Guava Grove | Cigar City Brewing

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Guava GroveGuava Grove
Very Good
889 Ratings
Guava GroveGuava Grove

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
One of Tampa's nicknames in addition to the Cigar City is the Big Guava. It earned the moniker from local newspaper columnist Steve Otto in the 1970's. The nickname eventually gave rise to one of Ybor City's most popular annual events, Guavaween. We brew Guava Grove in tribute to Tampa's fruity nickname. Guava Grove is brewed with a French strain of Saison yeast and sees a secondary fermentation on pink guava puree. Slightly tart with a dry finish this is a refined beer that is perfect for sharing.

18 IBU

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 889 |  Reviews: 381
Reviews by JamesWn:
Photo of JamesWn
3.75/5  rDev -6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to rynosf23 for this one - split five ways at a recent tasting. Burnt sunburst would be the best way to describe the color of Guava Grove - almost one-hundred percent opaque, very volatile, and producing a heavy, foamy, off-white head with very good retention and semi-decent lacing. I like how this one is looking.

The aroma is full of a sweet and bitter mix of fruit, much of which must be guava. I've never had a real guava, I've only had guava-flavored things. I am picking up some of that guava smell, but it's nowhere near as powerful as I would hope, expect, or like. There's actually an intense pungency that sort of stings the nostrils, not sure if it's a bitterness or what. It's not bad, it's just... different. Some pears and mangoes make up for the remainder of the aroma profile. Not much in terms of malt here - maybe a little bit of added sweetness, but nothing extraordinarily standing out. A light grassiness hits on the tail end as the fruits fade to black.

I'm immediately met with a sharp carbonation upon taking the first sip. Some light spices; clove, coriander, maybe orange peel - much akin to a Belgian style ale - followed up by a light guava flavor. The fruitiness of the guava is very pleasing, however it seems to "come and go" very quickly - it hits your taste buds hard, then it fades away almost instantly. Upon fading out, heavy-ass barnyard flavors hit center stage; wet cork, oak, damp cellar, musky - those are certainly the best descriptors. Upon tasting those, I finally remember that this is a saison - otherwise, it could pass for any old fruit beer. The aftertaste is also dominated by the funk, perhaps with just a tiny bit of fruity flavors and malty sweetness to couple with. Medium bodied with a heavy dose of carbonation and a reasonably dry finish.

I had high hopes for this one - I like CCB and I like guava-flavored things. I also like saisons. So this is a win-win-win, right? Well, perhaps it didn't quite live up to my godly expectations, but it was still a damn good beer. I enjoyed the saison and funk flavors that come through and pound hard from middle to end - but my main complaint is that the guava (and fruit in general) was too muted, both in the aroma and the taste. Still very enjoyable - very solid saison.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review is written from notes taken on 7-10-11.

Guava Grove emerges from the bottle with a huge tan head atop a golden-amber brew. Beautiful, thin, spindly carbonation bubbles streak up my snifter. The head retains like crazy and the lacing is frothy and sticky.

Holy sour wildness! The smell really highlights the Belgian yeast... I swear that it is a wild strain. All sorts of citrus aromas also reside in the bouquet, heavy on the lime and lemon. Also, I smell lots of guava, Granny Smith apple, sweet tarts, and Pinot Grigio. It really is a mouthwatering scent.

The taste is very pleasantly fruity and dry. There are a lot of citric acid notes that compete for my palate's attention against the sweet, full guava. The acidic nature wins out, but the full guava gives it a good shot. This is a really, really tart beer. I like how the Belgian yeast plays off of the guava. An ever-so-slight vinegar tastes drops the score just a bit.

The mouthfeel is refreshingly dry with quite the tart nip. A fleeting moment of a coating, cloying feel hits my palate before being overcome by the acidic tartness. A sizzling sourness bombards all points on my palate.

I'm really not sure why this isn't called a wild ale. The sour punch from the combination of the yeast and guava is quite nice, but definitely does not taste much like other Saisons I have had. Also, there is just a slight vinegar presence in the taste. Overall, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer just glows with an orange tinted, deep good with a slight haze and obvious effervescent. The cream off-white head just lasts and last; having about two finger from a slightly aggressive pour and leaving lacing on the glass.

