Friday, 28 December 2012

Saison Sauvin

BREWERY:
8 Wired Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Marlborough, New Zealand

STYLE:
Saison (Farmhouse Ale) Yes that's a type. Google it.

COLOR:
Golden

ALCOHOL:
7%



A lot people who have had a Saison don't really know what to think of it.  I am one of those people.  The taste is unique.  Breweries now a days have altered the recipes to their own liking, ie: adding more hops, doubling the malt etc.  But the general flavor is still the same.  8 Wired Brewing's Saison Sauvin is one that I really enjoyed.  There's a slight fruitiness to the smell that is intriguing.  I had to wait a few moments for this beer settled down before I could taste it. (It's pretty carbonated) The malt does stand out and is full of flavor.  Being a "Belgian" style beer that it is, the fruitiness also comes out in the taste.  There's also something in the taste that I just can't put my finger on.  That's why this beer (and a lot of other Saisons out there) is complicated to the taste buds.  It's very crisp and the taste gets better the more sips you have.  The finish is really clean with only a hint of bitterness.  Overall this beer is one that I will have again.  But one thing that you must know... You can't drink the whole bottle yourself so make sure that you have someone beside you that can sample it with you. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Festive Saison

BREWERY:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

LOCATION:
Victoria, British Columbia

STYLE:
Christmas Seasonal (Pilsner)

COLOR:
Light Golden Color

ALCOHOL:
5.5%









I'm sure you guys have all had a seasonal Christmas beer.  What color is it?  That's right, it's usually a dark brown color.  This is the first time that I've had a seasonal beer, whether it's a Christmas or just a plain winter ale, that wasn't a dark color.  I've also never had such a light tasting winter beer.  The smell is very light with a slight ginger tone.  The taste is also very light with a hint of ginger.  Just like a pilsner, it's crisp and refreshing  (A little too refreshing for a winter, Christmas beer).  What I really like about this beer, however, is it's finish.  It's not bitter and the finish is where you can really taste the cinnamon.  There are a few ginger beers out there but if you want to try one that is light (on the ginger) and leaves a really smooth cinnamony taste in your mouth, then you really need to try this one.  This beer isn't high on my list of winter beer, but it also isn't on the bottom either.  A lot of seasonal winter beer can only be consumed once, but this one can be had over and over again.  Yes it's that light. 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Hoptoria

BREWERY:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

LOCATION:
Victoria, British Columbia

STYLE:
IPA (American Style)

COLOR:
Copper

ALCOHOL:
6.8%



Before I begin I really hope that I got a bottle that was past it's prime.  I'm going to talk about this beer based on the bottle that I had.  If you disagree with my findings, let me know by giving me details on what you thought of it.  If it seems that I'm way off, I'll grab another bottle and update this post.

This beer has 80 IBU's (states 90 on it's website)  so I'm thinking, hey I need to try this.  I was really, really surprised by the week smell and taste of this beer.  I think the caramel taste and hoppy taste were battling it out to see who wins in this one.  Don't get me wrong, it did smell hoppy, (after all it is supposedly dry hopped too) but I had to smell it a few times to pick up the scent.  The taste was hoppy but not as much as I hoped.  It had a great carmel taste to it and it was pretty smooth.  But the taste fell flat against my taste buds pretty quickly.  The aftertaste was subtle and lasted for just the right amount of time.

Once again, I really hope my bottle was fouled up.  

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Black Christmas C.D.A.

BREWERY:
Parallel 49 Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Vancouver, British Columbia

STYLE:
Dark Ale

COLOR:
Dark Copper

ALCOHOL:
6.5%



Parallel 49 makes really good beer for the most part.  (Only one I don't like)  Another one that is definitely on my favorable list is their Black Christmas C.D.A.  This is a seasonal beer and it's too bad that I have to wait around for it.  Yes it's that good.  I love the aroma coming out of this this beer.  Right away you can tell that you're going to enjoy this one.  The taste is very well balanced and the hop is just perfect.  Great Malt flavor as well.  It's clean, crisp, and I'm really impressed with the finish.  The aftertaste has a hint of smokeyness to it and lingers just long enough for your next sip.  For a dark ale, it's very refreshing and very smooth.  Parallel 49 did a great job with this dark ale.  BTW....CDA = Christmas Dark Ale.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Persnickety Pale Ale

