Every so often, beer collaborations go awry—sometimes so spectacularly that they’re dubbed the worst of all time. More often than not, however, these alliances produce really good beers that are typically one-off works between the two brewers, never to be seen again.
That’s not the case with Tropic Punch Ale, one of several collaborative beers from Sweden’s Dugges Bryggeri and Oklahoma-based gypsy brewer Stillwater Artisanal. While Tropic Punch Ale debuted in 2016, bottles have returned to America’s bottle shop shelves once again this summer.
Stillwater Artisanal cans usually feature loud colors and funky designs, but this beer’s label carries the modern, sleek design scheme favored by Dugges. The golden beer pours somewhere between translucent and opaque. It’s absolutely still with no bubbles feeding the head, even after an intentionally hard pour, and the lacing disappears quickly.
This beer’s aroma explodes with boozy peach.”
I went right back to childhood summers with this beer, when my father used to make what he called a “Furry Navel”—a Fuzzy Navel with a jolt of vodka. I loved the syrupy sweet smell of peach schnapps, and this beer’s aroma explodes with boozy peach.
It follows the nose well. The peach hits you right up front, washing over the palate. Passion fruit notes enter before the finish. As it warms, you pick up faint mango notes in the middle, but this is very much a peach beer.
The feel is moderate and neutral, but leaves a coating in your mouth. There’s so much to love about this beer and I regret not buying more, mostly because my wife took a sip and walked away with the glass before I could finish it. The souring Lactobacillus is present but not overly acidic, taking the edge off the sweetness and complementing the fruit.