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Beer with a twist

I have seen some people squeeze some lime or lemon into their beer. Maybe with a little salt on the rim. When I was in Germany, most of the people I had met liked a lemon flavored selzer water mixed with their beer. It was quite a astonishment. But the kicker was seeing the beer mixed with Pepsi. Ever seen such a thing.

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  1. Sounds horrible, and surprising from Germany which has historically taken beer very seriously. However, many young people there seem to be turning away from beer, so I suppose this is no surprise. Actually, beer with lemon-flavored sparkling water doesn't sound that bad...

    However, my daughter tells me that in Spain young people like to mix red wine with Coca-Cola, which completely blows my mind.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      "mix red wine with Coca-Cola" I had thought that was a thing only done in China.

      1. re: JAB

        Apparently it is not unusual to do with cheap red wine in Spain. In China, it would be done with pricy Bordeaux vintages!

      2. re: Tripeler

        Germany also has a long tradition of add other flavorings to there beers especially Berliner Weisse. Woodruff and Raspberry being the most common.

        Wiki Page lists a whole slew of them for Germany, about halfway down the page

        1. re: Tripeler

          Stiegel makes a lemon soda flavored beer that hits the spot on a hot day. Most German beer is not flavored with anything at all.

          On the contrary most young people are not turning away from beer. Most young people are going towards high alcohol, highly hopped ales. The young people are completely ignorant to German styles such as Kolsch and Dopplebocks.

          1. re: Tripeler

            When I was in Germany in the early 1990's I saw quite a few bar patrons enjoying their beer with various sodas and other adulterants. It convinced me that Germany's reputation as a serious beer country was undeserved. I also bought a few random cans of beer in various shops and cafes, each of which turned out to be a mediocre or downright awful pale lager.
            Although there are certainly many great beers brewed in Germany, it seems most (or at least many) Germans drink boring swill, often mixed with soda pop.

          2. The beer/lemon sparkling water mixture is pretty common across Europe in the summer -- in England it's a shandy, in France, it's a panaché, and the German name escapes me at the moment.

            I love, love, love a good weissbier (wheat beer) with a wedge of lemon in it.

            But Pepsi? Ergh.

            1 Reply
            1. i think they are 'Spezi' and 'Schorle'.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Pata_Negra

                The word I've heard is Radler.

                I visited some German brewers several years ago, and saw a presentation at the Veltins brewery. They were aggressively marketing various mixes of beer with sodas, etc. As Tripeler mentioned, German youth seem to be ignoring their birthright.

                1. re: Jim Dorsch

                  That's it -- radler.

                  Schorle is fruit juice mixed with sparkling water.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Alster in the North. It can be complicated, as some areas think Radler means beer plus Fanta (orange lemonade - ick!), and Alster means beer plus lemonade.

                    One better asks, just to be safe :-)

                  2. re: Jim Dorsch

                    yes, that's the one. how could i forget 'cyclist'! i go to Germany every year to eat and drink. on my last trip i got served a Radler by accident. the brought me a real beer straight away.

                    as a beer and wine purist i find all these mixed drinks revolting.

                    Schorle can also contain wine.

                  3. re: Pata_Negra

                    Spezi is coke and fanta mixed, schorle is anything mixed with seltzer -- wine schorle, apple schorle, etc. etc.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      No -- Coke and Fanta mixed is MezzoMix! (my personal favorite soda EVAR.)

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Spezi, SchwippSchwapp, MezzoMix -- they're all just brand names of the coke & fanta mix.

                        I used to love them as a kid (with no particular preference for any brand, but I'm sure we mosty had the generic Aldi brand thanks to thrifty dad), couldn't stomach them now.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          I know...I was pushing your buttons. :)

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            You remind me of someone..... someone on this very website.... hmmmmmmm.


                            1. re: linguafood

                              *looks around*

                              Let me know when you remember who....

                  4. I do not like fruit in my beer. I also do not like that with certain beers, Corona for one, the beeer is automatically served with a wedge of fruit in the neck - often even if I remember to ask that it is served without.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: FrankJBN

                      I think the lemon wedge in bottles of Mexican beers serves to keep out the flies.

                    2. These days I couldn't care less how other people like to enjoy their beverages - there was a time when I was a noobie beer geek that I used to get all uppity about it, but realized there may be times or situations when a little wedge of fruit can add to the enjoyment of beer.

                      Sometimes I like a little lemon rubbed on the rim of a hefeweizen and its like you are a lepper in some beer bars these days - some even refusing to give you one to put in your beer - so I just ask for a glass of water with a lemon and fish it out of the water. Not all hefewiezens are created equally and some may be out of balance with too many phenolic characteristics (most US versions I have had) which the lemon helps cover up or just may be a bit old and the lemon helps to liven it up a bit. I understand that it ruins head retention, blah, blah, blah, and its not how the brewer intended it to be enjoyed, but whatever, I paid for it, I'm going to drink it the way I like.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: LStaff

                        but there *are* weizens and hefeweizens produced that the braumeister expects you to put a slice of lemon on his product. .... it tastes like it's missing something..because it is!

                        (walk down the street on a summer afternoon in Munich and you'll see what I mean)

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          It's not missing anything if one doesn't _like_ stuff like that added to a beer...regardless of what the bräumeister expects or intends.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            In my short time in Munich in 2002 during Oktoberfest season, as crowded as the streets were I never saw one lemon in a weissbier. Not saying it doesn't exist, just that I never saw it, nor was it ever offered to me.

                            1. re: LStaff

                              Because by Oktoberfest, they've moved on to their autumn beers. Weizens are still available, but they're no longer in season.