BREWERY:
2 Beers Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Seattle, Washington

STYLE:
Pale Ale

COLOR:
Light Copper

ALCOHOL:
5.7%



The general rule of thumb is that all ales should be poured in a glass to release the flavor.  And the glass should be such that the top should be double the width as the bottom.  This is a great rule and one that I follow religiously but sometimes you have to be careful when using this rule.   The Persnickety Pale Ale is one that you should be careful when pouring it out because having a narrow bottom makes this beer really foamy.  Even when you pour it slowly the head still rises.  The smell is mellow but has a zest to it.  When you sip it, again the foam explodes in your mouth (dirty jokes aside) and will leave you gassy.  Great malt flavor and the finish is smooth.  It's very refreshing leaving me to think that this beer is a really good summer beer.  Sorry people, I can't say much more about this beer because the foam to overpowering.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Powell IPA

BREWERY:
Coal Harbour Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Vancouver, British Columbia

STYLE:
India Pale Ale

COLOR:
Copper

ALCOHOL:
6.5%



Before I begin to say what I have to say about this beer, I really enjoyed the taste of this beer. 

Smelling this beer, I was intrigued.  It had a really flavorful hoppy, fruity aroma.  I was really exited to taste this beer.  When I tasted it, I wasn't disappointed but I wasn't all that overwhelmed by the flavor.  Based on the smell, when I took a sip, I expected the hop to stand out.  However, it didn't.  But don't be quick to judge, the hop was there but it was mild and left a slight bitter aftertaste.  Great malt flavor and I believe it masked the hoppyness to the level that made it mild and didn't give it the bite that I expected.  I did like the flavor of this beer and I will drink it again. 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Pumpkin Head (Pumpkin Brown Ale)

BREWERY:
Fernie Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Fernie, British Columbia

STYLE:
Seasonal Brown Ale

COLOR:
Dark Brown

ALCOHOL:
5%



I am not a big fan of pumpkin.  In fact, I hate everything pumpkin.  I've tried a lot of pumpkin beer and they all taste...well....pumpkiny.  My wife came home with Fernie Brewing's Pumpkin Head Pumpkin brown ale so I figured, what the hell, DRINK UP!!  The smell of the pumpkin in this beer is not as pronounced as the spices.  To me that's a good thing.  Less pumpkiny the better.  ( I know pumkiny isn't a word so just humor me)  The taste of the pumpkin dissipates quickly (masked a little by the malt) then the cinnamon and nutmeg take over leaving a nice finish.  This beer is really smooth and I love the fact that the pumpkin blends really well with the spices.  Fernie Brewing Company did a really great job with this seasonal ale. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Red Ryder Ale

BREWERY:
Tenaya Creek Brewery

LOCATION:
Las Vegas, Nevada

STYLE:
Rye Beer

COLOR:
Dark Reddish Copper (is that even a color?)

ALCOHOL:
6.2% - 6.7% (depends on who you talk to)



This beer is very unique.  I can't decide whether to drink it or soak my chicken wings in it.  But I drank it.  The smell hard to detect but it's there.  In fact, it actually has a light citrus aroma, which is very nice to smell coming from this really dark beer.  And now for the taste... well, it's not for everybody.  But it is for me.  The taste starts out smokey, then turns into a smooth caramel flavor.  The taste, however, doesn't last long because it turns into one of those lingering smokey, bitter aftertaste that some people like but most do not.  I, for one, do like the finish.  That's all I really have to say about this beer.  Sorry I couldn't say much more.

Oh, by the way, I LOVE the label.  The left foot is really pointy.   

