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For the surname, see Radler (surname).
Comparison of a Radler (left) and an undiluted Pilsner (right)
A can of Foster's Radler.
See also: Radler

The Radler (literally "cyclist", which refers to its reputation as popular sports drink) is a beer-based mixed drink (Biermischgetränk) with a long history in German-speaking regions. Consisting of a 1:1 or 3:2 mixture of various types of beer and German-style soda pop or lemonade, the invention of the Radler has been widely attributed to the Munich gastronomer Franz Xaver Kugler in 1922. However the recipe for the Radler had been mentioned as early as 1912.[1] Nowadays, the Radler is drunk not only in Bavaria but across Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Northern Italy, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Republic of Macedonia and Romania. During the summer months, Radler is very popular due to its reputation of being a thirst-quencher.[2] The product is now being offered by various breweries in bottles and cans.[2]


In German-speaking countries there are many variants of the Radler which often have different names:

  • In Switzerland, in Saarland, in Italy and in France they call it Panaché (French word for “mixed”) and the German version of the French term is Panasch, written as Panasche (without the é). In the northern part of Germany it is also called Alsterwasser (lit. "water of the Alster"). In Switzerland you have the option of ordering a Panasch sauer (with mineral water instead of lemon-lime flavored soft drink).
  • A variant, popular especially in Bavaria, is the Russ or Russe ("Russian"), consisting of Weissbier and lemon-lime flavored soft drink.
  • A mixture of Schwarzbier (dark beer) and soft drink with raspberry flavor is called Ententeich ("duck pond") in several regions in Central Germany.
  • In Austria the mixture of beer on tap and Almdudler (herbal soft drink) is known as Almradler or simply Radler. Radler sold in bottles contains a no-brand lemon-lime flavored soft drink. In the region of Vorarlberg they differentiate between sweet Radler (with lemon-lime flavored soft drink) and sour Radler (with mineral water). Otherwise, the latter is referred to as Soda-Radler. Beer mixed with Coke is sometimes called Diesel.
  • In northern Germany the mixture consists of Pils and is called Alsterwasser ("Alster water"), short Alster, named after the color of the river Alster in Hamburg. Outside of northern Germany, the term Alster is used differently. Partly, the term Alster is applied to a mixture with soft drink with orange flavor. However, Radler is a mixture with lemon-lime flavored soft drink. Sometimes both terms are used synonymously. In the Netherlands they also use Pils but call it Sneeuwwitje (Snow White).
  • In Berlin, in Brandenburg and in the northern Saxony-Anhalt they use the term Potsdamer (the capital city of the German state Brandenburg), short Pots. However, there are several differentiating variants, e.g. Radler for beer with lemon-lime flavored soft drink, Alster for beer with soft drink with orange flavor, Diesel for beer with Coke and Gespritztes for beer and Fassbrause.
  • In the Ruhr region they distinguish between the use of lemon-lime flavored soft drink (Radler) and orange flavored soft drink (Alsterwasser).
  • In some parts of the German Münsterland they mix beer with orange flavored soft drink and call it Wurstwasser (“sausage water”). Probably, the name has something to do with the color of the water in which the Bockwurst (kind of German sausage) is pickled.
  • In the United Kingdom, shandy is usually beer mixed with carbonated lemonade. Another popular variant is the lager top, where only a small amount of lemonade is added to the lager — usually about an inch. A further, and increasingly popular, variant - mainly in southern regions of the country - is the fir tree, usually half-and-half lager and cola, like the German Diesel or Krefelder. The name derives from the Fir Tree, a public house in Oxford where the drink is said to have originated. A variant of this in turn is the fir tree top - predominantly lager but with a very small quantity of cola added, again about an inch.
  • In New Zealand, the name Radler® is trademarked by DB Breweries as part of its Monteiths brand. An attempt by the Society of Beer Advocates to the have the trademark revoked, after the small Green Man brewery in Dunedin released its own Radler, was denied. The Green Man beer has since been renamed Cyclist.[3]
  • Sometimes you can find the terms Radler sour and Radler dry, referring to a mixture of beer and mineral water.

In both the United Kingdom and the United States, the term Shandy and its many variants are used for a similar concept with lagers, beers and wines.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Radler". Projekt Gutenberg: Lena Christ, Erinnerungen einer Überflüssigen / 1; first published 1912. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  2. ^ a b "The Radler (The Bicyclist): The Radler (The Beer)." California State University Long Beach. Accessed August 2011.
  3. ^ Porteous, Debbie. "Fury over Radler trademark decision". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 22 August 2011.