S: A heady mix of sour, acidic tart notes and a mild melon type fruitiness and some orange and the guava making themself know as it warms. The soft pils malt is there at moderate a level and like most good saison but with a lighter peppery spiciness than average. I can't get much past the sour, slightly brett funk but I don't care, leave me here I'll be fine. Sort of a fruity, spicy Berliner Weisse.

T: Wow, that a sharp fruity attack at the first sip and I'm loving it. The fruit is again melony and orange with a high tart sourness backed by some tropic fruit. Not much hops flavor to speak of but a decent bitterness with the balance being sour. There is a touch of pils malt sweetness but over all dry from start to finish with a linger bitter and sour flavor. There is a bit of pepper in there reflecting the style but who cares this is sour, tart heaven.

M: Light bodied with a high carbonation. There is a light dryness almost CO2 astringency prickle.

O: An outstanding very sour beer with enough fruitiness and spiciness to call it a saison base. This is a must have beer for fans of sours I just wish it wasn't so hard to find in Upstate NY.

 1,396 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #45 (Oct 2010):

Tartness came at our noses right when the cap was popped. Hazed orange amber with some light sudsy action. Big, fruity, tart aroma with a quick pull of malt in the back. Modest smoothness, was expecting crispness. Tartness wants to put the boot to the throat, but pulls back quick enough to unveil a unqiue fruitiness ... the guava jumps up and does a crazy wave at the palate with both hands. Malt and yeast clutch each other with a nutty, earthy, lovely mess. Alcohol warmth in the back slowly grows in the dry finish. Some controlled chaos that grew on us.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my glass a somewhat hazy orange with a touch of pink as well. Small white head forms and then falls to a ring above the brew with a few bubbles. Aromas of tropical fruit, guava and spice upfront. Fresh Belgian yeast tones with a touch of tart funk. Really nice and I like the bright guava aroma.

First sip brings a lot of fruitiness upfront with lemon, banana and plenty of bright guava. Spiciness weaves in with vibrant Belgian yeast along with a touch of tart, earthy funk. Creamy and smooth finish with lingering guava and spice aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is smooth and light with a creaminess imparted from the carbonation. Really enjoyable and refreshing as well. Well, this is just a damn fine beer and I would gladly drink this again. Cigar City continues to impress me. Well worth seeking out!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first beer with guava. As a kid, I used to eat a lot of guava jelly on toast. I've enjoyed a lot of Cigar City brews on my trip to Tampa, and thought "Why not?"
In a snifter the beer was a hazy amber color with a huge tan head and a bit of lace.
One sniff and I was transported back to my youth. Guava predominated, some orange. Earthy, peppery spice.
Great taste, just not quite what the aroma promised. Guava, citrus, clove.
Nice and crisp, good finish.
Drinkable in the sense of wanting one again. Just not immediately.

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Photo of warnerry
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours clear copper with three fingers of off-white head. Head has good retention but only leaves scant lacing.

S - Very tart aroma, but also quite a bit of fruit. Can't say I eat much guava, but I'm assuming that is the main fruit aroma I am picking up. Also a bit of apple and banana. Slight amounts of earthy funk.

T - Tart on the tongue, but very nice. After the tartness fades, quite a bit of fruit comes through, similar to the smell. I don't get much of a saison taste, though there is some nice yeast presence on the finish. Regardless, it is pretty tasty.

M - Relatively light mouthfeel with with an earthy dry finish.

O - I tried reading through the forums, as I remember some discussion of whether this was intentionally sour. I bought this last summer, but don't see a bottle date, so no idea what batch it is. I wouldn't call this a saison, but whatever it is, I really enjoyed it.Hope the tartness isn't absent in current batches.

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Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of mverity
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours into a goblet a cloudy golden orange body with a tall offwhite head. Nice spiderweb lacing.

