Using the tongue-in-cheek hashtag #weinventedthis, St. Pete's Green Bench Brewing has launched a new limited-release brew that combines three of today's biggest — and most polarizing — IPA trends: sour IPAs, fruited IPAs and, of course, the dense, fruit smoothie-like haze of the New England IPA.
The beer: Green Bench Guava FLIPA (Florida IPA), is a tart, entirely opaque IPA with thick, juicy notes of fresh guava up front, followed by an aggressively bitter, dry finish.
Green Bench was early on the scene with sour IPAs, taking a cue from Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs with its Surrealist IPA, inspired by Trinity's Red Swingline. The Guava FLIPA, then, is the New England-inspired version of this beer, using an unfiltered base beer dry-hopped with copious amounts of tropical, fruity hop varieties to provide a rich, juicy backdrop that complements the exotic flavor of fresh guava quite nicely.
There's lots of debate about just how much of the hazy IPA craze is pure hype, but there's some sound argument that the extra suspended particles (yeast and proteins) in these beers provide increased surfaces for volatile aromatic compounds to latch onto, giving these beers a lush, intense aroma.
While many New England-style IPAs possess relatively low bitterness, Green Bench's Guava FLIPA is generously hopped, adding a spicy counterpart to the juicy mouth-feel and sweet guava flavor. The balance of sweet, sour and bitter flavors make for an explosive flavor profile that's sure to thrill some, while likely turning off the less adventurous drinker. Either way, this is certainly something new.
Green Bench Guava FLIPA is available in four-packs of 16-ounce cans in the brewery's tasting room for $20. This is a limited run, so if you want to try it for yourself, head down to Green Bench sooner rather than later. 1133 Baum Ave. N.
— Justin Grant
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