Beers in Paradise

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Hawai’i for the first time. In addition to paying respects at Pearl Harbor, snorkeling, orchid sniffing, and being lazy on the beach, I sought out some local Hawaiian brews.

Kona Sampler and Castaway IPA

Oahu is home to only one brewery: Gordon Biersch. However, Kona Brewing Company, which brews on the Big Island, does have a pub/restaurant on Oahu. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Gordon Biersch, but I did enjoy sampling several Kona beers: Longboard Lager, Fire Rock Pale Ale, Black Sand Porter, and Koko Brown. I must admit that none of these four brews stood out enough to become ingrained in my memory. I had high hopes for Koko Brown – with its coconut twist – but it was too sweet and the coconut was a bit artificial tasting.

I did get my coconut fix with a can of Maui Brewing Company’s CoCoNut Porter. It was just like the tag line teases…Like Hot Chicks on the Beach…smooth, coconutty, and dark.

Now I don’t want to totally diss Kona. I loved their Castaway IPA so much I enjoyed two pints during my happy hour. I hope to find it on draft here on the mainland, so I can be transported back to those lovely days on the beach where my biggest problem was sand in my bikini!

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