Community Beer Company’s Passiflora Is An IPA With A Strong Passionfruit Aroma And Sweet Flavor That Even IPA-Haters Will Appreciate.

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 Community Beer Company’s Passiflora.

Fast Facts on Community Beer Company Passiflora.

Style: IPA.
ABV: 6.5 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 50.
Color: Pale gold.
Availability: Kegs and four-pack cans.

I fondly remember my journey in to craft beer. It likely started out with an American Wheat style ale, one where the brewer recommended I put a wedge of citrus on the glass when serving. Then I moved on to Celis and Hoegaarden, further expanding my radius of influence into more complex wheat beers. The same can be said for my introduction to the IPA style. It started with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a beer that will always remain fixed on my zymurgical radar screen. Since then, I’ve moved in to some interesting spaces with the IPA style. Maybe the most weird IPA offshoot I have tried is the coffee IPA – a sub-style that seems to fight itself, at least it does on my palate. Passiflora is an IPA of the fruity variety. Some people may scoff at the idea of adding fruit to an otherwise excellent beer, but I think that if fruit makes a beer better or keeps it interesting, then go for it. So, if you’re one of those purists who makes no space for room for stretching the boundaries on style, then maybe a fruited IPA isn’t for you. But for me, it’s go time.

Background on IPA.
For a primer on the IPA style, check out our review on Community Mosaic IPA. For another take on a IPA we’ve reviewed that also contains hints of fruit, check out our review on 3 Nations Mango SMASH IPA. Hops are the focus of the IPA style, increasing both bitterness and aroma profiles. There should be a firm malt base, but it should only be noticeable enough to support the hops with its grain bill. For the most part, American IPAs should have a clean fermentation profile from classic American ale yeasts. There are some variations on the style that can give it some latitude, like more malty or hazy New England styles or across-the-pond IPAs represented by slight differences in malt backbone and/or hop preference.

Passiflora pours a hazy orange-gold in to the glass. There is a large amount of haze I see on this beer, and it isn’t chill haze I’m talking about here. As I emtpy the bottle, I get a few bits of fruit or yeast goop that plop out of the bottle. I don’t knock Community for this, though, as any fruited beer means rolling the dice on clarity. Furthermore, it states that this beer is made from a wheat-based grain bill. And with a wheat-heavy grain bill, beers will typically have some haze to them.

Community states that this beer is a Passionfruit-forward beer, and it doesn’t disappoint from my first sniff. I get a healthy dose of Passionfruit from this first sniff, and there’s an excellent balance of supporting hops behind it that seem to elevate the tropical sensation in my nose. Overall, the aroma is a sweet one with less tart that I thought I would encounter.

I get passionfruit again from the start, but instead of its subtle, more round sense on the nose, I get a somewhat sharper, twang of tartness on the taste. I thought that this beer would taste more like it smells, and I was right. But the passionfruit seems to put a fork in the road from a sensory perspective. I get sweet, tropical notes on the nose. And yet, the flavor keeps the tropical thing going, but the bitterness from the kettle hop additions springs on to the scene. It’s a change-up pitch that I am happy with. Granted, the aftertaste does have a smidge of sweetness to it, but the bitterness is here on the tongue and it kicks this beer away from being a fruit beer toward being a straight-up IPA. The aftertaste is enjoyable, too, and it provides a nice mix of hints of tartness from the passionfruit. A mix of tropical floral can be noted from the hop additions.

For its sweet tropical smell and tart-yet-fruity flavor profile, Passiflora drinks pleasingly dry. Carbonation remains bright through the first pour. If anything, this beer drinks a bit on the dry side. And I don’t mean that as a bad trait, because it leaves me wanting more. And with its 6.5 percent ABV, Passiflora is a beer that I would order twice if I were in the hop-plus-fruit mood.

