CastawayMay 1, 2014
Kona Brewing Co. Kona, HI Style: India Pale Ale ABV: 6 Appearance: Clear and golden verging on bronze, with a thick white head that laces the glass as it empties Aroma: Orange peel, tangerine, some pine, bit of cooked cereal sweetness Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a bit of hop oil slickness and smooth carbonation. Overall impression: There would be worse options if you wound up alone on a deserted island with only this beer to keep you company. (Interestingly the sample that arrived in the office from the brewery had two bottles tucked inside a deflated Wilson volleyball with that famous bloodied—not real—handprint featured in the Tom Hanks movie.) This is about what you’d expect from a middle-of-the road IPA. It’s not a hop bomb but it’s not grainy. It has balance, flavors that reveal themselves but are mostly happy in the background. It’s a beach beer for sure. Something to quaff while you don’t have a care in the world. It doesn’t intrude on that state of mind. One thing that I really like about this beer is the bottle. A torpedo-shaped brown glass with a raised map of the Hawaiian Islands embossed up towards the neck. Although they have a brewery in Hawaii, the beer we get here on the mainland is produced at partner breweries in the Pacific Northwest and in New Hampshire. Still, for the time it takes to consume 12 ounces, having the thought of “Liquid Aloha” it’s a nice escape indeed.
John is the editor of All About Beer Magazine, the host of The Beer Briefing on iHeart Radio, and the author of three books, including The American Craft Beer Cookbook. Find him on Twitter @John_Holl.