Cyclist Cocktail: “Radler”

Cyclist Cocktail

On the second day of our cycle tour Michael and I decided to pay a visit to Saltbox Brewery in Mahone Bay (Nova Scotia, Canada). Here we discovered the Cyclist Cocktail and learnt the story to how it came to be. This story shows a good historic link between beer and cycling, and is an awesome example of beercycle touring.

Cyclist Cocktail, saltbox brewery
Chilling at Saltbox brewery in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

The Story of the Cyclist Cocktail

The “Cyclist” Cocktail, also known as the “Radler” (German for cyclist) is a popular German drink that dates back to 1922. Originally the drink was called Radlermass, translating to “cyclist liter” and was created in Bavaria, Germany by an Innkeeper called, Franz Kugler. During the 1920s there was a cycling boom. In response to this boom, Kugler created a bicycle trail from the city of Munich to his inn. The trail was a pleasant trail that winded through the countryside and woods. On a sunny day in 1922, 13,00 cyclists (apparently – not too sure how true this is?) paid Kugler’s inn a visit. Unsurprisingly, the cyclists were thirsty and Kugler was fast running out of beer. He solved this dilemma by blending the beer he had (a wheat beer) with lemonade. Viola – the cyclist cocktail was born!

Cyclist Cocktail

Want to fill your bike growlers with some refreshing cyclist cocktail? Check out the recipe below to make your own beer cocktail.

Cyclist Cocktail Recipe

PREP TIME: 1 MIN

MIX TIME: 1 MIN

TOTAL TIME: 2 MINS

Servings: 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Part Cold Beer: for a traditional “Radler” style cocktail, use Hefeweizen (wheat beer)
  • 1 Part Cold Lemonade
  • Glass type: Pilsner

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour in the lemonade.
  2. Pour in the beer (option to include ice cubes).
  3. Drink.
  4. Enjoy.
  5. Repeat.

Do you know of some more historic beercycling stories? Submit your stories to info@cycletrekkers.com – we would love to hear all about them!

Cycling with a Growler

Cycling with a growler

You’re about 20km into your day, and you happen to pass a really awesome looking brewery. A warmshowers’ host told you a couple of days ago that the beer there is amazing. The brewery is still small, so the only place you can get their beer is at the brewhouse, but it’s 11am and you still have 80km to smash out before sunset. You’ve been on your cycle tour for about 2 months now, and the effects of alcohol are definitely greater than they used to be. You know if you stop in for only one drink, then that’s you done for the day. So reluctantly, you cycle on.

What if this place has the most magical beer on earth?!? If you don’t sample it now you may never know! What kind of a life is that to lead?!?! A terrible one and you know it.

Rest assure, we think we’ve found a solution, so you never have to miss out on those great brews again. The solution: cycling with a growler!

Things to consider when choosing a growler:

  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Size
  • Insulation

What growler we chose:

Klean Kanteen 40oz (1.2L) stainless steel growler x2 – yes, Michael bought two growlers, and is currently contemplating buying a third.

cycling with a growler
Our Klean Kanteen stainless steel growler – and a glass of stout!

Why we are happy with this choice:

  • BPA free
  • Lightweight
  • Less likely to break/ damage
  • Doubles up as a water bottle
  • Made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, electropolished so it won’t retain flavours.
  • Removable cap is thread-free to provide a tight, leak-resistant seal.
  • 44mm opening allows easy filling and pouring and can fit ice cubes in.
  • Rounded corners permit easy, complete cleaning.

Downside:

This one isn’t insulated, which means we have to find a way to keep our beer cold, because nothing is worse then a warm beer. This is actually the reason Michael is contemplating buying a third (insulated) growler – honestly, we don’t drink that much beer!

A good insulated alternative would be the Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Growler version.

How to attach a growler to your bike:

There are growler bike cages for 64oz growlers and also leather growler carriers for the bike (not sure how much they will move around on the bike and they don’t look particularly long lasting). Kleen Kanteen and Velo orange also make some mighty fine polished stainless steel cages, but they are pretty pricey! As we have two 40oz (1.2L) growlers we needed something that will hold something a bit smaller. We’ve opted for Blackburn Outpost cargo cages, which we’ve attached to the frame of the bike.

cycling with a growler
The growlers secure in their Blackburn cages

Obviously, another alternative (if the brewery offers it) is to by takeaways (cans or bottles), but personally nothing is better than beer straight from the keg, which is why we’ve opted for the growlers. Plus, if you have an insulated growler, you don’t have to worry about your beer getting warm. And, once you’ve got a secure way to attach your growler to the bike, it is actually much easier than trying to squeeze a couple of extra cans or bottles in your panniers, plus you don’t have to deal with disposing of empty bottles or cans so it’s more environmentally friendly!

