Tree Grapefruit Radler

Reviewed by on August 15, 2014 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Tree Brewing

  • Origin: Kelowna, BC, CA

  • Rated On: August 14, 2014

  • Best Before: Bottled May 11, 2014

  • ABV: 2.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Radler

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

One of the staples of summer, er, ‘beer’ drinking in recent years takes from a European (particularity German) tradition of mixing the brew on hand with fruit juice – typically lemonade or grapefruit, presumably to lessen the effects of alcohol in the warm weather, and to be more refreshing.  The Germans call this a Radler, which means ‘cyclist’ – even those athletes have to get their beer somehow!  Tree Brewing does a nice job of explaining this succinctly and cleverly on the label.

This 500ml can pours a cloudy, very pale yellow-tinged straw colour, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, rather loosely foamy, and generally fizzy off-white head, which leaves very little in the way of persistent lace anywhere near the glass as it steadily abates.

It smells of dry, pithy grapefruit flesh and/or juice, the unsweetened kind, more rind than any sort of potentially sugary sort of thing, and a pale wheaty maltiness that is more ethereal than actually discernible and parsable. The taste is more grapefruit, of the sugary persuasion, but yet one still sassy and unyielding in its inherent tartness, over a weakened and somehow persistent wheaty base malt, simplicity being the marker here. The bubbles are a bit intense up front, but settle quickly to a pleasant, and plainly understated frothiness, the body the story du jour, in its heady, almost full-seeming medium weight, with a less-than engaging smoothness, the veritable grapefruit bitterness the villain here. It finishes pretty much dry, the fruitiness of the obvious non-participating sort, as far as promoting the lingering, cut off at the knees maltiness is concerned.

Bandwagon aspersion accusations aside (ok, not), this tastes exactly like what it purports to be, unlike the suspected inspiration for its raison d’etre, around here, Stiegl Radler. Real grapefruit, veritable – albeit talked into it – beer, so I guess I can’t front too much on this one – it is indeed fulfilling a need, a market segment, as it were, and is quite refreshing and thirst-quenching, so I guess I just have to be ok with that.

Brady White

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