Guadalupe Brewing Company (New Braunfels, TX): Americano, Dat Wit, Rye IPA, Blueberry Funk

Guadalupe Brewing Company is easily one of my favorite local breweries. It’s owned by good people, staffed by good people, and makes good beer. Really, what more could you ask for? I guess then it’s a bonus that they are more than content to be a “local” brewery, and focus on small business. I got the owner of my favorite little beer store, Doc’s Liquors, in touch with them to carry their beer, and co-owner Anna grilled Doc’s on just how non-corporate they are! When Danny, the owner, said “we’re a mom and pop, one location, family owned store,” she responded “Perfect!” That’s awesome. I always love making it up to New Braunfels to get out to their events, and this open house was no exception.

Guadalupe Brewing Company, New Braunfels, TX
Guadalupe Brewing Company, New Braunfels, TX

Americano

About the Beer (from guadalupebrew.com/home.html):
Golden medium bodied beer with a white thick long lasting head. American Citra Hops are used in this crisp beer along with Texas wheat!

Style: Hefeweizen
ABV: 6.12%

At the first Guadalupe open house that I reviewed last year, head brewer Ryan Bishop really wanted me to try this beer, because he felt it was a very true to form German Hefeweizen, and in talking he found out I went to high school in Germany. While I did try it that time, I had other beers that I was more interested in reviewing, so it just did not happen. This time I asked Ryan specifically what beers he wanted me to review, and he requested this one, so here we go! With the name AMERICANO, it makes more sense to me that the version I tried was with American hops instead of the classic German varieties, and this takes the standard hefe flavors to someplace less expected.

Americano Pale Hefeweizen
Americano Pale Hefeweizen

Looking at AMERICANO, I get close to what I would expect; a bright golden yellow with a mild to medium bodied head that fades somewhat quickly into a halo that leaves behind a little lacing. The German hefes I grew up on were usually a bit darker in color, and bit thicker in body, with a little bit more resilient head, so AMERICANO comes off almost as a hefe-lite. It actually reminds me, to look at it, more of the standard German Kristalweizen than Hefeweizen, though I can tell from looking at AMERICANO that it is not a Kristalweizen (which is a filtered hefe). It’s more of a pale hefe. Taking some of its aroma in, I get the banana and clove that is so immediately authentic, as well as a lightly lemony backend that comes from the American hops. The hops are not heavy handed, but more of a perfume than a flavor.

People milling about with good beer.
People milling about with good beer.

Once it hits my tongue, it is very much like home, with the exception of the hop bill. This is a very authentic, true to Deutschland hefe, with that nice Texas twist of the different hops to take it from ordinary to something more. It is a clean, smooth hefe that is more hoppy then the normal German version, but not in any way bitter. This is not a wheat IPA or some weird IPA hybrid like everyone seems to be making lately. The mouthfeel on AMERICANO is a bit thinner than the average hefe, but with it’s bright and clean profile, this just makes it easier to drink. This would be a good session beer, if it were not for the fact that it is above 6%, with that much fuel in it you probably couldn’t drink them all day. But it would be a nice, hot day refreshing type brew any day of the week.

 

Overall 7 / 10

Beer page: http://www.guadalupebrew.com/home.html

 

Dat Wit

About the Beer (from the label):
Our Belgian white is a crisp and clean wheat beer balanced perfectly with additions of coriander and citrus.

Style: Wit
ABV: 5.1%

When I first saw that Guadalupe’s Ryan Bishop had brewed a Wit, I wasn’t sure what to think. Wit is far from my favorite style; in general I just find it to be a bit bland and not too exciting. Sure, there’s worse styles out there, and I would drink a Wit over an AAL any second of any day ever, ever, but it’s never been a style I really gravitate to. I heard that DAT WIT was one of Ryan’s own recipes, so I was excited to see what he was bringing to Guadalupe, and gave it a try. I’m sure glad I did. DAT WIT pours a bright golden lemon yellow with a mild fuzz on top. The head is bright white, and doesn’t stick around for too long, quickly becoming just a ring riding the top of this elixir and leaving behind a little bit of lacing in its wake. It is cloudy as it should be, and is much like sunlight in a glass to look at it.