The growlers are a new addition to our bikes, and though I think it will be great for short-term cycle trips, we’ll have to report back on how we go cycling with a growler in the long term.

Have you been cycling with a growler before? We’d be very interested to find out how you got on and what growler you used.

Halifax Self Guided Brewery Tour

Halifax Self Guided Brewery Tour

After our cross Canada cycle trip we ended up in Halifax for a few months, waiting out the winter before starting cycling again.

What we discovered about Halifax was the abundance of awesome craft breweries. Halifax also has a really in-depth brewery history that stretches back as far as 1820. This means whether you are starting, finishing or passing through Halifax on your cycle tour, you should definitely check out some of the different breweries.

In this Halifax Self Guided Brewery Tour we have picked out some of our favourite breweries, some of the most popular breweries and one historic brewery. We’ve strung them together in an easy to follow self guided walking tour, which can be followed in a day or afternoon. The total walking distance is about 4km.

Halifax Self Guided Brewery Tour

Stop 1: Garrison Brewery

Garrison brewery is opposite the Seaport markets making it an ideal place to start the tour. The seaport markets are definitely worth checking out while you’re in Halifax – perhaps grab some lunch there before hitting the brewery tour!

Garrison’s offer beer tasting flights, growler fill ups and brewery tours (booked in advance with a min of 10 people). They usually have at least 7 beers on draft, as well as take aways. They had some awesome Star Wars seasonal bottled beers the last time we were there. Some of the beers from this brewery are also available in the NSLC (provincial liquor stores).

Stop 2: Alexander Keith’s: The Red Stag Tavern

Established way back in 1820, Alexander Keith’s is the oldest brewery in Halifax and one of the oldest commercial breweries in North America. The brewery does offer an overpriced brewery tour, which includes some history and some beer samples. Personally, I think it’s a ripoff, but the actual building is still worth checking out.

The Red Stag Tavern is located in the same building as the brewery. You can buy a flight of beers that are brewed in the Alexander Keith brewery at the Red Stag Tavern for a reasonable price. Stay away from the commercial, widely available Alexander Keith beers – they are pretty nasty! And instead try the seasonal/ local beers that are actually brewed at the brewery nextdoor – they are much better! The Cacao stout was definitely a winner! Markets are occasionally held on the brewery grounds, and a few other stores including the Patagonia store can be found there.

Stop 3: 2 Crows Brewing Co.

2 Crows Brewing is a really new brewery that only opened a couple of weeks ago. This is also one of Michael’s favourite breweries. The brewery is super modern and what I really love about it, is that the bar/ drinking area is practically in the operating brewery.

They offer beer tasting flights, growler fill ups and some take aways. I don’t think any of their beers are available in the NSLC stores as of yet. It seems like they have 4 standard beers always available, a couple of guest beers and then some small batch brews that tend to change. They occasionally have a small batch Aztec Stout that is delicious!

I find most of their beers are quite strong – with the exception of the table larger. The first time we went there for a tasting flight, we left slightly tipsy.

Halifax Self Guided Brewery Tour

Stop 4: Propeller Brewing Co.

Probably the most common/ popular craft brewery in Halifax. Their beers are available in most of the Nova Scotia liquor stores – I even think I seen them in the liquor stores on PEI and in New Brunswick.

They offer beer tasting flights, growler fill ups and take aways.

(Optional) Stop 5: Unfiltered Brewing Co.

Honestly, I only really included this brewery because it’s on the way to Good Robot. They do offer some food, beer tasting flights and (pricey) growler fill ups. The beer was ok/ good – nothing really stood out to me, but it was a good atmosphere and it is on the way to Good Robot if you wanted to split up the walk.

Stop 6: Good Robot Brewing

This is probably my favourite brewery in Halifax. I can’t recall having a bad beer there – though admittedly, the last time I was there I did drink a little too much.

Good Robot offers beer tasting flights, growler fill ups, some food, and they have a nice outdoor chill out area (if the weather is good). They usually have about 7 or 8 beers brewed onsite, and then a couple of guest beers. Their beers are not available in any of the liquor stores. So definitely put in the effort to pay them a visit before you leave Halifax.

Halifax Self Guided Brewery Tour

* If you do want to take full advantage of the beers these breweries offer, then we don’t recommend doing this Halifax Self Guided Brewery Tour by bicycle. Walking is definitely the more responsible, safer and enjoyable way to check out these places.