Around this time every year, I get a knock on my door from my lovely old Filipino neighbor. She takes great pleasure in ringing the doorbell multiple times, making sure my three dogs literally shit themselves with excitement. In her hand is a bulging plastic bag filled with fruit from her backyard, various pungent ripe guava. “We don’t have many this year because of those damn parrots,” she says, handing it over. The bag smells so strong, I have to store it outside in the garage.
The first time she brought them years ago, I didn’t care much for them and added some to smoothies, and froze some for later in the winter. What I didn’t realize is she has five different guava trees that produce wildly different fruit. Some on the piney-side, others like creamy strawberry with pink filling, and one with a funky pineapple-tropical flavor most akin to what a store-bought guava juice tastes like. These days, I crave them all.
When I saw Green Cheek brought back Guava in Berlin, a 3.5% fruited Berliner Weisse, I squawked with joy. Ironically, Green Cheek is named after the same parrots that ravage our backyard fruit trees at the crack of dawn, often times “mama-birding” various bits and bites into each others beak regions.
Guava in Berlin looks like a mimosa in the glass and the nose is reminiscent of a tropical version of Fruit Loops, if such a thing existed (c’mon, Kelloggs…). I’ve had the base beer (Berlin!) without fruit, and I was shocked how much guava character is produced naturally in fermentation. Adding actual guava to the beer is a no-brainer as its a perfect compliment. The mouthfeel and finish is my favorite part, where the juicy ripe guava reminds me of my next-door neighbor’s fruit, and the tart finish cleans up for the next sip.
Guava in Berlin! is available at Green Cheek’s tasting room at 3108, 2294 N Batavia St unit C, Orange // greencheekbeer.com
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest.