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Urban Chestnut Brewing Company | Big Shark Lemon Radler

Big Shark
Jordan Palmer

Love. We all need love, right? I love a few things in life. Aside from my beautiful wife and the kids she claims are mine, my other great loves are biking and beer, or beer and biking. Now, in St. Louis it’s impossible to have one ‘favorite’ brewery, but I do have one favorite bike shop. I’ve been buying bikes from Mike Weiss and Big Shark for 20 years. They are MY bike shop. So, when I learned that my favorite bike shop was teaming up with one of my favorite breweries — Urban Chestnut, I may have teared up a bit. Really. A tear was shed.

This sort of holy union has produced a beer that, frankly, is designed for bikers. Behold, the Big Shark Lemon Radler!

The legend of the Radler dates back nearly a century to post-World War I Germany, when an innkeeper named Franz Xaver Kugler, opened a tavern and tried to capitalize on the newest craze of bicycling by working to have a bike path built right to his establishment.

ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 10

big shark
Photo Credit: Jordan Palmer

On the day thousands of bicyclist showed up demanding a beer, Kugler realized he would not have enough. He quickly remembered a stash of lemon soda he had, cut it 50/50 with his beer supply, saved the day and gave birth to a legend.

“Radlers can be confusing. In German, Radler means: Cyclist AND it also means: Bier-mixed-with-Soda. So of course when UCBC went about canning our first Radler, we got things a little mixed-up with our friends at Big Shark Bicycle Co., and found ourselves “cranking out” a Radler/Radler mash-up, i.e… Big Shark Lemon Radler. Which naturally turned out to be a refreshing Lemon-flavored Bier – the ideal libation for that post – (or non-) cycling occasion. Prost!” – Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. from the back of the 16 oz. wide mouth can! 

To honor Kugler and his invention, UCBC combined their flagship Zwickel, an unfiltered, unpasteurized German classic, with lemon-lime soda.

Big Shark Lemon Radler is designed for drinking during or after a ride, so it’s not a heavy beer — clocking in at a respectable 4.2% ABV with a barely noticeable 10 IBU. This beer pours a nice, mostly-clear light orange-yellow, with just a touch of haziness. On the nose, the beer explodes with a burst of lemon on your first sip, you’ll get all the wonderfulness of the pure Zwickel lager and the no-nonsense lemon soda. The soda isn’t hidden here. It isn’t folded underneath, and it doesn’t disappear quickly. It is like you poured a lemon soda into a lager, and, if that isn’t your thing, this beer isn’t for you.

But what you’re really looking for in this beer, no matter if you’re popping the wide mouth top off the 16 oz can during a ride or after cutting the grass, is a cooling, crushable beer that is designed for refreshment. And that is what you’ll get. This is a beer designed for fun, so have fun with it. Whether it’s consumed on float trips, at backyard barbeques or tailgating before a ballgame, this is a beer that will create good times, with good friends, so enjoy!

Feature Image Credit: Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

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