it’s a beer… it’s tea… it’s Owl’s Brew Radler

    The can: Owl’s Brew Radler, $10.99 for a six-pack

    The back story: it’s a beer… it’s tea… it’s Owl’s Brew Radler, a new-to-the-market drink that combines the two. The idea is to take a pair of ideal-for-warm weather beverages and build on their strengths together. It’s not necessarily a new idea: The term “radler” refers to a half-beer, half-soda style of sip that originated in Germany almost a century ago and is getting popular, particularly with small brewers.

    Owl’s Brew, which started in 2013, has built its reputation for its tea-based mixers — a “tea crafted for cocktails,” as the company puts it. After seeing its sales surge since its inception, with an average annual growth of 137%, the company felt it was time to get into the ready-to-drink market. Initially, Owl’s Brew considered a bottled cocktail. But co-founder Jennie Ripps explains that she had been enjoying putting her mixers into beer, especially after a long day’s work, so the idea suddenly clicked to go into the beer market. “We felt this was a more interesting space,” she says.

    What we think about it: These are unique beverages. The pairing of beer and tea is unexpected and perhaps not for everyone, but certainly worth a try. Owl’s Brew has launched its radler line with three versions: The Blondie (wheat beer with black tea, plus citrus juices and spices): That’s My Jam (amber ale with Darjeeling tea, plus fruit juices, hibiscus flower and lemon peel); and Wicked Watermelon (wheat beer with white tea, plus fruit juices and spices). Of the trio, The Blondie is our favorite — a summery sip that hits the right, semi-sweet notes of refreshment. That’s My Jam and Wicked Watermelon, on the other hand, are a bit too sweet for us and would probably not play well with serious beer drinkers.

    How to enjoy it: It is a  perfect outdoor beverage. After all, that’s how the radler tradition began in Germany, where the beer became a hit with the cycling crowd.