Two mugs filled with german lemon beer

Have you been wondering how to make German lemon beer? We got you covered!


German lemon beer is known as Radler or Alster. While we, as Germans, have a deep-rooted love for beer, not everyone enjoys the herbaceous flavors of a traditional Pilsner.

For us, the Radler is our favorite drink during hot summer days. This citrus-infused concoction offers a zesty twist to the beerdrinking experience.

Sounds fancy? Yes! But still, it is super easy to make on your own!

To create this article, we spent several hours researching how to make the perfect lemon beer and even asked a couple of German beer sommeliers about their opinion.

Turns out: Making German lemon beer is easy. However, you have to do it in the correct order.

We explain step by step how to make the delicious German lemon beer. Jump to Lemon Beer Recipe →

In case you want to drink a „ready to go“ Radler from the supermarket, we tell you which is our favorite Radler.

So, let’s get started! Learn how to make this refreshing beverage that tastes like summer.

Lemon beer types

What is Lemon beer?

Are you still wondering what this mysterious lemon beer is?

Ok, we clarify it:

German lemon beer is a popular and refreshing beverage combining beer and lemonade.

It combines the crispness of a light beer such as a Helles or Pilsner with the tang of lemonade, creating a harmonious and refreshing flavor profile.

But don’t get confused.

Lemon beer does not have anything in common with lemonade like the from the US or Canada.

The lemonade is something like Sprite or 7Up.

There are several different lemonades which you can buy in Germany. We tested 3 lemonades for you.

Why you should try lemon beer in Germany?

If you’ve never tried lemon beer before, get ready to jump off your seat and head to the next supermarket.

Lemon beer is the perfect option for those who do not typically enjoy traditional German beers.

If you’ve found beer too bitter, hoppy, or heavy for your liking, lemon beer might be your saving grace.

The added lemon element helps to mellow out the beer flavors, making it a fantastic choice for those who are new to beer or prefer a more subtle taste.

The balance between the flavors of beer and the zesty kick of lemon, makes the Radler so special.

By combining a light beer with or lemonade, it creates a delicious harmony that’s both refreshing and approachable.

How to make german lemon beer step by step

  1. Gather your ingredients
  2. Hold the glass at an angle of 45 degrees, and slowly fill in the beer to 30 %
  3. Wait a couple of seconds, so the beer can sit and fill the beer to a 50 %
  4. Slowly add an equal amount of lemonade
  5. And Prost! Enjoy your lemon beer!

Step 1: Get the ingredients for lemon beer

To make German lemon beer, you will need:

  • Light beer of your choice (such as a Helles or Pilsner)
  • A bottle of Sprite is comparable to 7UP (see other choices below)

We tested several beer types and lemonade types. Our favorite combination is Sprite and Pils.

Step 2: Fill in the beer first

A mug being held at an angle of 45 degrees and getting filled with beer to make german lemon beer

Typically, you will fill in the beer into the mug by holding the bug a little at an angle of 45 degrees.

And while pouring the beer, you turn the mug to an angle of 90 degrees. This is how you get the white beer crown.

Fill in 30 percent first and then wait a couple of seconds. Then, fill in the rest to 50 percent.

Are you wondering why you first fill in the beer? Because the beer and the lemonade have a different density.

If you do it the other way around, the beer will stay on top of the Sprite.

However, we ask a couple of German beer sommeliers. Everybody does it differently. We have chosen to pour the beer first.

Depending on how strong you want the lemon flavor to be, decide on the ratio of beer to lemon.

Typically, a 50:50 ratio of beer to lemonade works well, but you can adjust it to your liking.

Step 3: Add the lemonade

Now, it is time to add the lemonade.

Slowly and gently add the lemonade to the glass. If you do it too fast, the carbonate will spill.

To add the crown , pour the very last sip of lemonade from the top.

Lemonade getting poured into a stein to make german lemon beer

Step 4: Enjoy your Radler

And finally, it is time to enjoy your Radler! Prost!

Best beer types for a lemon beer

When it comes to making German lemon beer, Helles and Pilsner are both great options.

A light German lager like a Helles is a refreshing choice with a mild, malty flavor.

On the other hand, the Pilsner is a crisp and hoppy beer that pairs well with the tartness of the lemon.

If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, you can substitute the light beer with a non-alcoholic beer. The steps remain the same.

German beer types which you can use to make German lemon beer

Best lemonade for a lemon beer

It’s best to use a lemon-lime soda or citrusy lemonade.

Sprite is a popular option. There are many lemonades available in the supermarket to choose from. The amount of citrus or sugar varies in each lemonade.

The key is to find a balance that complements the beer without being overly sweet.

Our favorite lemonade is this one, which we found at Netto supermarket.

Best Radler you can buy in the supermarket

There are plenty of ready-made Radler in German supermarkets. Our all-time favorite is the Mönchshof Radler. It has the perfect combination of sweetness and light beer taste.

A picture of the Mönchshof Radler, the best German lemon beer

FAQs: Lemon beer

What is the difference between a Radler and an Alster?

The mixture of beer with lemonade are called Radler or Alster. Alster is a term used in the Northern part of Germany. Radler is used in the Southern part of Germany.

Which beer is the best for German lemon beer?

Light German lagers like Helles and crisp pilsners are popular choices. The key is to choose a beer that complements the tartness of the lemon without being too overpowering.

Two mugs filled with german lemon beer

Final Thoughts: How to make german lemon beer

Now that you know how to make German lemon beer. Feel free to experiment with different beer styles and lemonade variations.

Cheers, and Prost to a refreshing glass of homemade German lemon beer!

Read More:

  • German beer types explained (coming soon)

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