Oak Highland’s New Kolsch Isn’t Just Allgood, It’s Guava Good.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Oak Highlands Brewery‘s Guava Good.

 

Fast Facts on Oak Highlands Brewery Guava Good.
Style: Kolsch (brewed with guava).
ABV: 6.1 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 22.
Color: Light gold.
Availability: Limited.

Overview.
I really want to do a review on Oak Highlands Brewery’s Allgood Kolsch, the base beer for Guava Good, but the timing just isn’t right for me at this moment. So let’s go with its fruity derivative, Guava Good. Sorry, Allgood, you’ll have to wait.

Background on Kolsch.
For a primer on the Kolsch style, check out our review of Lakewood Brewing Company’s All Call. Kolsch is easy to brew, yet hard to brew well. Kolsch is an ale, yet it’s brewed at the lower end of the temperature range. And most kolsch style beers are lagered, or conditioned, in order to help clean up some residual, hang-around off flavors. Allgood is a good example of the kolsch style, with its bright, crisp flavors and clean fermentation. But let’s not get too distracted on Allgood, because Guava Good is a little bit of a different animal.

Appearance.
Guava Good comes out of the tap with an excellent about of firm white head. It hangs around long enough to take photos, but then dissipates after about one third of a pint. What residual head remains clings down the glass, making a few long-legged rings of foam. Unlike its base beer, Guava Good is a bit hazy; I suspect it’s because of the fruit addition. While there is a fair amount of haze, I don’t see much in the way of suspended floaties or particles — it’s a clean-looking beer.

 

Aroma.
The fruit shows up first and foremost. After the fruit, there’s a small sense of something sulfur-like, but it’s just a tiny hint, typical of some lager-like ales like the kolsch style. There’s an inviting sweetness, but as I’m no guava expert, my brain does not immediately go to guava town. Some beers use more recognizable fruit like passionfruit or pineapple; those are dead giveaways. But not here with the guava situation — it’s interesting and I like it. Hop character is almost absent. But this is a low IBU beer, after all. The hops in this beer are mostly here for initial bittering, like with a small 60-minute addition and a small late-boil addition. All in all, the aroma of the beer reminds me of a kolsch style more than the taste of the beer. Weird!

Flavor.
The guava carries through to the taste and the fruit flavor is magnified. There’s a delicate dance between bright kolsch flavor and fruit sweetness. Any sweeter on the fruit and I would be sort of turned off. But the fruit works; it’s just there in the zone of refreshing and not too over-the-top sweet. Yes, the kolsch beer is present and I sense it, but the fruit flavor is the major player.

Mouthfeel.
The kolsch style is known for its refreshing character, low ABV, and its drinkability. Guava Good pulls off all of these characteristics. It remains true to its kolsch style — even with the fruit addition in the mouthfeel department — as it does not come off too sweet. There is nothing cloying about the fruit, nor is there a sweet coating on my lips.

 

Overall Impression.
I like this beer. But, to be completely honest, I think that I like its base beer, Allgood, better. I don’t mean to get all weird and knock this beer after what reads as a positive review, though. Both Allgood and Guava Good are good, but unlike some other flavor additions I have written about previously, I think that the base beer is the better beer. Nonetheless, Guava Good represents another killer option for warm weather patio drinking. This column’s previous owner, Colin Alsheimer, reviewed Armadillo’s Wundermelon — a watermelon flavored kolsch — and wasn’t totally on board. But that beer had some problems, whereas Guava Good is an all-around success. Maybe it’s a fruit addition to a style where there’s not a whole lot of room to hide that sort of turns me off. Maybe I don’t want to mess with an already-successful execution on a solid beer. Maybe I’m a kolsch purist. Whatever it is, I should just shut up and drink this beer. Guava Good is clean, crisp, easy-drinking, and I want to order another. Overall, this beer represents another success in OHB’s growing lineup of mainstay and seasonal offerings. Good on ya, Oak Highlands.

Score.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Oak Highlands Guava Good a 7.

 

What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Saturday, May, 14. Crawfish & Brews at Community.
• Saturday, May, 14. Denton Bicycle Brewery Tour at Bearded Monk.
• Sunday, May, 15. Brew Riot at Bishop Arts.
• Sunday, May, 15. Meet and Greet w/ Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione.
• Sunday, May, 15. Pups on a Patio at Eight Bells Alehouse.
• Thursday, May, 19. Beer and Cake Pairing at Oak Highlands.
• Saturday, May, 21. North Texas Firkin Fest at Globe Life Park.
• Sunday, May, 29. Brew-B-Q at Deep Ellum Brewing.
• Saturday, June 11. Untapped: Fort Worth at Panther Island Pavilion.
• Saturday, June 18. Best Little Brew Fest In Texas at Old Town Lewisville.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Nine Bands’ Cactus Cat: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.
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