Friday, 24 February 2012

Calico Brown Ale

Tenaya Creek Brewery

Las Vegas, Nevada

American Pale Ale

Dark Amber


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.