From the archives: Red Racer Radler

In the past six weeks, one of the most common questions I've received about beer here in Westman is "where in the world is Red Racer?!" Central City Brewing's popular Red Racer IPA has been missing from store shelves for over a month now. You will be happy to learn that it's back in stock.. but in incredibly limited quantities, so by the time you read this - all three Liquor Marts (plus the Liquor Mart Express) may be sold out, but the Keystone Motor Inn vendor may have some in their beer can fridge. Call me a hipster.. but I preferred Red Racer's IPA back from 2010 before they ever expanded the brewery, it's easily one of the best West Coast IPAs in all of Canada but I find that the consistency varies from batch to batch. The only IPA I've been savouring lately is Driftwood Brewing's Fat Tug IPA, while it is certainly more expensive than a can of Red Racer IPA, it also has a spring time aroma that I can only describe as new growth (PS - Driftwood Brewing has a beer called "New Growth!") and citrus zest, absolutely delicious for the patio season.

So, as I just said, patio season is here! The moment the grass first made an appearance back in March, I overheard customers at the LC asking about any new Radlers. Like Belgian witbiers, Bud Light Lime and Bud Lime's "O-RITA" line of products, Radlers tend to only be popular when it's fifteen above or higher. The newest Radler available here in Westman is Central City's Red Racer Radler, a wheat beer brewed with grapefruit juice that tops out at only 3.5%. Red Racer Radler plus a very murky, orange and grapefruit concoction that looks more like a fruity cocktail you would receive at your pub or restaurant of choice rather than a wheat beer. I almost feel like I have to put a wedge of lemon or a cherry in my glass. It's incredibly carbonated like a grapefruit soft drink and has a minimal amount of light white head keeping hold to the side of the glass. The aroma is one part unfiltered Belgian wheat ale, which gives off a rich yeasty breadiness, a bit of coriander and hint of clove, while the remainder is mostly grapefruit juice.. but that shouldn't be surprising because a Radler is 50% beer/50% grapefruit juice in the first place! The taste is an interesting gritty rising bread dough flavour with with a hint of orange juice, lemongrass and of course grapefruit! For the beer's aftertaste, it leaves just a subtle lemon sourness on the tongue, which makes it surprisingly appetizing when I was expecting the rising bread dough to try to force its way in the aftertaste somehow!

Certainly not the best Radler I've had.. even in the past month, but it's a nice take on a German radler that I feel should be garnished with some sort of fruit wedge and a cherry or two on top. This just doesn't look like a beer but a summertime cocktail! $2.70 per 473mL can at Liquor Marts at the 10th & Victoria location, but it will likely expand to other locations in coming days. 3.5% ABV. 3.5/5 Pints

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