Even when summer temperatures reach the triple digits, most beer enthusiasts think of ice as something you put beer on, not something you put in beer.
Ice—or anything else one might add to beer—dilutes the flavor, traditionalists say. And taste is increasingly important to American beer drinkers, as the growing popularity of craft beers would seem to indicate.
But adding other flavors to beer actually has a long tradition going back to those beer-loving Germanic cultures. The “radfahrer,” or “radler” as it’s commonly translated, which means “cyclist” in German, is a mixture of beer and lemonade or beer and lemon soda.
The legend is that an Austrian innkeeper had a large group of cyclists arrive and had to stretch his limited beer supply by cutting it with lemon soda. The mixture became popular in warm weather, especially among young and active imbibers, and is now sold all over the world in some form or another.