Last week on Twitter and Instagram, Goose Island announced two new beers: Tropical Beer Hug and Out Liar. I’m not 100% sure about Out Liar, but it may only available at their location. Tropical Beer Hug, on the other hand, I found at my local spot along with Alley Walker, which I was not expecting to see. A lot of people in Twitter land know of my views on Goose Island beers, but when I saw them make the announcement, I was intrigued. To me, it looks like they are trying to up their game with the fresh new can artwork and try their hand at the widely popular Hazy IPAs. I figured I should give them a try and see what they came up with.
Tropical Beer Hug is really a fantastic-looking beer. When poured into my Spiegelau IPA glass, it looks like a beautiful ray of sunshine with a solid inch of fluffy white clouds. The aroma is very faintly fruity. The taste is also faint with light tropical fruits — maybe a little mango, pineapple, and peach. The wording on the can describes Tropical Beer Hug as having a “hop explosion”. Yea, I don’t think so. This beer tastes mild all the way through. When I took my first sip, the beer was a little bit cold so I was wondering how it would adjust as it warmed up. Basically as it warmed up, the little fruit flavor it had went away even more, but the booziness did start to come through just a tad more.
The positive is that this is probably one of the easiest drinking 9.9% ABV beers I’ve ever had, so it’s definitely going to get the job done. Especially in a handy 19.2 oz tallboy that only costs about $2.50. I’m not saying Tropical Beer Hug is bad, but it does seem to stay on par with what I’ve come to expect from Goose Island.
Now onto Alley Walker. I was not expecting to see this beer but I figured I would grab it as well. It’s got all of the same descriptions on the can, but a different name and different artwork. It’s very strange that I can’t find much about this beer online. So I was going to assume this is the same exact beer. After tasting it, I have no idea. It’s still a little dull in my opinion, but some of the tropical fruit seems to be coming through a little more. Now this is the next day, so I’m not sure if my taste buds are feeling different today or if it’s the result of using a different glass, but I am enjoying it much more this go around. Again, this beer is ridiculously smooth for a 9.9% but nothing to write home about.
In the end, these beers are exactly what Goose Island is: average brews at a cost-effective price. The positive is that these beers are probably some of the easiest drinking 9.9% ABV beers I’ve ever had, so it’s definitely going to get the job done. Especially considering the size of the can and the reasonable price. Tropical Beer Hug and Alley Walker, whether they are the same beer or not, are not going to blow anybody away. They are light-bodied, easy drinking, high ABV beers. So if you’re looking to get a cheap, quick, buzz going, then look no further.