It’s summer, so you want a beer that’s cold, refreshing and you can drink dozens of if given the opportunity. Normally, fruit beers don’t fit this bill: they’re often cloyingly sweet, with flavours that tend to overstay their welcome. The first couple are great, but by the third, your mouth starts to sour with a lingering aftertaste you’d rather do without.
Thankfully, there’s been a ton of great fruity beers released in the past couple months that don’t suffer this problem. They’re packed full of flavour, but finish clean and dry, enticing you to crack another… and another… and another…
Dageraad’s new Bright Side is a great example of well-balanced, crushable summer fruit beer. It’s tart, bursting with flavour, light and refreshing, and perfect for drinking in large quantities without getting palate fatigue. Four Winds’ Vélo also fits the bill.
However, this week I want to talk about Andina’s Jalea Guava Saison, another delicious fruit beer I’d file under “crushable.”
If you’re not familiar with guava, that’s a shame, because it’s goddamn delicious. It’s a tropical fruit with reddish flesh and bold flavours of strawberry, pear, passion fruit and pineapple. If you’ve ever had agua fresca, chances are it was heavily flavoured with guava.
The guava used in Jalea is imported directly from Colombia by Andina’s owners, using their family connections back home. The tart, peppery saison yeast balances the complex fruit flavours nicely, with just enough hop bitterness to dry out the finish.
All that flavour also hides a deceptively high ABV of 6.4%, so be careful with this one. On a hot, sunny day, they are going to disappear pretty fast.
Judging by the speed at which these beers disappeared from my fridge, I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed Jalea.
Andina Brewing’s Jalea Guava Saison (6.4% ABV, 29 IBU)
Appearance: Slightly hazy orangey-pink with a creamy white head.
Aroma: Strawberry, citrus, melon, floral.
Flavour: Strawberry, pear, lemon, melon, guava, apple, kiwi, passion fruit, floral notes, slightly spicy yeast character, pepper.
Body: Light-medium bodied with a tart, dry finish and smidge of lingering sweetness (but not too much!)
Pairs with: Tamales, jerk chicken, copious amounts of sunshine and those short-sleeve shirts with frangipanis on them.