If you've followed @dcbeer, the #dcbrews hash tag, any of DCBeer's contributors, or even paid attention to craft beer trends in general, you know Radler is a really hot beverage right now. Radler, a mix of fruit soda and beer, is a low-alcohol, thirst-quenching, highly carbonated beverage that is perfect for summer, sessioning, and also sessioning in the summer. The beverage that started the trend in the DC area is Stiegl Radler, made with Stiegl Goldbrau lager and grapefruit soda. Since then, both Boulevard Brewing Company (Ginger Lemon Radler) and Right Proper Brewing (Kodachrome Dream(ing)) have also contributed to the portfolio. Now, 3 Stars Brewing Company is getting in on the action, just in time for Independence Day and DC's scorchingest season.
"It'll likely get worse before it gets better, so we are working on some beers to help beat the heat for the upcoming months. We have a prototype Radler, known simply as '51, our Statehood Radler," says 3 Stars President Dave Coleman. "This will be a super limited sneak peek, with only 15 sixtels hitting the market and some crazy tight allocations."
"We blended a session saison with a house made grapefruit soda that we put together from scratch using some old time techniques," says Coleman. "We reduced and concentrated grapefruit peels and pulp along with some lime and lemon peel and juice to create a beautifully balanced and not overly sweet grapefruit soda. It's everything you could ask for, and the amount of time and attention to detail that went into it were unbelievable. Coming in at 2.5% abv, we think it is gonna be the #dcbrews crew go to for the summer."
To make the soda, the team at 3 Stars used 200 pounds of grapefruit to make enough syrup for 49 gallons of finished soda, which translates to about two pounds of grapefruit per gallon of soda, which went into 100 gallons of finished 51 Radler.
Looking for the Radler? Coleman confirms that City Tap House, Meridian Pint, Smoke and Barrel, and Boundary Road will definitely receive the specialty release but others may as well. Concerned you won't get any in the first round? Don't sweat. Ha, summer puns. Coleman says, "We will additionally be brewing up additional batches at much higher volumes to help us all get through the Summer."
Coleman also unleashed a barrage of other new info via email:
- On bottling: "We also have just begun bottling our beers, and will release Pandemic and Peppercorn in the early part of July."
- On barrel aging: "We are continuing to focus a large amount of our efforts on our barrel aging program and will have some unique offerings available both at our Summer Jam on July 19th, but also for DC Beer Week."
- And on potential new markets: "The large expansion that we have put online is allowing us to continue to grow our production, and this will likely afford us the ability to enter some additonal markets in the near term."
What do you think of the Radler trend? Let us know in the comments!