Aroma is dominated by fruity sweet guava. Tart citrusy notes and a hint of dusty yeast underneath.

Mouthfeel is tart and surprisingly dry. Medium body with prickly carbonation.

Taste is initially dry, with a lemony tartness. Almost geuze-like at the first two sips but it quickly mellows with the tropical guava notes coming on strong. Yeast is apparent but unobtrusive. Alcohol is cleverly concealed. Freshly ground white peppercorn notes add a nice complexity. Crabapple hints appear near the finish. There is an interesting acidic background presence that is suggestive of a Berliner-weisse as some other reviewers have noted. Almost has a lambic aftertaste.

Wow! This is one interesting saison with a lot of funky character. More like a wild ale than a saison for the most part but very tasty and agreeable. Would love to have a few of these on hand. Thanks to mntlover for the opportunity to enjoy this bottle.

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Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, $11.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

A- Pours clouded brownish apricot amber, loose medium tan head, goes to a thick film and leaves thick rolls of lacing.

S- Bright notes of sweet fruit juice, hints of the sour that awaits the tongue.

T- Waves of sweet tropical fruit juice, juxtaposed with better then moderate shards of sour and super musty funk...toss in a stinky cheese chord. Complex, intense, bright and bracing funked up Saison. Thoroughly interesting and highly enjoyable stuff.

M- Biting, bracing on the tongue and mouth. Prickly- but I like it

D- I'm gonna by a few more bottles of this one and that the best endorsement I can give. Great creation in brewing by Cigar City.

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Photo of mctizzz
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to djrn for sending this bottle my way.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a large white head. The aroma is classic saison, with some strong biscuit malt notes. There is also quite a bit of tartness, lemon and light funk. The flavor is similar. The biscuit and toffee malt go very well with the wheat and a little bit of tartness. The light acidic notes work very well and add to the beer's drinkability. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Altenor
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Tabni
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of CaptinRedBeard
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to merc7186 for grabbing a bottle of this for me.

750ml capped bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter.

off the pour, enormous head, lots of carbonation. fluffy white head, tons of big bubbles rushing to the top. the big head lasts the whole glass, great retention. some nice lacing as well. cloudy/ murky burnt orange, deep golden color.

big horsey, barnyard funk is most dominant in the nose, definitely some brett at play. a little bit of lemon grass and sour pie cherries. its hard to get much else with all that funk dominating.

again the barnyard, horsey funk brett flavors are big. also some sour cherries, lemongrass and a bit of tropical fruits and wet wood. im not really tasting any distinct guava in this, seems to be lost by all the funk. finishes pretty tart with some lingering sourness.

definitely overcarbinated, especially at first. also, this has kind of an odd creamy, syrupy feel at times, ive noticed this in other belgians that use the french saison strain.

im not sure if the brett was intentional or not, but it makes for a pretty decent saison despite the fact that any hint of guava is pretty much non exsistant. however, this could be an older bottle. im probably not going to seek this out again, but id be interested in trying its counterparts.

 1,294 characters

Photo of Infernal75
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 750 (infected batch) into a Lost Abbey glass.

A- This beer has a really appealing look to it. I admit I'm not a saison fan, so the deep orange glow this beer has is far preferable to the light yellow or golden wheat look most saisons have.

S- The smell is sour, a little dirty, a little fruity. one of the better characteristics of the beer.

T- The taste is pretty tart, reminiscent of the Lips of Faith Le Terroir, which I enjoy. Though the carbonation may have something to do with how much it reminds me of Le Terroir. The fruit is awfully subtle, it reminds me more of moldy cheese than Guava.

M- Over carbonated. period. At first pour, the beer's mouthfeel is more of a champagne than a beer. After much swirling it becomes a but more palatable.

O- I like this beer, but it's nothing that I'd freak out over. Of course, i'm not much of a saison lover, though I do enjoy sours as a whole. I'd probably take Le Terroir of this beer 7 out of 10 times and take this the other 3 times just for a change. One of the better saisons for me.

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Photo of MrBryson
4/5  rDev +0.3%

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Guava Grove from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 889 ratings