Everyone should get Rad.
Those of you born in the ‘80s probably remember the bitchin’ BMX movie RAD, which followed Cru Jones (awesome name) in his attempt to race Helltrack (awesomer name). It was one of those undeniably bad movies that helped define my childhood, and every time I see a hipster wearing an ironic T-shirt that says “Rad,” I’m immediately transported back to a dusty, homemade BMX track built quickly in the vacant lot of my best friend’s neighborhood. It was no Helltrack, but I was no Cru Jones either.
Now there’s a beer that’s poised to transport me back to those dirt riding, day-glo wearing days of innocence—Sixpoint Brewery (out of Brooklyn) has released RAD, an ale mixed with a blend of fruit juices. Yep, beer and juice. They’re calling it a “Cycliquid,” (as in Cycle-Liquid). It sounds crazy, but apparently there’s some history to this sort of drink. Back in Germany in the ‘20s, an industrious bar owner started mixing beer with lemon soda and serving it to thirsty cyclists on tour. The cyclists loved it—the drink quenched their thirst without knocking them on their ass.
A revived interest in sessionable beers has brought the style back. Leinenkugel Brewery makes a Summer Shandy (beer and lemonade) and Coors is doing something similar with their new Summer Brew, which takes your standard Coors Light and blends in citrus juice.
Personally, I’d like to see more of this beer, particularly from local breweries that have big cycling connections (I’m looking at you Devils Backbone and Pisgah). In the meantime, you can get Rad all on your own. Take your favorite light beer (any lager or pilsner will do) and mix in some lemonade. Try a three parts beer to two parts lemonade ratio.
It’s like drinking Juicy Fruit gum with a bit of alcohol in it. Everyone get Rad.