anything like me, as spring turns to summer and the temperatures continue to climb, beer becomes a much more integral part of your personal hydration and refreshment plan. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to an age-old way to continue your beer consumption, but also ups the refreshment and hydration value of your beverage - homemade radler!

Now, you may be more familiar with the term “shandy,” but for the purposes of this article, we will refer to the mixture of roughly 50 percent beer (light lager or hefeweizen (always locally brewed, of course!)) and 50 percent fruit juice/soda as a radler, the traditional German name for the beverage.

My reason for choosing radler over shandy is simple. I feel more confident in my manliness if I call it a radler.

I know, I know. “Mixing soda into your beer, what’s the matter wuss? Can’t handle a light beer on its own?” That’s you. That’s what you sound like right now. And to be honest, you have a bit of a point. Beer on its own is already refreshing and highly quaffable - why mess with that? Honestly, because sometimes it’s too damn hot, you have a lot of chores left to do and you just want something different. It’s in that moment that you need a radler.

You could go to the store and purchase one of the many pre-mixed shandies or radlers on the market, and you’ll probably find it to be sort of enjoyable but that it is somehow lesser than the sum of its two parts. That is why I suggest you take matters into your own hands!

Here is my perfect recipe for the perfect radler that will perfectly satisfy your perfect little thirst. Start with your favorite locally-made hefeweizen. In this case, I’ll be a homer and choose Gneiss Weiss. Growlers make a great choice for mixing radlers, since you can open and reclose the bottle as you please. Now that you have your hefeweizen, grab a bottle of your favorite locally made citrus soda. I’ll go with Maine Root’s Lemon Lime Soda for the purposes of this experiment.

As far as the ratio for mixing goes, I recommend you start at 50-50, but the beauty of mixing your own radlers is that you are in control! Want a more spritzy, fruity drink? Add more soda. Enjoying the softer notes of the beer and just want a hint of citrus? Go heavier on the beer. You can even buy a variety pack of sodas and try a number of different beer/soda combinations.

The important thing here is to have fun! Try different beer and soda combos, skip the soda and use a fruit juice or up the flavor quotient and use an IPA for the beer. The possibilities are endless!

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