Bavaria launches low-strength
Dutch brewer brings Radler to the UK
Dutch brewer Bavaria is tapping into the growing popularity of fruit-flavoured, lower-strength beers in the United Kingdom with the introduction of two ‘shandy-style’ lagers.
Radler Lemon, first launched in Italy and a number of Balkan countries in 2012, is a mix of lager and sparkling lemonade. It will be accompanied by Radler Grapefruit, a new drink that mixes lager and lemonade with a twist of grapefruit. Both drinks have alcoholic contents of just 2% by volume.
Bavaria will be hopeful for success in the UK after Radler Lemon won an innovation award at the TuttoFood exhibition in Milan earlier this year. More than 40,000 visitors attended the exhibition, and each was eligible to vote for their favourite innovation.
Shandy-style radler drinks are popular across many central and Eastern European countries and Radler literally means ‘cyclist’ in German – a reference to its reputation as a popular sports drink.
Bavaria UK managing director Mike Teague said that Bavaria has a long history of mixing fruit drinks with its beers and that these new Radler drinks have been designed to appeal to the British palate, which has long appreciated lager with a dash of lemonade or fruit cordials, as with the classic ‘lager and lime’.
He explained, “The Germans first made this style of shandy popular in the 1920s, when cycling boomed and a drink was needed to offer refreshment – but not so much as to impair the ability of the cyclists to ride home again.
“As a brewer, we have an obligation to develop new drinks that reflect the changing tastes of the consumer. Creating the perfect shandy at home and adding a citrus twist can be tricky. You’re never quite sure of the proportions and it’s not easy to get the balance absolutely right.”
Bavaria’s entry in the UK follows a recent spate of lower strength fruit-flavoured beer launches. Foster’s Radler, a 2% abv mix of lager and cloudy lemon juice, entered the market in February. Molson Coors, meanwhile, unveiled 2% abv Carling Fruit Cooler in June.