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Column: When life gives you lemons, make beer
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Tucker Brewing Co.'s Roaring Twenties Radler offers a refreshing balance of lemonade and helles lager. - photo by Kelsey Podo

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, then a radler.

Well, at least that’s what Tucker Brewing Co. did.

Operating a commercial-sized juicer like the one Chick-fil-A uses to make its famous lemonade, the brewery’s team juiced enough lemons to fill around 200 gallons.

“For a week we were juicing lemons,” Eliana Barnard, the brewery’s director of marketing and community development, said. “Companies across the street said it smelled so good in the air.”

Tucker Eagleson, brewmaster of Tucker Brewing, added sugar to the lemon juice to make lemonade, then combined it with a helles lager to create the Roaring Twenties Radler. Around 75% of the drink contains the light beer, and the rest is lemonade.

Eagleson said he made the Roaring Twenties Radler with the intention of crafting a brew for people to enjoy on a hot summer’s day in Tucker Brewing’s beer garden.

“It can get pretty toasty out here,” he said. “This beer is meant to be super refreshing with a prevalent lemon flavor.”

Describing this beer as refreshing would be an understatement. 

Roaring Twenties Radler

Brewery: Tucker Brewing Co. 

Alcohol by volume: 4%

Style: Radler

Bottom line: A ridiculously refreshing balance of lemonade and beer

The lemonade reminds me of the hand-squeezed lemonade everyone flocks to at local festivals. There’s craftsmanship in every delightful acidic sip. Even before I spoke with the brewmaster, I could tell that Tucker Brewing didn’t cut corners with this one.

It’s not too sweet and offers a thirst-quenching element to the beer that you don’t often find in other lawn mower-crusher brews. 

Despite the forward citrus flavor, the helles lager wasn’t outshone. 

If you’re having a difficult time finding a brew that clicks with your anti-beer friends, this would be my No.1 recommendation. This well-balanced radler provides both a vibrance and approachableness most people would be hard pressed not to enjoy.

For those who haven’t heard of the German beer style, I’d compare it to a shandy, its British equivalent.

Radler translates to cyclist in German, so it’s no surprise that the origin of the beer is tied to bicycles. 

Eagleson, who attended brewmaster school at VLB in Berlin, said the legend of the radler is connected to a pub owner in North Munich who would sell helles lagers to customers. 

“There was a time where a lot of cyclists that came through his pub were looking for refreshing beer,” he said. “The pub ran low on lager, and he had lemonade on hand. He started mixing it. The cyclists that were stopping in loved it.”

If you’re eager to taste the Roaring Twenties Radler, cycle on over to Tucker Brewing at 2003 South Bibb Drive in Tucker. This beautiful brew is also available at beer shops and liquor stores around DeKalb County.

For more information about the brewery’s beer, visit tuckerbrewing.com.

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