That Night In Rio

Brewery and Country of Origin: Creature Comforts Brewing Company of 271 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601, USA

Date Reviewed: 3-03-17

Aside from the fact that (as we'll get into later on), this beer is a great IPA for the warm weather, this is both a beer we'd recommend to pretty much everyone who doesn't categorically abhor bitter beers, and an homage to a revolutionary artistic movement which took place in the 1960s. Tropicalia, also known as Tropicalismo, is most closely associated with a style of Brazilian music and culture which fused together both traditional and more unorthodox, then-modern styles of Brazilian culture with some American and British influences mixed in. Portuguese singer, Broadway actress, dancer, and film star Carmen Miranda is credited with being the precursor of the movement. Her musical style and trademark fruit hats were focused on the annual Carnival celebrations that took place in Rio, which at the time, was the nation's capital and helped spur the growing popularity of Samba, a style of music and dance which has since become a symbol and icon of the nation of Brazil. As her career took off in America, she developed into an ambassador and promoter of intercontinental culture. In 1945, she was the highest paid woman in the United States. While she was initially welcomed with praise from her fans in Brazil, things quickly shifted as the Brazilian press began criticizing Miranda for pushing capitalist American commercialism as well as portraying all of Central and South America as one homogenous culture, leaving many to feel their own cultures were misrepresented or stereotyped. She later tried to remove herself from the stereotypical exotic image she had built for herself (something she grew to resent), but with limited success. Miranda's life was cut short by a heart attack suffered while in Beverly Hills, but not before she had become one of Brazil's most famous and celebrated artists. Miranda was the first person from South America to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was the first Latin American to be invited to imprint her hands and feet in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Still, after her death, the Tropicalismo movement was just beginning. The style was seen as an anti-establishment, anti-government movement that was subject to censorship by the Brazilian military dictatorship that ruled at the time. Many artists of the genre used Tropicalismo as a way to participate in demonstrations and protests. The traditional and new age components of the movement conflicted with each other in terms of politics, bringing Brazilian nationism up against Western commercialism. Various musicians were arrested and many were tortured or forced into what the government referred to as "psychiatric care." Still, the music and dance never stopped being produced, with some artists working in exile in other countries. Eventually, Brazil's militaristic government was turned over to the people in the form of a democratic federal republic and Tropicalia remains a component of Brazil's cultural identity.
Date Sampled: 11-24-16 At: 146 Fiddlers Hollow, Penfield, NY 14526, USA
Beer Style: American IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 6.60%
Serving Type: 12 oz can, 20 oz Mason Jar Glass
Rating: 4.06


This beer pours moderately choppy with a high amount of carbonation action, producing a full, three quarters inch tall foam head with an off white color, a medium high density, and a decent retention rate. As this is a traditional IPA, this beer is clear and filtered with a light amber golden color which shines brightly in the light. This beer displays a moderately low amount of effervescent effect with no visible sediment and no settling. A moderate amount of lacing forms on the glass.


As with most IPAs, this beer has a hop dominated aroma which, like one of Carmen Miranda's hats, is bursting with a great amount of juicy fruity and citrusy notes given off by a variety of American hop breeds. Most prominent are lime, orange, and a hint of sweeter banana mixed in. This is balanced by a presence of grainy pale malt which enhances the sweetness in the aroma. This beer's aroma does not contain any alcohol or metallic smells, and overall, this is a higher than average strength aroma which does help enhance the flavor to some extent.


This is a medium light bodied beer with a higher amount of carbonation, a medium low amount of weight, and a lower than average viscosity, all of which makes this a great warmer weather beer which is easy to drink, casual in all settings, and one which offers a decent amount of refreshment. This beer does not contain any alcohol bite or warming, and the finish is slightly cool and dry with a typical linger. This is a smooth and crisp beer which contains no sediment or added texture. Overall, this is a versatile, forgiving beer which is suitable for all seasons (though better in the spring to fall).


This IPA is very well balanced, containing a good amount of fairly sweet, slightly biscuity malty undertones in contrast with a high amount of citrus (orange and lime) and sweet juicy fruit (grapefruit and banana) derived from a strong bitter hop presence. Overall, this is, as expected, a bitter beer which starts, develops, and finishes as a hoppy satisfier with a dry finish, no metallic or alcohol taste, and no overtones. This beer is fairly mellow overall with no overpowered notes and a versatile profile which makes this a great pairing option for many types of food.

Our Take

When we come across great IPAs that don't follow the fairly recent trend of trying to stuff in as much quadruple hopped, 240 minute, ultra bitter, nostril clearing bitter hop experience into itself, we have no choice but to recommend them to pretty much everyone. We call these "Gateway IPAs." These kinds of bitter beers are still very much ticking off all of the trademark IPA qualities without trying to push boundaries which may be on the upper limits of even what avid IPA fans consider to be excessive when it comes to overall hop strength. This means that more people can enjoy what we consider to be great IPAs, without them being gratuitously bitter for bitterness' sake, something that many breweries are being accused of in their stronger, bitter pale ales. Hopefully, people who say they don't like IPAs will be more willing to try them when more breweries produce them like this, rather than getting caught up in a hops arms race. This is a great beer. Fully well balanced with a lot of separate fruity and malty flavors, both sweet and bitter to enjoy. And as stated above, this is a lighter feeling beer that can be easily enjoyed in quantites, in all sorts of occasions. Because of this beer's versatile nature, we can recommend a wide array of pairing options such as soft, mellow cheeses, sweet salads, lighter desserts, grilled poultry, fish, lighter pasta dishes, and Do-Si-Dos Girl Scout Cookies.