Dat Wit Belgian Style White
Dat Wit Belgian Style White

As DAT WIT makes its way into my nose, the lemon color is actually represented in the aroma as well. The bouquet is almost a combination of lemonade and Belgian esters, and it is warm and inviting. It calls out “drink me!” to my nostrils, and my brain say “don’t worry, we’re gonna.” When DAT WIT touches my tongue, the citrus romp in color and aroma continues. There is a nice citrusy bite to the beer, but its incredibly smooth. The Belgian aspect is very obvious in the flavor profile as well, and there is no doubting that this is a Wit. On the backend DAT WIT carries just a slight hop bitterness, but nothing extreme; it is a slightly hoppier version of your average Wit. This combination of the citrus flavor, the Belgian esters, and the hops makes this a much more interesting representation of the style than I’m used to.

Tap handles of some of their regulars.
Tap handles of some of their regulars.

The body on DAT WIT is quite smooth and a bit thin. This makes the beer really easy to put down. Unlike AMERICANO, DAT WIT would truly be a sessionable beer. Talking with Keith Kilker (one of the owners of Guadalupe), his idea was to can DAT WIT so that it could be “something to drink while you’re floating down the river on a tube,” and I think that would be amazing. Sign me up. I don’t have a tube, but I’ll get one. This was the easiest drinking beer I had all day; it’s thirst quenching and light, and would be the perfect beer for after mowing the lawn on a hot Texas day. Guadalupe, why do you have to keep making my opinions of beers come up wrong? DAT WIT is a Wit I’d love to have canned and in my fridge all summer long. Get on that, please.

 

Overall 7 / 10

Beer page: http://untappd.com/b/guadalupe-brewing-wit-ness-e/589780 (the name has changed)

 

Rye IPA

About the Beer (from guadalupebrew.com/home.html):
Copper colored with a white head and loaded with rich flavor. This IPA is not overly bitter it instead puts the fusion between the rye and spicy hops forward.

Style: Rye IPA
ABV: 6.03%
IBU: 45

 

The RYE IPA is a beer that Guadalupe has had around for quite a while. I think it actually was the very first beer I ever tried from them, in Corpus Christi on tap long ago. I love IPAs, and I gravitate to them. While there are other styles that I like more (Barleywine, Sour), there aren’t any that I drink on a more frequent or regular basis. There is just such a multitude of IPA options, it makes this style one that I can drink every day and not have to be limited on my choices. And now breweries are making all these IPA hybrids (White IPA, Wheat IPA, Black IPA, etc.) so even if you run out of regular IPAs, there are another million choices. Rye IPA has been one of my favorite of the hybrid IPA styles, so that’s probably why I tried this first.

Guadalupe Rye IPA
Guadalupe Rye IPA

RYE IPA fills my glass with a bright copper and a bright snowcap that hangs out for a while. When it does dissipate, you can see exactly where it has been, which I love in an IPA. The rye addition brings that nice warm brown to the palette and a nice spiciness to the palate. The essence that fills my nose and infects my brain is hops in the forefront. This is followed up by the malt, which has that distinct spice that the rye brings with it. The malt on this beer is not so sweet like many others, because of that addition to the regular malt bill. Then, as the malt gets out of the way, the hops come back up for round two. Taking a sip, RYE IPA is almost exactly what I thought it would be. The rye brings a touch of spiciness that swirls within the malt, and the hops are very much present, but not quite as bitter as my nose told me they would be. This is a hoppy beer for sure, and if you don’t like hops you won’t like this (but then again, if you don’t like hops why are you drinking an IPA?), but it is not a hop-dominated beer. The hop bitterness builds with each sip, and as you get to the bottom of the glass it is more and more hoppy, but never to the point of overload. The point of this beer is not MORE IBUS like some IPAs are, it is a good balance of the rye spice and the hops bitterness, and is something much more balanced than a lot of entries in this style.