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter

BREWERY;
Phillips Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Victoria, British Columbia

STYLE:
Porter

COLOR:
Dark

ALCOHOL:
5.2%



Phillips Brewing Company has a beer that's one of my favorites.  But it's not the Porter.  But don't get me wrong, the porter is a beer that I actually enjoyed.  I absolutely love the dark chocolate smell to it.  It's a great fall beer.  The crispness is right on par to what a porter should be.  It has a very clean chocolatey finish with only a hint of lingering aftertaste.  (with this beer it's hard to describe the finish and aftertaste in to separate entities)  It's almost a typical flavored porter but it has a unique flavor that sets it apart from all the other Porters.  This beer is a definite must try and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.  An overall great Porter.  

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Steamworks Pilsner

BREWERY:
Steamworks Brewing Co.

LOCATION:
Vancouver, British Columbia

STYLE:
Pilsner

Color:
Dark Yellow

ALCOHOL:
5%



When I think about Pilsner, it always reminds me about the beer my dad used to drink.  You know which one... The green can with the old school car, the train, plane, teepee, and sometimes, the yellow rabbits.  I've never been into Pilsners but for some reason I've decided to give Steamworks Pilsner a try.  When I poured it in the glass and smelled it, it had a slight skunky smell to it.  But don't let the smell mean that the beer was off.  It probably wasn't (remember, I'm not a big fan of pilsners). The taste does have a crispness to it and the flavor did dance around the sides of my tongue in a good way.  The hop was slight and the finish wasn't too overpowering.  But the aftertaste had a slight bitterness to it.  To me, this is a beer that I can only have once.  If you're a fan of Pilsner, give it a try but I'm sure that there are way better Pils out there that are better than this.  Sorry Steamworks but to me it's a swing and a miss 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Fat Tug IPA

BREWERY:
Driftwood Brewery

LOCATION:
Victoria, British Columbia

STYLE:
India Pale Ale

COLOR:
Medium Copper (depending on lighting)

ALCOHOL:
7%



A lot of people I know have had this beer and recommended it to me.  It's been on my list for a long time now.  Well folks, I finally had the pleasure of trying it out.  At first the smell wasn't quite there.  It was very weak.  I soon realized that I poured it a little too full in the glass causing the smell to dissipate quickly.  After a few sips (3 as matter of fact) I was able to smell the fruity goodness of this beer.  The taste is VERY hoppy.  You really have to like IPA's to appreciate this beer.  It has a slight crispness to it and the finish does not linger. The finish lets you know that you've had a well crafted IPA.  The bitterness is kept to a minimum.  I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone who likes Pale Ales and wants to graduate to IPA's.  This IPA is more of a Masters Degree of IPAs.  Great beer all around, from the first smell, right down to the finish. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Pin-up Porter

BREWERY:
Southern Oregon Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Medford Oregon

STYLE:
Porter

COLOR:
Dark (not stout dark)

ALCOHOL:
5.5%



This brewery is new to me.  Mainly because we don't get it in Canada. (or maybe we do but I haven't seen it yet) It's ok, I live 2 seconds from the border so if I'm really jonesing for this beer, I can just go across, get gas, cheese, milk, and this beer. 

Well, it's fall and it's also just about Porter season so hey, why not review a Porter.  Opening up this beer you can smell the hint of chocolate and coffee.  It's a really good mix.  The coffee is more predominate in the taste.  If you don't like smokiness in a beer, then this beer is not for you.  It's not overly smokey but just enough to deter the weak or the newbies.  To me it was a really good blend.  The beer itself is very smooth (like you would find in a typical porter) and has a slight crispness to it.  The finish is clean, and very enjoyable.  This Porter is not for everyone but it will be enjoyed by most.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Chilliwack Blonde

BREWERY:
Old Yale Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Chilliwack, British Columbia

STYLE:
Blonde Ale

COLOR:
Golden

ALCOHOL:
5%



There are a lot of beer out there that when you smell it, compared to what you taste, it's like apples and oranges.  Some beer smell great, but when you sip it, you want to spit it back in the glass.  What's unique about OYB's Chilliwack Blonde is that what you smell is what you get.  It's not what you expect because it has a slight sweet smell which carries beautifully right through the finish.  The taste is very clean and smooth, almost creamy like.  According to my taste buds, it's not too crispy (which, to me, is a good thing) because if it were, it would taste more Miller Genuine Draft like.  I really enjoy this beer and I personally recommend this beer first to anyone who want's to try a non lager but doesn't want anything really to filling.  One of the better Blonde Ales I've had in a long time. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

What The Huck - Huckleberry Wheat Ale

BREWERY:
Fernie Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Fernie, British Columbia

STYLE:
Flavored Wheat Ale

COLOR:
Foggy Light Purple (makes sense?)

