Nick Carr on July 6, 2015 1 Comment Quick Characteristics Brewery: Boston Beer Company Location: Boston, MA Style: Fruit Beer / Bavarian Radler ABV: 4.5% IBU: 8 Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops Malts: Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend Special Ingredients: Lemon Appearance: Washed-Out Golden Color with Excellent Clarity; Long Lasting Soapy White Head Aroma: Strong Lemon Aroma; With More Lemon Zest & Notes of Lemon Flavor: Sweet & Zesty Lemon Hits the Palate First; Notes of Doughy Bread; Crisp & Refreshing with Dry Finish Serving Temp: 45°—48°F Glassware: Pilsner, Mug, or Pint Availability: Summer Seasonal Pairs With: Stuffed mushrooms, Cheeseburger w/ guacamole, Riccotta cheese, key lime pie Porch Rocker is Samuel Adams answer to the rising popularity of the shandy throughout the United States and across the world. This is a style of drink—not even sure I’d categorize it as beer—where a light lager is mixed with ginger beer, lemonade, ginger ale, apple juice, or just about any other fruit juice. Porch Rocker is a Bavarian Radler, a 50/50 mix of a Bavarian Helles and some sort of lemonade. The drink was invented in the ’20s when bicycling was becoming popular in Bavaria. Legend says that Franz Xaver Kugler originated the drink after his establishment was inundated by bicyclists. Shop for Samuel Adams Glassware on Amazon Running low on beer he decided to mix a clear lemon soda, he’d been unable to sell, with his remaining beer stock. Being the quick minded man he was he extolled his new drink, claiming to have invented it just for the bikers; refreshing, less risk of dehydration, less chance of taking a tumble when it came time to ride home. He names it Radlermass “cyclist’s liter” and it quickly becomes a hit all over Munich. The drink found enough popularity to ensure a continuing legacy up to the present day. Even the north Germans, seeing its popularity, brewed a similar concoction, but renamed it Alsterwasser, after the Alster river. Herr Kugler’s establishment, Kugleralm can still be visited to this day and a sample of Radlermass can be had right at the source. To make Porch Rocker Samuel Adams first brewed a German Helles and then mixed this light lager with a fresh squeezed lemonade blend of their own making. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Samuel Adams Porch Rocker. If you’ve had this beer before or are reading this with one in your hand, please share your personal review or tasting notes with everyone down in the comments below. Pour and Aroma It pours a washed-out golden color, exceedingly clear depths, topped by a tenaciously long lasting 2 ½ finger of soapy white head. The head stacks and stays beautifully, even when pushed above the rim of the glass. High octane carbonation sends streamers of bubbles climbing surface-ward, as if released from some underwater gas vent. Lemon and aromatics flood the old sniffer. It’s strong and flirts with that line between natural and unnatural. Reminds me a little too much of weak lemon Pledge maybe. Not much more in the aroma… lemon, lemon zest, and more lemon. Mouthfeel and Taste Crisp and drying on the palate with an extremely light body. Carbonations pushes hard, tingling the palate as any good lemonade should. No real surprises in the taste. Fresh lemon hits first, like a weak and slightly spiked lemonade. It’s sweet and zesty, with notes of doughy bread in the middle. The hops are too shy to notice in this one, as if mouthing the words, but not really singing the song; you think somethings there but it never really takes on a perceptible shape; remaining nothing but a phantom. Finishing the Impression It is unfair to review a beer on personal predilections alone. You really have to consider the spirit in which it was brewed. Though this is not something I find to my individual liking, I still have to ask the question did the brewery do something wrong? And really the answer here is no. No mistakes were made. This seems to be a pretty good representation of a Bavarian Ratler (though I will predicate this on the fact that I have not tried any others). And I can even see were this beer would be quite the enjoyable treat after riding around on a bicycle all day and you want something refreshing, but don’t want to get dehydrated because you still have 10 miles to go before the day is finished. This would be my pick, in this case. I can see it hitting the spot on a hot summer day between bouts of work in the hot sun too. This is a beer built for a specific circumstance and if that circumstance should ever arise again I’ll be happy to find Porch Rocker available. Incidentally, this is also a drink easily made up at home. Take your favorite Helles, Pilsner, or Dortmunder and mix it 50/50 with your favorite lemonade. At least doing it this way allows you the option of drinking whatever lager you’re using as just good ol’ fashioned beer also. Because, at the moment… I’m just a little sorry I bought a whole six-pack. Cheers!