Cannonborough Beverage Co., Revelry Brewing working on radler

The success of local soda maker Cannonborough Beverage Company as well the new mocktails offered by McCrady's may foretell a demand for more booze-free drinks.

File/Wade Spees/Staff

Bartenders at restaurants equipped with Cannonborough Beverage Co.’s grapefruit elderflower soda on tap last summer figured out they could mimic the season’s most fashionable swig by mixing the soda with beer. But the soda maker is now looking to save bartenders the trouble.

Cannonborough Beverage Co. and Revelry Brewing Co. are embarking on a collaborative effort to produce a radler, the German shandy combining light beer and lemon soda. Steigl Radler, an Austrian product uniquely made with grapefruit juice, was the first Radler to make a splash in Charleston: Within weeks of its June 2014 debut at Charleston Beer Exchange, the retailer reported it was “flying off the shelves.”

While a few local breweries have experimented with stirring lemonade into their tasting room drafts, the Cannonborough-Revelry partnership represents the first formal attempt at bottling Charleston radler.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” founder Mick Matricciano says.

The idea was an outgrowth of a one-off beverage that Cannonborough, Revelry and Edmund’s Oast are preparing to serve at Brewvival. Attendees at the Feb. 28 festival will have a chance to sample a fermented batch of light-blonde beer and grapefruit elderflower soda.

“That started the conversation,” Matricciano says.

While there isn’t a projected release date for the radler, clamor for the refreshing drink is likely to grow louder as the weather gets hotter.

“It’s still kind of in the early stages,” Matricciano says.

In the meantime, Steigl Radler is available at numerous Charleston restaurants, including Minero, Leon’s and The Ordinary.