One of the fermenters, and a thumbs-up.
One of the fermenters, and a thumbs-up.

RYE IPA is smooth and thin, not overly heavy like some maltier IPAs can be. The rye addition brings a zestiness that tickles the tongue as you drink it, which makes this a fun beer to enjoy. It’s not a beer that I would probably drink more than two in a row of, as the hops do build up and I could see it eventually becoming overly bitter, but that would take a while. This would be a nice beer to enjoy with some spicy food, as hop bitterness enhances culinary heat, and I like heat. For hopheads, this will be an easy drinker, for those not so much into the lupulin it might not be.

 

Overall 7 / 10

Beer page: http://www.guadalupebrew.com/home.html

 

Blueberry Funk

About the Beer (from the brewer):
This blue-tinted barrel aged sour ale is built to walk the line between funky and sweet. A pilot batch to experiment with the use of blueberries into an approachable fruity and original sour ale.

Style: Fruit Sour
ABV: 6%

 

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Guadalupe for this. Thank you. Seriously. This is a beer I’ve been waiting for. Sour fruit ales are a lot of fun in general, and when the fruit introduced is one of my favorites, we’re just upping the ante. Sours are one of my favorite styles, so when I heard that Guadalupe made a blueberry Sour, I probably let out a girly squeal at the open house. Hopefully no one heard it… but if someone did, that’s ok. It was worth it for this. Talking with Ryan it came to my attention that once their expansion is complete, they will have a 10bbl fermenter just for sour beers. That cannot come quick enough for me. I need Guadalupe sours in my life on more than the rare open house occasion.

Blueberry Funk Sour
Blueberry Funk Sour

BLUEBERRY FUNK is, to the eyes, Boo Berry in a glass. Seriously, the color is like someone took a bowl full of Boo Berry and milk and tossed it in a blender; it’s a deep bluish purple body topped with a light puce head, and it was calling my name. The color is so unique, so different from just about any other beer I’ve ever had… and with as many beers as I’ve had, that’s hard to do. When you inhale the aroma, it is a beguiling combination of sweet and sour, and not in a Chinese food kinda way. The blueberry sweetness hits you first, and it’s amazing just how sweet it really comes off, then behind that comes the tang that lets your brain understand that this is a Sour for sure. There is a heavy malt base to the beer as well, and it makes me wonder what this looked like before the fruit was added in the second fermentation. I love the flavor of this. The blueberries are very much present on the tongue not just on the eyes, and the sour is manageable. I personally can enjoy a Sour that’s just a little sour, all the way to puckeringly sour, and this one is on the milder end of that spectrum. It really makes me wish I had a couple of bottles to throw in my cellar and see how they develop over the next few years. This is almost like a blueberry lemon sorbet; it’s got the sweetness backed with a little sour that does not overwhelm the fruit. It’s so good.

Bathroom reading material at Guadalupe.
Bathroom reading material at Guadalupe.

In the glass and in the belly, BLUEBERRY FUNK is smooth and velvety, thick like a stout but without being quite that heavy on the gut. I found it to be very easily drinkable (so much so that I got back in the BLUEBERRY FUNK line at least 2 or 3 times after my first glass). This would be a Sour I’d love to use to show someone that thinks they don’t like Sours how wrong they are. It’s delicate and complex, sweet and sour balanced, and just overall a pleasure. Please Guadalupe, make this beer. Make it now. Make it and send me bottles. Send me ALL THE BOTTLES.

 

Overall 9 / 10

Beer page: http://untappd.com/b/guadalupe-brewing-blueberry-funk/590007

Brewery site: http://www.guadalupebrew.com

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