Have you ever heard people raving about some product and wondered what the fuss was all about; yet haven’t pulled the trigger on trying it? When you finally get around to it, you kick yourself for having missed out on something you could have been enjoying for some time now? That’s exactly how I felt after trying Tropicalia by Athens, GA based Creature Comforts Brewing Co. They have been brewing this gem of an IPA for at least two or three years now; but I just hadn’t gotten to it (too many beers, too little time!). My IPA Challenge gave me a great excuse to give it a test drive, plus compare and contrast it with a cross section of IPAs. Picking my number one got down to two excellent choices; SweetWater IPA and Tropicalia. It was a tough choice, but Tropicalia took the top spot.
Tropicalia pours a pale gold color with a slight haze to it. It develops a nice three fingers tall, white fluffy head that exhibits excellent head retention. I have not been able to track down what varieties of hops Creature Comforts used; but, if I had to venture a guess I would say Simcoe, Amarillo, and possibly Ahtanum. Whatever they used produces a burst of grapefruit and passionfruit aromas. I even detected some mild pine; which pleasantly reminded me of Christmas. The same citrus and tropical flavors flow nicely through your palate on a back bone of low malt sweetness. Bitterness is a perfect restrained to moderate character ending with a medium, drying finish. Additionally, you don’t even notice the 6.6% ABV at all.
I am not trying to oversell it at all when I say this is one fantastic IPA. It is fruit forward with just enough malt sweetness to deliver the variety of hops flavors without being distracting. It is light and refreshing enough to be a session IPA; but the 6.6% ABV keeps it out of that category. Truly a well crafted, quality IPA and I place it at the top of my IPA list. If only I had discovered it sooner!
I hope that Creature Comforts continues to grow their distribution of Tropicalia, so that more craft beer enthusiasts outside the state of Georgia can enjoy it as well. If you are ever in the Atlanta area, many stores carry it and so do a lot of restaurants and bars. Be sure to ask for it. Job well done Creature Comforts!
Do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely!
If you have followed along this far, I thank you very much and I hope that my reviews were helpful. While some of the beers reviewed may not be available to you locally, there are bound to be some quality, approachable IPAs brewed near you. If you thought that all IPAs are harsh and bitter; there are many available that break that stereotype. Keep trying until you find the perfect fit.
Thanks for reading and until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!