Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hopworks Urban Brewery - Totally Radler

A marriage made in PDX...
What a beautiful weekend it is here in NE Portland! It's 65 degrees at 10AM. The sun is shining and it will probably get up to about 80 this afternoon. Whole families are pedaling past my front porch, on their way to the neighborhood greenway for a Sunday morning bike ride or heading for the Farmer's Market.

The bicycle is an integral part of the local culture in Portland, OR. People make cycling a lifestyle here. Bikes of every conceivable design and confabulation can be found on the streets. A neighborhood bike rack can often look like a bike museum: battered beaters, perfectly restored classics, innovative road bikes, custom cargo haulers, homemade headscratchers--people love their bikes in PDX.

I saw a guy dressed like a pirate riding down NE 33rd Avenue the other day. He was on an eight foot tall bike constructed from at least two frames welded together. Yes, he was wearing an eye patch. Arrrrr! Just another day in Stumptown.

It should be no surprise that the distinct bike and beer cultures often blend together in Portland. (Heck, I even bought myself a two-wheeled growler transport. I named it Mo'. Short for Mo' Beer. Of course, no one should ever ride impaired.) Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) is on the forefront of that bike/beer cultural melding. Their pubs are decorated extensively with frames and bike parts, but it's not just for show. HUB is a "bike-friendly" brewery, with tons of bike parking, tools for use and sponsorship of all kinds of cycling-related events. Their BikeBar on N Williams is even partially powered by pedals. Yes, stationary bikes, hooked up to generators, allow patrons to provide some electricity for the bar while they imbibe.

My low-tech, Cascadian growler tote.
HUB makes a lot of awesome beer. They brew organic and pride themselves on a high level of sustainability. They walk the walk when it comes to a green, healthy lifestyle, which is why they seem to clearly understand the beer drinking needs of active people. Most folks think lighter and less alcohol when they're working up a sweat and it appears HUB is tapping into that big time with the recent release of their Totally Radler in 16 oz. cans.

I really like radlers: a 50/50 mix of a lager with lemonade or lemon soda. It's a summertime drink that has long been popular in Germany. I usually make it with a cheap lager and a lemon or grapefruit San Pellegrino soda. The knowledge that I can now buy an ORGANIC version, pre-mixed, in an easily chilled and transportable pounder is AWESOME! Wait...IT IS TOTALLY RAD! (Almost missed that one.)

How is it, you ask? I won't do the full-on review. It's a radler! The taste is clean, crisp and refreshing. Tasty, malty, HUB lager with delicious lemonade. Not too sweet. Only 2.9% ABV, so this stuff won't slow you down, whether you're pedaling a bike, pushing a mower, or manning a grill.

Good work, Hopworks! Yes, some people think radlers are an abomination and not suitable for human consumption. To those people I say...MORE FOR ME! Actually, I should tell those people to give this radler a try. It might change your mind. I'm giving Totally Radler a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.

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