The history of beer is full of fascinating stories and we’re shedding some light on the unexpected origins of the Radler and IPA beer styles, both of which can be enjoyed at Niagara Brewing Company.
Radler is a type of German beer that consists of half blond lager and half sparkling lemonade, invented in the 1920s by a German innkeeper named Franz Xaver Kugler. Bike riding had become popular in Germany after World War I, and in response to its popularity Kugler had a trail constructed that led cyclists from Munich to his inn about 12 miles away. When one day thousands of cyclists showed up and he didn’t have enough beer to serve them, Kugler mixed the clear lemon soda he had in the cellar with his remaining beer supply and named it “Radlermass”, meaning “cyclist’s litre”. Kugler’s resourcefulness paid off and Radlermass went on to become a popular beer, especially among those looking for a thirst-quenching beverage during the hot days of summer.
IPA or India Pale Ale was invented in the 1780s after the need arose for a beer that would survive the six-month journey from Britain to India. The British Empire in India could not brew beer because of the hot climate, so a London-based brewer sent over a hop-heavy ale that aged during the six-month journey. The beer had an improved taste after months of mellowing and was well received when it arrived in India. Thus, the India Pale Ale was born. This style of beer gradually became more pale and refreshing, and was revived in the 1970s by American and Canadian craft brewers who continue to proudly brew it today.