Aloha In A Bottle

Type of Beer: Lager

Beer: Longboard Island Lager
Brewery: Kona Brewing Company
Rating: 7/10
Place of Purchase: VG Liquors, Lawnside, NJ
Bottling Date: NA


Nose: Weak, slightly floral and malty.
Mouth: Light, crisp, malty, slightly hopped with hits of floral and pine. Finishes malty, sweet and clean.

Longboard Island Lager, what can I say? As with the Firerock Pale Ale, the first time I had this I was sitting on the back deck at Duke’s in Waikiki soaking in a sunset with girls in bikinis dancing to the live band all around me. Fresh shashimi, pan seared and coated in sesame seeds and drizzled with wasabi sauce. A cool island breeze was blowing just enough to be a nuisance to girls with long hair. The sky was an amazing deep blue hue skirted by clouds gleaming in vibrant reds, oranges and yellows basking in the same setting sun. That’s Longboard for me. It’s Hawai’i. It’s easy going and unwilling to rock the boat, brah. It’s Aloha in a glass!

OK, what the hell am I talking about besides waxing philosophical about wasting time on a beach with pretty girls? If you have ever been to Hawai’i and soaked up the atmosphere, you already have a good idea of what I’m on about. If you haven’t well, let me try to explain. See, Hawai’i is an amazing place. It’s pretty much the farthest point from anywhere. The people there are on their own time. It’s Hawai’i time. Everything moves at the same speed. Not to say it’s slow, it’s not. There’s no lack of urgency either. It’s just…not…rushed. To those of us stuck in the rat race on the mainland, it seems slow and lacking in urgency but, we’re wrong. Everything happens at this speed and if you let yourself just be there, you find that it’s not that bad at all. You take the time to enjoy life and the world around you. Instead of rushing to get your dinner in 15 minutes, it may take 20 but at the same time, you can take a look around and watch the pretty girls dance or admire the sunset or smell the salty sea breeze as the gulls drift lazily in and out of it looking for the next easy pickin’s to snap up.

Longboard is the same. It’s not in your face, it’s not hoppy, it’s not malty, it just is. There is something about this beer. It’s an American Lager and reminiscient of a pilsner. But unlike the mass market stuff this has a character. It’s mild and mellow but not bland. It’s sweet and malty but also a nice hint of sour dances along with it. It’s light body and smooth character make it easy to drink. The best thing about this beer is that it doesn’t interfere with what you are doing. Whether you are eating dinner, conversating with friends, watching a ball game or vegging out on a beach somewhere, this is a great companion. Yeah, so, all beer is a great companion in that respect! Yeah, I know, but, this is not a beer that you feel you have to discuss.

Beer nerds/snobs/jerks/whatever always feel the need to analyze a beer. Shut up, you know you do. The thing about Longboard is that it doesn’t lend itself to analyzation. It’s a beer that you look forward to after a long day. It’s a beer that you can swig in several large gulps, smack your lips and say “AHHHH!” when you’re done. And then immediately go look for another one. It’s a beer you take in the shower with you. (Ever have a beer in the shower after you get done, I dunno, mowing the lawn? No? Well, try it some time. Seriously.) You don’t care if there is a hops prescence. You don’t care if there is a bitter aftertaste. You don’t even care to try to identify all those hops varieties. You just care that “Hey, that was pretty fucking good!” Which is nice that it’s so unassuming. ‘Cause, like Hawai’i, this beer gives you the time to stop and smell the roses. You don’t need to talk about this beer. It knows what it is and doesn’t need you explaining it. It just says “Shut up and take another sip!” Then you have all that extra time to listen to a friend’s story, tell a story of your own, maybe get the number of that brunette in the lime green bikini at the bar?

Yeah, Longboard Island Lager, in the grand scheme of traditional lagers, it might not hit that mark fully but who the hell cares? Have another! There’s good times to be had, brah! Bottoms up and ALOHA!

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One thought on “Aloha In A Bottle

  1. Earlier, I thought you might have sold this beer short (mostly because i thought it should have one more star and I didn’t get to the last two paragraphs before I left for work), but I just got to finish reading your assessment and I have to say that you hit the nail on the head. While I’ve never been to Hawaii, it definitely is a beer that doesn’t need explanation. It’s just damn good beer! I drank both bottles last night that I had, without any second thoughts about whether it was good enough to have two in a row or wondering if I should save it. It just sucked me in and helped me relax, and that’s what a good beer should do. I give it an 8 or maybe even 8.5 out of ten, but otherwise I totally agree.

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