Tropical Takeover: New Beers to Try This Week
Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co.: Tropical Shape of Haze to Come
The latest addition to the Shape of Haze collection from Neshaminy Creek hits heavy with the fruit. I get a lot of passionfruit and mango on the nose as well as in the front of the beer while the middle switches over to bitter grapefruit rind and finishes heavy with coconut.
I wouldn't consider this "Shape of" to be a New England style as it is advertised, but more of a standard imperial IPA with some adjunct mixed in (oats and wheat flakes). By the time I had finished my 16oz can, the beer had grown on me a little, but there was still just so. much. coconut. (Sidebar: The can art is dope though.) —Des
Destihl Brewery: Hawaii Five Ale
Of all the tropical beers featuring coconut flavor (and I've tasted a lot of 'em) this ale from Destihl Brewery is the first to deliver a true coconut fruit flavor without blowing out every other flavor in the beer. Far too often, beers featuring coconut notes wind up tasting like sun tan lotion which is disappointing because coconut is such a fresh-tasting fruit and never falls flat IRL.
Far too often, beers featuring coconut notes wind up tasting like sun tan lotion which is disappointing because coconut is such a fresh-tasting fruit and never falls flat IRL. Hawaii Five features—you guessed it!—five different fruit notes: pineapple, coconut, mango, peach, and guava and while I'd be lying if I said I could pick out five out of five, there was a nice balance that didn't rely too hard on any one fruit flavor.
It starts off with bright notes of mango, followed by a juicy burst of pineapple, tart-leaning guava sweetness, and finishes with the crispness of fresh coconut. If that sounds like a lot of fruit to experience in a single sip, it's because it definitely is a lot of fruit to experience in a single sip. While the flavors are a standout, I couldn't down more than one in a single sitting. So, in my opinion, if you're on the lookout for a fresh, tropical fruit-flavored beer, this one is best in class...in moderation. —Amber
Workhorse Brewing Company: Guava Gose
Guava Gose completely delivers on its name. As soon as you open the can a big burst of guava hits you right in the nose. Once you pour it into a glass you'll see the beautiful pink color while the guava aroma comes pouring out.
Most other goses I've had lean closer to pilsners, mouthfeel wise, but Guava Gose has a medium body. Each sip feels a little heavier on the tongue, but that winds up blending nicely with the big guava tartness. Guava isn't a light fruit, it's fleshy, so the overall experience of a pounder can of Guava Gose feels very true to its namesake fruit's nature. —Des
As a huge fan of Workhorse's Margarita Gose, I wasn't looking for a new Gose to love, but I was surprisingly pleased by this refreshing beer. It doesn't overcompensate for its true sour nature by relying on artificial fruitiness that you'll sometimes taste in these types of beers.
The fruit tastes natural, complex, and well thought out. It's well balanced, tart, and not too funky. (As a beginner sour drinker, I have a hard time with funkier sours.) —Amber
Pipeworks Brewing Co.: Pineapple Guppy
This pale ale is easily one of my new favorites. I wasn't expecting the huge burst of pineapple from the nose all the way through and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it balanced with a more traditional pale ale flavor. It also features a very light and bubbly mouthfeel that would be perfect on a hot day.
Pineapple Guppy delivers completely on what it promises and manages to avoid one major pitfall I've noticed in beers made for summer. One reoccurring problem with lighter, sweeter, summertime beers is that they taste great cold, but lose subtle flavors as they warm up. Pineapple Guppy keeps its fruitiness even when enjoyed in a glass held in a warm hand. I do wish it came in a six-pack of 12oz cans rather than the four-pack of pounder cans it comes in now. I definitely recommend you give it a try. Just be sure to keep them nice and cold.—Des
Levante Brewing Company: Revibe Peach-Passion Hard Seltzer
If there’s a hard seltzer out there, chances are I’ve tried it (I promise a bigger blog post is coming soon!) and Revibe stands out as bubbly, but not too bubbly, bright, and genuinely fruit forward. There's no Skittles-y, fake flavor here; just straight up peach and passionfruit with an emphasis on the passionfruit. There's also not a burp-inducing level of carbonation, unlike some other hard seltzers, so you get more of a refreshing fruit taste rather than that strangely acidic and flavor-canceling carbonation taste which is how I think all non-alcoholic seltzer tastes. —Amber