ALCOHOL:
5%



There's something about a beer label with a figure doing the superman jump on a bike that makes me want to pick it up and take it home.  Fernie Brewing Company started in 2003 and has exploded in popularity.  They even had to build a new brewery just to keep up with demand.  But the reward for their hard work and dedication to making quality craft beer are the awards that they have won.  I can list them but I'm lazy so just go to their website.

A lot of people I know like to drink wheat ales.  But for some reason they haven't had any flavored ones.  I always tell them to give it a try, even recommending certain ones.  What The Huck - Huckleberry Wheat Ale in particular is one that will be on top of my list to recommend to any one of my friends willing to try a flavored wheat ale.  Open the bottle, pour it in the glass, then let your nose guide you.  It smells almost like a typical wheat ale but the subtle fruity (huckleberry) aroma makes this beer distinctive in a positive way.  The taste is very clean, crisp and refreshing.  But most importantly (to me) it is very smooth.  The huckleberry is subtle but it's there throughout the journey from the smell right down to the finish.  The aftertaste is refreshing as well and fully quenches your beer desire.  A really great summer beer.  From the beginning to the end, this beer is really well executed. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Switchback IPA

BREWERY:
Lighthouse Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Victoria, British Columbia

STYLE:
IPA

COLOR:
Copper

Alcohol:
6.5%



Lighthouse Brewing Company has to be one of my favorites breweries.  Bonus that it's a local brewery (by local I mean it's from BC)  Their beers have a unique style.  Although they have the normal styles, the taste of their beers are different and sets them apart from the other Craft Breweries.  They should consider calling there style of ales "Westcoast Style Ales". 

Take for example their Switchback IPA.  To me this beer is spot on.  This is what an IPA should taste like. I've had IPA's from 5.5% all the way to 8.5% and let me tell you that being at 6.5%, this beer is right on par to what an IPA should be.  As soon as you crack it open, the flavorful aroma hits you right away.  The smell gets better and more aromatic when you pour it in a glass.  It's perfectly hoppy (medium - heavy) and the taste is very clean and crisp.  The aftertaste is great and lasts long enough where you can actually enjoy this beer from the start right down to the finish.  If you like cigars but don't like scotch, this beer is a great substitute.  By the way... for an IPA this beer has great head retention.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Summer Honey Hefe

BREWERY:
Hoyne Brewing Co.

LOCATION:
Victoria, British Columbia

STYLE;
Hefeweizen

COLOR:
Cloudy Golden

ALCOHOL:
5.1%



Hoyne Brewing Company is new to the craft beer scene but is making a name for itself with the quality of beer they produce.  Their Summer Honey Hefe is one of them.  The aroma this beer produces is pretty typical of a Hefeweizen but the taste is unique.  The honey makes this beer more refreshing and smoother than the other Hefe's out there.  It's crispier and the honey really stands out in the finish.  On the bottle, it is noted that the cloudyness of the beer is high.  However, when I poured it in the glass, it was cloudy but not as much as most of the Hefe's I've had.  For me, I would have rated it right in the middle of the scale.  This is great summer beer and goes great with a turkey sandwich. 

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Sergeant's IPA

BREWERY:
Old Yale Brewing Co.

LOCATION:
Chilliwack, British Columbia

STYLE:
IPA

COLOR:
Copper

ALCOHOL:
5.5%



What do you want first? The good news or the bad news?

Good News? Ok here goes. (actually the good news is the beer itself so don't worry)

When you open this beer, pour it in a glass first before you smell it.  Don't smell it from the bottle directly or else you won't get the full aroma.  I like the smell, it's mild and is typical of an IPA.  The taste of this beer is really good ice cold.  The hop is mild and has a really good, better than average aftertaste.  This is the most refreshing IPA that I've had so far and that leads me to a thought......  A summer IPA??  Being a 5.5% I really think this can work.  

