This year, Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing upgraded its range of canned offerings, retooling artwork and adding a couple of popular and previously limited brews, including Guayabera Citra Pale Ale.
The meteoric rise in popularity of the Citra hop variety — an American hop first released to the public in 2007 — has led to endless iterations of Citra-hopped IPAs, pale ales and other hop-centric beers. As a result, the concept has nearly been overdone, but there’s always room for excellent execution, and that’s what Guayabera is all about.
Rich with aromas of lime, grapefruit and tropical fruit like mango and lychee, Guayabera is a finely crafted showcase of the characteristics that made the hop variety as ubiquitous as it has become in the past decade.
Guayabera is the beer that perhaps best fits our Florida climate. It’s a refreshing warm-weather brew, but it has enough depth to sustain its new year-round availability.
The beer is absolutely bursting with tropical fruit aromas, which follow through into its bright, citrusy flavor. While IPAs and pale ales are trending more toward a low-bitterness, fruit-centric palate, Guayabera offers both in plentiful quantity. A crisp bitterness hits just the right balance, cutting cleanly through the juicy fruit notes and slightly-sweet malt base, immediately demanding another sip.
Cigar City’s location and popularity mean that you’re likely to find fresh cans just about anywhere (check the date printed on the bottom), from liquor stores to gas stations. It’s also a common draft pick at local beer bars. Wherever you find it, you’ll immediately understand why Guayabera has joined the ranks of Jai Alai, Maduro, Florida Cracker and others as part of Cigar City’s regular lineup.
— Justin Grant
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