For me and my fellow travel media colleagues, the tall glass is a welcome sight. I never liked Radeberger sold in North America, but here in the original brewery in the city of Radeberg, that freshly drawn Pils tastes like sweet nectar.
Like many in Germany, I associate Radeberger with Dresden from this advertisement in Germany. This is neither accident nor surprise, as the Radeberger brewery is located a short 15 kilometres (9 miles) northeast from Dresden.
The people of Radeberg are right to be proud of their Brauerei (brewery). Brewed with four ingredients (malt, hops, yeast, water) in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot (Beer Purity Law), the Radebeger Pilsener is smooth and a touch bitter (at 33 IBUs), served at a temperature between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius (46-50F). Their tagline is: “schon immer besonders” (“always special”), whereas the English tagline has been about “the culture of taste“.
Even though my preference leans to the Weissbier, I’d be foolish to turn down freshly produced beer, served cold, straight from the source and direct from the tap. In a different part of the world, similarly branded beer has been exported or the recipe itself sold with subsequent beer made with local ingredients. Either way, that beer is not going to have the same taste as the original. Radeberger has always maintained strict quality control over its beer in the last century, and recent branding with Dresden’s Semper Oper and Zwinger helps ensure “quality by association” with the (German) drinking audience.
Germany marks the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot or Beer Purity Law on 23 April 2016.
Short history of the Radeberger Brewery
• 1412 – the city of Radeberg receives the right to brew beer
• 1872 – founding of the brewery
• 1885 – officially registered as Radeberger Exportbierbrauerei AG
• 1905 – exports begin to Canada and the U.S.
• 1990 – post-reunification modernizations
• 2017 – 145th anniversary of the brewery
• Reinheitsgebot 500, in English and in German
• German text of the Reinheitsgebot (1516), German Brewers (Deutsches Brauer-Bund)
• “Warum sollte das Reinheitsgebot noch aktuell sein?” – Die Welt, 27 Okt. 2015
• About and through the brewery, Bierstadt Radeberg (in German)
From Dresden Hauptbahnhof, it’s a short 25-minute trip to Radeberg with trilex Länderbahn trains on their way east to Görlitz. TL60/TLX1 train service between Dresden and Radeberg runs every 30 to 60 minutes; check their online schedule.