Ok, the bad news. (it's not that bad people, it's just my opinion)

When I walked in to the local beer and wine store, I knew exactly what I was getting and got it.  There are a lot of people out there that are new to this whole "Craft Beer" thing.  These are the people that finally put down there Molson and Buds and decided to have an actual beer.  So when they walk in to their local cold beer and wine store, what do they look for?..... Answer?..... THE LABEL!!!!   I've seen people in there skimming through all the craft beer and picking up the most colorful, well designed bottle.  It's attractive to them.  Sorry guys but, in my opinion, you need to change your labels.  It's kind of boring and easy to miss. 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Twilight Summer Ale (Seasonal)

BREWERY:
Deschutes Brewery

LOCATION:
Bend, Oregon

STYLE:
Golden Ale

COLOR:
Dark Golden

ALCOHOL:
5%



It's a hot summer day, you're sitting in your backyard patio with a few friends, BBQ blazing behind you, and you have a beer in your hand.  What beer naturally comes to mind?  A lager? A wheat beer?  What about an Ale?  No?  Deschutes Twilight Summer ale aims to change your mind on what you think a summer beer is.  The smell is so fresh and aromatic that it can actually put you in a relaxed state.  This beer has good balance fruitiness and is refreshingly good when you sip it but, being an ale, the slight hop gives it a slight aftertaste (which in this case is not a bad thing at all).  The taste really gives this beer the "summer" quality people are looking for.  I don't want to tell you what summer beer to drink but you need to give this beer a try.  You may actually change your whole outlook and think Ale.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Elysian Peste Chocolate Chili Ale

BREWERY:
Elysian Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Seattle, Washington

STYLE:
Strong Ale

COLOR:
Dark Copper

ALCOHOL:
7.5%



I was really intrigued by the design of the bottle.  Really crazy looking worm.  The smell hits you like a freight train.  It's really hard to determine what the smell is.  I had to smell it a few times (about 10 times) and it had a peppery, sweet BBQ sauce smell to it.  When I poured it into a glass it looked like a porter.  But soon as I looked at the glass I noticed that it had flakes in it.  I didn't really think anything of it until I sipped it.  Holy crap was it spicy!! I had to look at the ingredients and this beer is brewed with cocoa, cinnamon and a blend of chipotle, cayenne, ancho, guajillo and pasilla peppers.  If you're not into the spice, then I suggest that you avoid this beer.  After having a few sips, I determined that the flakes in the beer was actually a peppery powder (cayenne?).  I also soon realized that the chocolate part of the beer was only the color.  The chocolate isn't really a factor and I couldn't taste that part at all.

Ok back to the taste.  When you drink it, you think that you're drinking a cayenne pepper sauce.  It's really spicy at first but then the aftertaste is milder but lingers in your throat and not in your mouth.  The aftertaste is a really slow heat.  This beer would be a really, really, good marinade for pork chops, or thinly cut lamb. 

Friday, 20 July 2012

Lighthouse Tasman Ale

BREWERY:
Lighthouse Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Victoria, British Columbia

STYLE:
Amber Ale

COLOR:
Copper

ALCOHOL:
5%



When you first open the bottle, the smell hits you.  At first it smells like an IPA but after a couple more sniffs in the glass (pour the beer into a glass), it starts to smell like a typical Amber Ale.  But don't get me wrong, it tastes great!  It has medium hop flavor and it dissipates quickly leaving a slight but still noticeable aftertaste.  This beer is basically Lighthouse's version of an Amber Ale.  Like a lot of Amber Ales, this beer will go great with a medium rare steak.  Or for a snack pairing, try some unsalted peanuts.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bacon Maple Ale

BREWERY:
Rogue Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Newport, Oregon

STYLE:
Brown Ale

COLOR:
Light Copper

ALCOHOL:
Not Stated



Well, this has to be the weirdest beer I've ever had.  Rogue Brewing teamed up with a local doughnut shop called Voodoo Doughnut and created a beer called Bacon Maple Ale.  If you like sprinkled doughnuts then this beer is for you.  It has a really sweet taste due to actual maple syrup in the ingredients and then changes to a stronger aftertaste because of the bacon in the ingredients.  This beer is nuts!! Great at first, then, depends on how your sweet tooth is, changes to a more normal but still strange aftertaste.  Bacon isn't really a dominate taste in this beer, it's more for controlling the sweetness.   It only comes in 750 mL bottles which means that you need more people around you while tasting it.  I only had about 6 ounces before I couldn't drink anymore.  This beer is really, really an acquired taste so good luck.  


