A deliciously fruity beer that does a good job of mimicking its full-strength (5.5% ABV) version without sacrificing on tropical flavour. Clwb Tropica Non-Alc loses 1.5 stars as, like many fruity non-alcoholic IPAs, it does stray a little too far towards tasting like a fruit juice rather than a "real" beer.
Our Clwb Tropica Non-Alc Review
Clwb Tropica Non-Alc is a 0.5% ABV tropical IPA brewed by Welsh brewery, Tiny Rebel.
The brewery was founded in 2012 and is perhaps best known for its flagship beer Clwb Tropica (released in 2016) and its Cwtch red ale, which won the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain Award in 2015.
However, these are far from the only beers in the Tiny Rebel range, with a wide selection available all year round, plus seasonal beers and special editions too.
Clwb Tropica is available as a full-strength beer (5.5% ABV) or as a 0.5% ABV non-alcoholic version, named Clwb Tropica Non-Alc.
The beer was originally named Clwb Tropicana, but this changed in 2019 when Tiny Rebel was served formal notice and threatened with legal action by PepsiCo, which owns Tropicana Products Inc.
Conveniently, the “na” dropped from the end of the Tropicana name also stands for “Non-Alcoholic”, so Clwb Tropica N.A, retains a subtle nod to its roots.
I enjoy the full-strength version of Clwb Tropica and am a big fan of Tiny Rebel. In fact, I’ve literally been there and got the t-shirt, having visited their taproom in Newport, South Wales.
I had high expectations for Clwb Tropica Non-Alc and I was particularly intrigued to see how similar the non-alcoholic version would be to the 5.5% ABV flagship original.
Branding and Packaging
Clwb Tropica Non-Alc arrives in a 330ml mostly white can with a blue pattern exploding across the front. This is a reversal of the 5.5% ABV version, which is mostly blue with the same pattern in white.
Over the top of the pattern, the beer’s name is written in vibrant pink and yellow.
The brewery’s own branding features prominently, including the distinctive one-eyed teddy bear in a hoodie (here’s where that came from).
Tiny Rebel describes Clwb Tropica as “a party in a can” and the design certainly lives up to the description. On the back of the can, a short message reads:
“Welcome to our World. Clwb Tropica N.A. India Pale Ale. Keep the Party Going.”
Below are the words:
“We have one rule… Never just make vanilla ice cream”
The can also features brief notes about the beer, describing it as ‘Golden/Hazy’ on the eye, ‘Mango/Pineapple’ on the nose, and ‘Tropical’ to taste.
Ingredients & Nutritional Information
Like its full-strength version, Clwb Tropica Non-Alc is brewed using Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. It also contains the same fruit juices – pineapple, mango, peach, and passionfruit.
Clwb Tropica Non-Alc is 0.5% alcohol, which qualifies as non-alcoholic and is five percentage points lower than the 5.5% ABV Clwb Tropica.
The beer contains 30kcal, 6.4g carbohydrates, of which 3.3g is sugar, per 100ml. That’s on the high side, so if you’re specifically looking for a low-carb, low-calorie non-alcoholic beer, Clwb Tropica Non-Alc is definitely not the one for you!
Clwb Tropica Non-Alc is suitable for vegetarians but contains lactose (milk sugar) so is not suitable for vegans. In terms of potential allergies, the beer contains oats, and gluten in the form of barley.
Opening the Can
Sniff the beer when you open the can and begin to pour and the fragrance of mango and pineapple is obvious.
Clwb Tropica Non Alc looks lively and incredibly tempting, with plenty of bubbles, a bright golden colour, and a light head.
The appearance of Clwb Tropica Non Alc matches its can design perfectly. It’s easy to see why its brewer, Tiny Rebel, describe Clwb Tropica Non Alc as “a party in a can”.
Clwb Tropica Non-Alc is packed full of tropical fruit flavors, with an explosion of mango and pineapple hitting your tastebuds from the very first sip.
We were also a little surprised to pick up subtle hints of vanilla in what is otherwise an overwhelmingly fruity beer.
As the fruit taste fades, Clwb Tropica Non-Alc leaves a pleasingly dry hoppy aftertaste, which will keep you coming back for another tropical fruit hit!
The carbonation is perfect with just the right number of bubbles providing an element of roughness in what is otherwise a very smooth beer.
Clwb Tropica Non-Alc is very well matched to its full-strength 5.5% ABV version, with an almost identical tropical fruit taste.
The beer also shares some similarities with another of Tiny Rebel’s non-alcoholic beers: Speakeasy IPA.
Where to buy Clwb Tropica Non-Alc
Clwb Tropica Non-Alc is available to purchase online directly from the brewery, Tiny Rebel, via specialist beer retailers such as Beer Hawk, or from supermarkets including Waitrose.
What Did You Think?
If you’ve tried Clwb Tropica Non-Alc then please leave a comment below and share your views with us and your fellow Low Beers readers!