Brew Review – Guava Belly by Dogfish Head Miami and Creature Comforts

Here it is!

A beer Producer Steve and I have been waiting to try for weeks. Mainly because it’s rare that the owners of two amazing breweries, Dogfish Head and Creature Comforts, fly into collaborate on an anniversary beer that is so much fun.

You have known about this if you listened to our interview with Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Chris Herron & Adam Beauchamp from Creature Comforts on the Florida Beer Podcast. If you didn’t, that collaboration beer was Guava Belly (Sour Ale, 7% ABV, 6 IBU).

It’s an anniversary ale that combines a little bit of the fun of Dogfish Head, some of the Georgia down home goodness of Creature Comforts, and quite a lot of magic from the Magic City. Plus so much more.

And yes, this beer is as complex and complicated as you might think.

The aroma brings the guava front and center, but there’s an unmistakable floral tartness, reminiscent of rose hips and hibiscus.

The flavor really shines when you let it warm up a bit. If you drink it right out of the tap, it’s going to be super cold and that guava is going to be the majority of what you’re tasting.

But if you can let the beer warm up just a bit, then the tea comes into play.

Creature Comforts brought along giant bags of tea from the University of Georgia, a heady mixture called Blissful Belly, inspiring a slight name change based on the classic Bob Marley song.

The tea gives the beer an amazing herbal decadence, with big notes of chamomile, basil, and lemon verbena. On top of that, there’s a SCOBY from Miami-based kombucha producer Radiate that helps to bring a different quality of sourness to the beer.

This isn’t much of a kettle sour, as it is a kombucha sour. If you’ve never had a kombucha sour, it feels spiky, a little bit rougher, and a little bit more lemon lime soda-esque than a standard beer souring can accomplish.

But there’s something else.

There is an additional flavor in this beer that I could not figure out. It’s wasn’t until I studied the profile of Blissful Belly that I finally figured out the culprit.

Anise. There is a touch of anise in this beer, and that touch goes an amazingly long way in giving the beer a mature rounded depth.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Knowing Dogfish Head, did they Randall it? You bet your buns they did, putting it through a concoction of vanilla beans and molasses candies that took the beer and turned it almost into a dessert syrup.

That was one of the more interesting beer experiences but it’s good to get back to the original, and it is still on draft and in four packs as far as I know.

Funnily enough, Dogfish Head Miami went guava-centric that weekend, and even had a frozen guava ale in their slushy machines that we got cups of as we continued our walk through Wynwood.

The only problem with it is, what are they going to do for year two? Therein lies the perfect question that remains unanswered until next year.

Drink Florida Craft,

Dave
@floridabeerblog
floridabeerblog@gmail.com

Florida Beer Blog is a part of Florida Beer Media. Find us at FloridaBeerMedia.com.

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