Ranked ninth out of the top 50 craft breweries in the U.S., California-based Stone Brewing recently made the jump to lagers with its new release Tropic of Thunder. True to Stone, where hops reign supreme, this new beer is a contemporary spin on the lager style with a robust smattering of tropical, aromatic hops including Mosaic, Citra, and newcomer Cashmere.
Appearance and Aroma
The Tropic of Thunder can displays a tropical island lagoon with a ship, the U.S.S. Stone, marooned on a beach. A description on the back of the can tells the story of peril on the high seas, with only Stone’s tropical lager left to sustain survivors until rescuers arrive. Outlandish as the beer’s description is, Tropic of Thunder appears to be a pretty typical lager—brilliantly clear and golden with a crisp, full head that lasts. The aroma on this beer is, as expected with such a tropical hop pedigree, full of fragrant notes of tangerine, pineapple, and coconut.
It’s a beer that will appeal to drinkers across the beer spectrum—lager lovers and hopheads alike.”
At first taste, you notice this beer is heavy on the hops, which isn’t surprising for a Stone beer. A few sips in, however, the more subtle flavors of crackers and biscuity malt to become more detectable. The hop profile, on the other hand, is noticeable from the start, beginning with light citrus and coconut and quickly giving way to a strong dank herbal bitterness. The beer finishes clean and dry with lingering notes of pine.
Tropic of Thunder ultimately reminds me of a good Czech pils with a little extra hop kick. It’s refreshing, fairly poundable at 5.8% ABV, and has just the right amount of hop bite, without going over the top for a lager. It’s a beer that will appeal to drinkers across the beer spectrum—lager lovers and hopheads alike.