It’s just another IPA, and there are plenty of those about. However, although they are a plenty, some do stand out in more ways than one. It is not always in a good way either, but thankfully that is not the case here. Nevertheless it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I mean beer. It’s from Tiny Rebel, but is Clwb Tropica any good?
When the sun shines, put on your best Hawaiian shirt, pop on the shades and crack a can of Clwb Tropica. It will take you on a journey to paradise. That may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the kind of vibe this beer is playing. If you like a fruity character, then you are in for a treat.
Is Clwb Tropica Any Good?
If you are looking for tropical paradise, then it is all in this beer. The pour is a waterfall of gold and white settling to a hazy orange. The white top is average, but soon vanishes leaving just a thin white lid. It attacks the nose with its array of tropical fruits beasting the senses. Likewise the taste is undeniable, hoppy with a citrus burst of mango, pineapple and grapefruit. It’s sunshine in a glass and gets a fruity rate my beer of 4.7 – 5.0.
This a bold beer, it’s fun and sunshine and there’s enough for everyone.
Tiny Rebel lives in Rogerstone, Newport Wales on an industrial estate. Founded in 2012 by Gareth Williams and Bradley Cummings. Gareth’s hobby was homebrew and he introduced it to Bradley. Just like many craft breweries the rebel started life in a garage.
Making a decision to brew for a living the boys went onto rent a unit to brew from. The business soon expanded into another unit. It wasn’t long before they scooped up awards either, 2013 saw them wipe the board at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival. Cleaning up with Gold, Silver and Bronze and the awards kept coming. In 2015 they won Champion Beer Of Britain with their red ale Cwtch, being the first Welsh brewery to win the award.
Move on two years and they opened a new brewery at Rogerstone, bigger and better which included the brewery bar. They also have a bar in Cardiff, which started out as the Urban Tap House, but now is just Tiny Rebel and another in Newport too, both also serve great food.
The couple of rebels are constantly growing and show no signs of slowing down. Their range of beers are extensive, from their core beers to their seasonal and specials. A brewery to embrace and fall in love with.
Is Clwb Tropica Any Good?
This is another beer I had on a recent trip to Cardiff, although it wasn’t in the Tiny Rebel bar, but Henry’s Cafe Bar. It also wasn’t the only Tiny Rebel brew I had either. The Press Start Mocha Whip Porter also got a look in, but that is for another day.
Clwb Tropica which was formerly known as Clwb Tropicana is a tropical IPA and it delivers just that, a truly tropical experience. Why the name change? I hear you shout. Well, what happened was, a large company known as PepsiCo were not happy with the Rebels. PepsiCo own the the juice company Tropicana, and did not like another drink being branded the same. They threatened a legal dust up, and the Rebels dropped the last two letters.
Anyway back to the drink in hand. The glass with its little rebel sitting on its name glows with a hazy sunshine. A thin cap just about holds all that sunshine together and leaves a modest decorative lacing. The nose is strong, alive with citrus fruits teasing the senses, or should I say blitzing the senses.
The taste is lively with a hop bash surrounded by a tropical loveliness with mango, pineapple, grapefruit and for me a hint of orange. It’s like a tin drum in the Caribbean playing Yellow Bird on your tongue, where strangers take you by the hand and welcome you to wonderland.
Those citrus fruits are balanced with a mild bitterness on the finish. The whole experience is one of summer, an ideal drink on a hot day. Although be careful as it is not a session beer, at 5.5% Vol you may need to curb your enthusiasm. It’s an IPA packed with the tropics and explodes with a rate my beer of 4.7 – 5.0.
A Little More From Tiny Rebel
If there is one thing that Tiny Rebel like doing it is brewing beer, which of course is obvious. However it the vast range they produce that is impressive. I don’t know for sure, but they must have the largest range of IPA’s, if not they are close to it.
There is a lot to explore and keeping up will probably be impossible because they keep coming up with new brews. Therefore it is easier to coast and enjoy them at a more relaxed rate. So here are few of their beers to track down and enjoy.
The Welsh word for hug, everyone loves a Cwtch, but also means a cupboard too. A favorite on the Tiny Rebel playlist, its a Welsh red ale made with Citra hops and a heavy malt bill. So expect a strong malty flavor backed up by a citrus hit. On the nose it is toffee and citrus and it pours a medium chestnut red with a creamy lid.
At 4.6% Vol its on for a session, a medium bodied beer it is easy to drink with a moderate bitterness. Worth a try, so get yourself a hug in a can and spread the cariad (love).
I do love the names of the Tiny Rebel beers, wacky names and a lot of the time wacky beer too. Hotel Motel is a TDH Pale Ale and the rebels have triple dry hopped this little number. This leads me to believe the TDH must stand for Triple Dry Hopped, either that or I am missing something.
The results is a super hazy pale ale with a flavor profile of sweet coconut, pineapple and lime zest. It could hit us between the eyes this one. At 5.2% Vol it falls outside the session bracket, so don’t go in all guns blazing, stay cool and pace it.
If you prefer your life to be a little sweeter, then look no further because this one is a dessert in a can. Based on the famous sticky toffee pudding, the rebels have gone crazy and put it in a beer. This dark brown brew has aromas of burnt sugar and toffee conjuring up vision of the luscious dessert.
The taste is likewise with a sweet sticky toffee taste over a bitter porter. Alert the beer police, I am not sure this should be allowed. How many sticky toffee puddings could you eat in one sitting? Well at a frightening 9% Vol you better make sure it is just the one. Why not drink one as the dessert, and finish a good meal off in style.
I am sorry Tiny Rebel, but you are exhausting. However I love the beer and am having fun trying them, so keep it up. A truly exciting brewery that are steaming full speed ahead and refuse to slow down. It makes you wonder what will come next, so keep your eye on them.
Of course if you haven’t worked it out yet, which I am sure you have, Clwb is Welsh for club. I am sure you also noticed the I used a few lyrics from Wham’s Club Tropicana of which I make no excuse. I couldn’t resist it.
Whether you are a fan or not, Tiny Rebel are hard to ignore. I like what I have tried so far, and will continue to explore. If you haven’t tried their beers yet, get involved and pick up a rebel brew. Don’t forget to share your thoughts, enjoy and have fun.
Rob is a passionate home bar and pub shed enthusiast with a passion for craft beer. With hands-on experience in designing and building his own home bar, Rob shares his knowledge, tips, and inspiration to help fellow enthusiasts create their own perfect space. Alongside the world of home bars and pub sheds, Rob also explores the diverse and exciting realm of craft beer, providing honest reviews to help you discover your next favorite brew. Join Rob on a journey of flavor, design, and craftsmanship right here on Home Bar Kit.