Overall Impression.
I’m a fan of Passiflora. It’s weird, yeah. But it’s very good. Passionfruit isn’t a type of fruit that I have seen much in the IPA style, so it’s cool to see a North Texas brewery add this element as yet another enjoyable option for local drinking. The most closely-related use I see with passionfruit is on a Belgian Wit style. I think that passionfruit and a wheat-based beer like a wit go hand-in-hand from a flavor combination perspective. Community has a firm handle on this concept with Passiflora with its use of a Belgian yeast strain for fermentation and its wheat-heavy grist bill – both key components of the Belgian Wit style. Community should keep this beer around for another season, no doubt. I wonder, though, what sort of margin it makes on this beer. As a draft beer, the sticker price isn’t much out of the ordinary. But for its 4-pack of 12-ounce bottles, the price is a bit of an ouch. I found it for $12.50 at my local retailer. It’s likely that this beer costs more because, well, passionfruit. I have brewed a homebrew with passionfruit and it’s not cheap to get here in North Texas. Nonetheless, this is an interesting beer to introduce a friend to IPAs if they are reluctant to try IPAs. I’m not saying that you should trick them with any ‘ol IPA, but yeah, do trick them with this beer because it has a large sweet spot and it could be their gateway beer in to the IPA style.

Score. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Community Beer Company’s Passiflora a 8.5.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
• Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
• Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
• Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
• Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
• Collective Brewing Project’s Boysenbarrel: 10.
• Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
• Community’s Legion: 10.
• Martin House River Horse: 9.75.
• BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
• Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
• 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.
• Collective Brewing Project’s SMaSHY: 9.2
• On Rotation’s Lingonberry Sahti: 9.25.
• 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.
• Bankhead Brewing Co.’s Giggle Water: 9.
• Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
• Cedar Creek’s Poblano Paradise: 8.75.
• Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest: 8.75.
• Small Brewpub’s Black Pepper Pils: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
• Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
• Community Beer Company’s Passiflora: 8.5.
• Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
• Community Beer Company’s Wit ‘N Wild: 8.5.
• Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
• Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
• Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Prime Minister: 8.25.
• Lakewood’s Peach Artsy Tarsty: 8.25.
• Lakewood Brewing Grand Allowance: 8.
• HopFusion Ale Works’ Hairpin: 8
• Armadillo Ale Works’ Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale: 8.
• Community’s Texas Helles: 8.
• On Rotation’s Moar Blackberry: 8.
Peticolas Brewing Company’s Doctor’s Orders: 8.
• Lakewood’s Thread Spinner: 8.
• Bishop Cider Co.’s Sour Cherry: 8.
• Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
• Pegasus City Brewing’ Nine Volt: 8.
• Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
• Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
• Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
• Pegasus City Brewery’s Cannoneer: 8.
• 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.
• Four Corners Brewing Company Homie Brew: 7.75.
• Cedar Creek’s Grapefruit Haze: 7.75.
• Martin House Brewing’s Big Hoppa: 7.75.
• TUPPS Full Grown Man: 7.75.
• 3 Nations American Wit: 7.75.
• Armadillo Ale Works’ Dapper Apple: 7.75.
• Chimera Dirty Dog: 7.5.
• Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
• Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
• Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
• Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
• Texas Ale Project’s Good To Go: 7.5.
• 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.
• Cedar Creek Brewery Clover Kicker: 7.25.
• Noble Rey Sex In A Canoe: 7.25.
• Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
• Deep Ellum Rye Pils: 7.
• 3 Nations Mango SMASH IPA: 7.
• Legal Draft Chief Justice Stout: 7.
• Manhattan Project’s Plutonium-239: 7.
• Backcountry’s Texas IPA: 7.
• Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
• Wild Acre Brewing Company’s Billy Jenkins: 7.
• Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
• Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
• Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
• 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.
• Community Brewing Company’s Silly Gose: 6.75
• Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
• Three Nations Texas Xmas Hazelnut Ale: 6.5.
• Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
• 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.
• Four Corners’ Celebración: 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.
• Cedar Creek’s Maui Wowie: 6.25.
• On Rotation’s Mexican Barleywine: 6.25.
• Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 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
• Cobra Brewing Company’s Dawn of the Dank: 6
• Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
• Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
• Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
• Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
• Woodcreek’s Lakeside Cerveza: 5.
• Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 5.
• Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
• Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
• 903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
• Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
• TUPPS’ Day Off: 4.75.
• Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
• Audacity’s Checkered Past: 4.
• Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
• Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
• Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
• Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
• Good Neighbor Brews Slim Sweetness: 3.
• Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
• Franconia Wheat: 3.
• 903 Brewers’ Mythical Creatures: 2.5.
• Miller Lite: 1.

All photos by Ben Smithson

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