I was given to understand that the drinks would be free but that was a lie and I am a little not bothered by it. After my ravings on Sunday (you can access them via this quick link if you like) it fell to me to remember the price of this offering and so I did - being £3 from my local. It was something that I had seen about online, again, and I wanted in on the action. Had it the best part of a week before venturing into the warm garden to crack it open as the sun sank below the houses opposite, lighting the tree but leaving much of the garden in shadow. I am referring, of course, to the Clwb Tropicana produced by those clever people over at Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. and I am rather looking forward to trying it.
So, with my tea far behind me and an evening stretching out ahead of me, would you like to join me in the journey along the path blazed by this? In essence, would you like to know more?
Not a huge nose on pouring but still a bit of a fruity number. It claims to be a tropical IPA on the can, right there, and it does not lie. There is pineapple and grapefruit and I may even detect a little starfruit on the edges there, all apple but with that slightly juicy hint that tells you that you are no longer in the northern sub-tropics. Decent enough head, bit bubbly, that sticks around for a bit but then retreats to the sides of the glass with some worty venturing to the middle. Bit of carbonation, which is fine, but not overbearing and without the attack on the nostrils as you lean in to drink like you get one some efforts. I still can't get over the fact that beer from a can doesn't always behave like soft drinks do and attack you with bubbles. That's more me than the ale though, so make of that what you will.
In the humidity of the late evening and in the dark of the garden, the body seems a little off-colour. It is bright and not as dark as some of the stouts and porters that I am still getting through from the winter but nor is it the thin and straw-like aspect of some of the pales that have been gracing my news feed (I know how to live) either. It lacks the fruit-juice insanity of the Session IPA from Cloudwater last Sunday but it does what it needs to do and then gets down to business. A standard tropical hit, like a Fruit Salad penny sweet from the late 1980s on the way back from Sunday School, and then into the centre of the mouth with plenty of oomph and filling. Here it allows that carbonation to deliver the sweeter and fuller fruits to the top of the mouth, with the bitterness gathering down the sides, before shooting for the back of the throat and letting the whole thing climax in shower of starfruit.
I'm not joking, this has a starfruit edge to it right the way through and it sticks at the end into the aftertaste, all but eclipsing the mango and pineapple that vie for dominance between them, and then settling to a standard dry bitter end. It's not bad and well worth the price I picked it up for, it is very much the summer IPA mould and I don't think it loses anything for that. I'm not sure it is tropical beaches or a holiday abroad, but it is very much a welcome brew in the aftermath of a warm day and as the evening slowly bruises and the clouds drift away behind the houses and trees into the past. At 5.5% ABV this is in the wheelhouse of the Utah Saints and you'd better be careful, ain't no strange-trousered dude popping in at the end of this pop video!
I like it, it does the job that I wanted it to do and it does it with the minimum of fuss. Though I shall confess to having chilled this for a few days because I just never got round to it, making it the perfect end to the day as it provided some much needed refreshment. If you try it and it does not measure up to the kind of praise that I have subjected it to here I can only apologise and point to the situation - which it handled well.
Enjoy this best, then, after a long day getting semi-sweaty and as the day cools but the humidity remains. Pour carefully to avoid too much of a head and sit back in shorts and a t-shirt (vest tops are allowed) and sink into the internet to while away the cares of the world. Take spirited sips and ruminate on just how deep the fruit can go. More 1980s neon than 2000s health-kick but the fruit is the same and the jacket works well enough. Stack up some George Micheal on YouTube and you're good to go! Cheers!