Beer of the Weekend #675: Astra Grapefruit Radler

My original plan for this week’s proper BotW was to fill a growler at either Kalona or Big Grove with one of their many excellent beers that are unavailable in stores. But then I saw Astra Grapefruit Radler, brewed by Bavaria-St. Pauli GmbH of Hamburg, Germany (its parent company is apparently Carlsberg Deutschland GmbH).

What’s so special about Astra Grapefruit Radler? Well, Zee German, who proudly hails from north of Hamburg, has been telling me about Astra for a while. It is apparently Hamburg’s cult beer brand and the brewery is located in the St. Pauli district near the Repperbahn, the city’s red-light district. I never expected to see Astra in the US and thought it would be one of the many beers I would only be able to try in Germany (whenever I do go). So, imagine my surprise when Astra Grapefruit Radler it was pointed out to me at the Co-op yesterday.

My jaw dropped.

It may not be the brand’s iconic pilsner, but it’s Astra. I’ll take whatever I can get.

Astra Grapefruit Radler pours a Tang-like orange into a pint glass. About a half finger of white-ish foam dissipates quickly and leaves a thin ring around the edge and some spots of skim. A massive dose of grapefruit greets the nose and there are also touches of lemon, soda, and orange. The taste mostly mirrors the smell with flavors of grapefruit, soda, lemon peel, and orange. The mouthfeel is full but soft and the flavor is tart. There is also a touch of rind- or seed-like bitterness that lingers on the tonsils.

Fun facts about Astra Grapefruit Radler:

-Style: Radler.

-Price: 7.79/sixer at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: 2 percent ABV.

-The can features an ingredient list. I do not think I have ever seen that on a beer can/bottle, other than the customary “water, hops, malt, and yeast.”

-Speaking of the ingredients list, I can read and understand some of the German: Wasser, Zucker, Zitrone, Orangensaft, Zitronesaft, Grapefruitsaft. Hooray, Duolingo!

The Quiet Man’s grade: B.

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