Editorial Dept.'s picture

Stone Brewing Senior Manager of Brewing & Innovation Steve Gonzalez Talks Tropic of Thunder Lager

92 - Exceptional
Stone Brewing Senior Manager of Brewing & Innovation Steve Gonzalez Talks Tropic of Thunder Lager

We spoke with Stone Brewing Senior Manager of Brewing & Innovation Steve Gonzalez about Tropic of Thunder Lager.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
It was a collaborative effort between one of my brewers, Cecil Menasco, and myself. Our Executive Team requested a Tropical Lager for 2019, so we put our heads together and came up with this recipe!

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
The Cashmere hops have, for me, a melon flavor that really shines through and marries seamlessly with the crisp maltiness for a very satisfying sensory experience. It lasts just long enough to really make you want that second sip and is very refreshing.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
When it's warm out and I'm working in the yard it is!  Really depends on my mood, but I do really enjoy it and it delivers on a lot of points for sure. Good malt profile, terrific juicy hop profile, extremely refreshing, it definitely makes the shortlist of my desert island beers, but I haven't picked one yet!

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Beautifully balanced, refreshing, tropical with a short finish.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
I have a couple! I'm 5 times the brewer I used to be in terms of innovation thanks to Mitch Steele, Stone's former Brewmaster of 10 years, mentoring me on how to use hops.  It was really fun to use that knowledge on how to really get the most out of hops and combine that in a really unique way in a lager! The timing was really great for us to go nationwide with this beer, as hop growers were just getting Cashmere production ramped up. It's a hop a lot of brewers have been excited about for a very long time, especially me!  It's a really great time to be able to showcase it. There are 2-3 hop varieties a year that always stand out to me, and it's really great when everything lines up like it did here. The hop went big at exactly the right time for us to create this really unique beer and go national with it.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Prosciutto with melon balls, all the way! When melon isn't in season, I also highly recommend Hawaiian Pizza!  

Read Review