Big Wave Golden Ale

BREWERY:
Kona Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Kailua-Kona (Big Island of Hawaii)

STYLE:
Golden Ale

COLOR:
Medium Yellow

ALCOHOL:
4.4%




If you look further down to one of my past posts, you'll see a chapter that I did on Kona Brewing Company.  You'll also note that the last thing I said on that post was that I never tried Kona's Big Wave Golden Ale.

WELL, listen up people, I FINALLY tried it.

A few weeks ago (look at the date of this post) I went to Hawaii.  My biggest goal there, besides surfing, swimming, relaxing, drinking, hiking, snorkeling, was to finally hold a bottle of this beer.  I bought a six pack within 20 minutes of landing at the airport.

The taste wasn't what I expected.  Even though it was an "ale" I thought that, based on the color, it was going to taste like a weak-ass lager that you can buy for 4 bucks at the liquor store.  This beer was really refreshing, and very tasty.  It has just enough of a fruity taste that it goes down smooth and no aftertaste.  It's not too hoppy and it actually quenches your thirst.  Great beer to have during the day when the sun is out.  At night however, you may want to switch to a more darker brew like a Pale Ale.  You don't want to have this beer with spicy foods because the taste of beer will actually change to a more bitter taste.  That's how fragile tasting this beer is.  Just have with peanuts or pretzels.  Not a type beer to have a meal with.




Friday, 27 April 2012

Morimoto Black Obi Soba

BREWERY:
Rogue Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Newport Oregon

STYLE:
Soba Ale

COLOR:
Deep Copper

ALCOHOL:
5-6% (Not stated)



This beer has won numerous awards.  It's actually dedicated to the Rogue distributor in Japan.  Yup, they import a lot of their beers to Japan.  I really enjoyed this beer.  Don't let the smell fool you because it smells like a strong IPA, but that is far from the truth.  However, after a few sips, it starts to have a slight bitterness to it.  It didn't bother me at all because if you enjoy IPA's, then you won't even notice it.  They use specialty malts and a special type of hops to brew this beer which gives it the slight nutty taste.  It's crisp, clean, not too refreshing, and goes great with pork chops or a medium rare steak.  An overall great sipping beer.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Nasty Habit IPA

BREWERY:
Mt. Begbie Brewing Company

LOCATION:
Revelstoke, British Columbia

STYLE:
Strong IPA

COLOR:
Deep Copper

ALCOHOL:
6%



First of all I just want to say that this beer was the Gold Medal Winner at the 2010 Canadian Brewing Awards.  They call this a strong beer but being at 6%, it's pretty mellow.  I've had lots of 7%-9% IPA's which I've poured out.  When you first open this beer, you get a subtle floral aroma.  Keep that in mind because the finish tastes the same way.  You can taste a hint of spiciness which gives the finish a little bit of a kick.  A lot people love Pale Ales but shy away from India Pale Ales.  However, if you want to enjoy a really good mellow IPA, but don't want the strong bite, try this one.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Calico Brown Ale

