Nose: malty, weak hops aroma
Mouth: medium body, slightly fizzy and mostly hoppy. A tad spicy. Finishes malty but bland.
Honestly, as Pale Ales go, this one is not very memorable. It’s a little on the bland side and it’s got a sting that you wouldn’t expect. But it makes it a good choice for a number of things. Mostly because it can compliment various foods very well. The first time I had this beer was at the Tapa Bar in the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki in Honolulu. On the table was a bowl full of roasted and salted Macadamia nuts. As good as Macadamia nuts are, this beer actually compliments them so well, they are better with this beer. I also had this beer at a luau with roast pork and all the fixin’s and it was perfectly refreshing and complimentary then too.
As a pale ale, it falls a bit short. It’s not very memorable in flavor and it’s a regular joe kind of beer. It’s nothing special. What it is good at is it fits in anywhere. I spent a fair bit of time in Hawaii and my local Northeast brews are not available down there. As a substitute for my everyday brews, this fits the bill nicely. It’s a bit on the hoppy side and compared to the heartier brews I’m used to up here, it’s weak in the malt department. Thing is though, as soon as I pop that cap off, take a whiff and pour it in to the glass, I’m thinking about sitting on a Hawaiian beach. A bowl of Macadamia nuts next to me and I’m there again. All I need is a rebroadcast of a Phillies game that I already know the outcome of and I’m mentally back in Hawaii and that’s not a bad thing at all.
This is an easy brew to drink. It’s a real beer, tastes like a beer, looks like a beer, feels like a beer, it’s a real beer. It’s not a light beer, it’s not a compromised excuse for a beer, it’s a beer. It may not be everybody’s favorite but I could spend an entire Saturday at a BBQ drinking nothing but Kona Brewing Company’s Firerock Pale Ale and I would be happy with it. It just fits and it is an awesome alternative to the American staples of Budwesier, Miller or Busch products and if you have wannabe beer snob friends, Sam Adams products.
So, if you want something different but isn’t going to break the bank or be too much to handle on a sunny, summer afternoon, this is a good choice. Whether it’s burgers and dogs on the fire or filet mignon and salmon, this beer will go with any of it. Besides, just think of how cool you’ll look to a bunch of your friend when they ask you where your beer is from and you say “Hawai’i!” Go ahead, use my stories about Hawaiian beaches and Macadamia nuts! They’ll think you’re something special! You can even embellish it with girls in grass skirts and Leis!