                              Lemon in wheat beer is a summer thing, as I alluded.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Only in Kristallweizen that has had (most of the) yeast removed. Lemon or orange in Hefeweizen? Nah. Banana juice, tho.

                                Yes, we Germans are sick fucks.

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  In Munich, I've always been brought a lemon in the summer-- Tucher and Franziskaener mostly (my preferred, though I'll drink whatever is local and/or the house offering!) always cloudy ones.

                                  a variation from Berlin? Or just pandering to the stupid tourist ;)

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    Nope, I've seen lemon in *Kristall*weizen all over Germany, but not in Hefeweizen. That doesn't mean people don't do it (and if it tastes good to them, why would I care), just that the overwhelming majority of Kristalls I've seen were with lemon, whereas noone would even bother to ask whether one wanted their Hefe with lemon.

                        2. We live near a couple of Burmese restaurants that make a drink with beer, lemon juice and ginger served on the rocks. It's quite refreshing, and goes well with the food.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Josh

                            Which restaurants are those? The craziest drink I ever had in a Burmese restaurant was the native Shan liquor, which tasted like cheap whisky with Chinese herbs in it.

                            1. re: Tripeler

                              Just now noticed this reply. The restaurants are Mandalay and Burma Superstar.

                          2. Wheat beers lend themselves to these additives...

                            Take a flagship German wheat beer like konig-ludwig for example... at a recent reunion of a bunch of my old h.s. friends we were sampling it and I mentioned the banana and clove overtones... something everyone instantly recognized... a squeeze of lemon in these type wheet beers is just great...

                            ....I know some people might shoot me but I still love Leinie's Raspberry Wheat...

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: TombstoneShadow

                              Blue Moon is served with a slice of orange, which is added mostly for attention-getting when served in a bar.

                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                Actually, Bell's Oberon is often served with an orange slice. Just about every beer bar I've been to in Michigan does this; IMO, it really enhances the beer.

                                1. re: brandywiner


                                  Oberon is such a great beer, or used to be anyway. Why spoil it with an orange slice?

                                  1. re: Josh

                                    Read Larry Bell's take on this issue in the sidebar to this piece:


                                    Interesting to note:

                                    1. about 2/3 of the people who voted said they liked it with orange

                                    2. Larry said he first saw the slice appear after Blue Moon started pushing it.

                                    I'm a beer purist. I don't garnish my beer. I don't drink half-n-half concoctions.

                                  2. re: brandywiner

                                    Personnaly, I follow man-rule #426:

                                    " Thou shalt not put fruit in thy beer"

                                    1. re: Slightly Grey

                                      Whats the man-rule say about Kriek's? ;)

                                        1. re: Insidious Rex

                                          If it's brewed into the beer as oppossed to added after the brewing process, you're able to maintain your man card.

                                    2. re: GraydonCarter

                                      The orange slice is not just an attention getter - I always ask for the orange slice (I de-pit it and squeeze the juice into Blue Moon and eat the rest minus the rind) and if they don't have it, I'll switch the choice of beverage.

                                  3. The Radler is just a simple way for German brewers to get around the purity laws that don't allow "flavoring" to be added to a beer. Mixing the beer with a lemon soda and calling it a Radler, not a beer, is the only way to make a fruity like beer legally unless you add the syrup as in a Berliner Weisse.

                                    Adding a fruit garnish to a beer helps coverup the bread/grain aromas of the drink, which is appealing to many, but no serious brewer would suggest their beer be served this way as the acid also kills the head retention.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Unfoodie

                                      I was under the impression that the Reinheitsgebot hasnt been legally required for sometime now. Although Germans are notorious for being traditionalists whether its for a law or not so you could call it a cultural imperative at this point.

                                      1. re: Insidious Rex

                                        I believe you're correct, except that the Bavarians practice it anyway.

                                        Getting back to the point, made a few posts back, that the radler is meant to circumvent the Reinheitsgebot, it appears that this drink has been made for the better part of a century, and I assume it has traditionally been prepared at the point of service, i.e., draught beer dispensed and mixed with soda. Nevertheless, it's true that many radler-type drinks are bottled these days in Germany.

                                        1. re: Insidious Rex

                                          The way I understand it (but, not understanding German, I can't cite original sources) the Reinheitsgebot was struck down by the EU and can't be used to prevent the importation of beer into Germany.

                                          What the German brewers still casually refer to as the Reinheitsgebot or "German (Beer) Purity Law" is the Deutschen Biersteuergesetz and is still in effect for German domestically-brewed and -marketed beers. Save for Bavarian-brewed beers, those beers brewed for export also do not need to follow it (see #7 in link below).

                                          But, as can be seen in the English translation of it on beer historian Ron Pattinson's site http://patto1ro.home.xs4all.nl/reinhe... , there are a number of large exceptions to the law, including most of the prohibitions applying to only bottom-fermented beers (thus allowing top-fermented wheat-based beers, gose, etc).

                                          Also, I believe the law only prevents beers that do not meet the requirements to be labeled and marketed as "Bier" - thus the pre-mixed Radlers, etc.

                                      2. LOVE lime in my beer with some salt or even a touch of season salt especially in the summer. SO likes theirs w/ V-8 juice or even, gag, a slice of beef jerky that will soak and get soft.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: JerryMe

                                          I'm pretty adventurous foodwise, but yeccch.

                                          1. re: JerryMe

                                            Like a michelada - Mexican lager beer with lime, salt and ice. Very popular in Mexico. Regional variations include adding tomato juice and hot sauce.

                                            1. re: sadiefox

                                              Chili Flakes
                                              Soy sauce
                                              and it goes on.......