BREWERY:
Tenaya Creek Brewery

LOCATION:
Las Vegas, Nevada

STYLE:
American Pale Ale

COLOR:
Dark Amber

ALCOHOL:
5.6%



Ok, first of all, pour this beer into a glass.  As a matter of fact, all Ales should be poured into a glass.  Beer needs to breathe and needs to release all of its flavor.  When I first opened the bottle it had a slight fruity smell to it.  The slight spiciness gives this beer that fruity smell.  But don't let the smell fool you, it has nothing to do with fruit.  The hop factor in this beer is mild to slight.  The finish is smooth but has just a tiny bit of aftertaste, bitterness if you will.  If you want to drink this beer with a meal, try having Pork Chops with it.  It will definitely compliment it.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company is a brewery located on the Big Island of Hawaii at Kailua-Kona.  It started in 1995 and is now the most popular brewery in Hawaii producing award winning ales and lagers.  They produce 6 different types of beer that they bottle and produce 5 draft only beer.  There are only 2 countries in the world that you can go to the local liquor store and pick up a 6 or a 12 pack.  In the US (obviously) and in Japan.  Unfortunately for me and my fellow Canadians, it's not available here.  However, when I emailed the company to find out if and when they will be shipping it here, they responded by saying "soon".  How soon, we will never know.  I guess it'll be here when it gets here.  BUT I'm one the lucky ones who lives 10 minutes from the border.  So whenever I hop across the border to get gas, I pick up a 6 pack.

Every year they come out with 3 different variety packs that you can buy in 12 packs.  They call it their Island Hopper Variety Pack.  They have one for Winter/Spring, Spring/Summer, and Fall/Winter.  Every Variety Pack has 2 regular beers in it and one special beer that they call their Aloha Series.
The 2 regular ones are:
The Longboard Lager        and                           Fire Rock Pale Ale


Longboard Lager is a very smooth beer with a slight spicy hop taste.  It's very refreshing and very flavorful.  They ferment it at a cold temperature to keep it's crispness. It's great for a hot sunny day lying on the beach and taking it easy.  Basically what you would be doing in Hawaii.

Fire Rock Pale Ale is one of my favorite pale ales.  It's very crisp and very refreshing.  It has what they call a citrus-floral hop aroma which adds a bite to it.  It's not overly hopped but just enough to smooth out the finish. It's great to have in a bottle or on tap.  Either way you have it, whether on tap or in a bottle, you'll enjoy it while hanging out with friends at a local bar or while having an outdoor fire at night.

During the Winter/Spring season, Kona Brewing Company comes out with the 1st of their 3 Variety 12 packs.  Along with the 2 that I mentioned above, the 3rd beer is called Koko Brown Nut Brown Ale.  Do you like coconuts? Well this beer is brewed with real toasted coconuts.  The flavor is rather nutty and you can't really tell that it was brewed with toasted coconuts.  I'm saying this because I don't like coconuts but I love this beer.  It has a reddish-brown color similar to the hardwood floors in my house.  To me, it's not a beer that I can have all the time.  It's a great sipping beer and a great beer to have on a cold rainy day.  Rainy days are abundant here in Vancouver, BC.  

During the Spring/Summer season, Kona Brewing Company comes out with the 2nd of their 3 Variety 12 packs.  This beer is called Wailua Wheat.  It is a wheat ale golden in color that is brewed with passion fruit.  It's very refreshing and a couple of people told me that they can drink this beer all day.  It's not hard on your stomach but some might find that the finish is great at first, but then it starts to get a little bitter.  Me included.  It tasted fantastic at first but when I got down about half way through, I wanted to stop drinking it and grab a Longboard.  To each their own I guess.  Some love it, some hate it, and some of us (me included) thinks that 1 maybe 2 is enough.


During the Fall/Winter season, Kona Brewing Company comes out with the 3rd and last of their 3 Variety 12 packs.  This beer is called Pipeline Porter.  If you love Porters, this is a definite must try!  This is my all time favorite porter.  I've had Mocha Porters, Chocolate Porters, Cherry Porters and beyond but the Pipeline Porter is one that I'll drink on a regular basis.  It's brewed with 100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee people!! It doesn't get any better than that.  It's dark in color, mildly hoppy and has a coffee aroma.  It actually tastes like coffee.  If you've tried it, I would love to hear what you have to say about.


I can't say much about Kona's Big Wave Golden Ale.  Reason?  I haven't tried it yet.  I looked all over for this beer but I couldn't find it.  Well, I guess I didn't really try that hard.  When I do get the fortunate chance to hold one in my hand, hopefully I'll be lying on a beach on a hot, sunny day trying to remember what I thought about it so that I can share it with you.