Brew Review – Charapa by Darwin Brewing

So, the last time I wrote about Bradenton’s Darwin Brewing Company, the beer I reviewed got its name from a medicinal drink brewed in the Amazon jungle that is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from LSD.

Today, the beer we’re looking at is, according to my research, either 1) a river turtle or 2) a woman of questionable morals.

Take a look at the logo and see what you think:

Charapa label. Image courtesy of Darwin Brewing and Alizon Studios.

I’m going with turtle, too. The Arrau River Turtle, or Charapa Turtle, lives in the Amazon basin. It also seems to be something of a delicacy, judging by the large amount of cooking videos and pictures I found while researching this piece. I don’t know if I could ever eat turtle. It just feels weird to me. I have zero problems having multiple pints of the similarly named beer Charapa (Porter, 7% ABV).

Charapa Spiced Porter by Darwin Brewing

Charapa Spiced Porter by Darwin Brewing

It’s a spiced porter, but little of that is really evident in the aroma. It’s a clean, deep smell that belies a rich, dark malt profile from the grain bill of Pale malt 2 row, chocolate & white wheat malts.

It’s when you taste Charapa that the big rich flavors come through. The biggest (and most surprising) adjunct added is from the aji charapita pepper, a small, round, red/yellow pepper found only in the Amazon basin. I would love to know how Darwin sources these peppers, too.

Now, I’m almost glad I didn’t know about the pepper in the beer, because I would be concerned that this was a pepper-forward beer. I’ve had so many pepper beers where it was all about the heat and less about the flavor, and it’s getting a little brutal on my palate. Not so with this; there’s just a touch of flavor. It’s truly used sparingly as a spice, not overwhelmingly like a hot sauce.

The beer also has annato, Florida orange blossom honey, and Amazonian cacao. I want to know how they source all of these wonderful things! Anywho, with all of these  wonderful flavors, the beer is rich, deep, with a great kick from the peppers, annato, and the bold roast of the chocolate malts. It still retains a smooth mouthfeel and a easy drinkability.

This is easily a beer I will gladly drink again. It should also cost well north of $100 a pint with all the stuff they throw into it.

But at least there’s no turtle in the beer.

Drink Florida Craft,




2 thoughts on “Brew Review – Charapa by Darwin Brewing

  1. Pingback: Brew Review – Pirata Pils by Darwin Brewing Co. | Florida Beer Blog

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Octoberfest Cities in Florida | Florida Beer Blog

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