Beer & Moana: Recap of a Hawaiian Beer Adventure

A couple of weeks ago I took off to the Big Island of Hawaii to escape the madness of my busy LA life. I stayed in a rental house that turned out to be the guest house of a crazy (in the best way possible) hippy lady. Lots of swimming, sunshine, and beer were had.

We flew into the Kona airport and arrived around noon. After getting our rental car, we drove straight to Kona Brewing Company for lunch. The portions were big and the beer was delicious. Best Kona beer I have ever had.

I also bought some beer from Kona Brewing to enjoy at the rental house. They had a special organic Saison brewed with coriander and grains of paradise (which is a peppery spice from West Africa. Member of the ginger family). Sounds lovely, right? It was. This saison was light, bubbly, and the perfect beer to consume ocean-side in the sun.

The bottle instructed the beer to be consumed out of a goblet. All the house had was wine glasses.

And the cap reminded me where I was.

I wanted to buy beer from all the Hawaiian brewers while there to bring home with me and add to my collection. I meant to grab Maui Brewing Company’s Big Swell IPA at the store, but took this by accident. It was a sad mistake and not good. Pineapple juice should stick to hanging out with rum.

But, it was all OK because later that day I hung out with a sea turtle.

We brought a bottle of Russian River Consecration Ale with us that we had been saving to enjoy on a special occasion. It was my favorite sour beer I have had to date and went great with the Port Salut cheese we were eating. It had just the right amount of sour taste, with the currant and oak flavors perfectly balanced. I had our gracious weekend landlord (hippy lady) try some. She is not a beer drinker, but I suspected she would enjoy this. She loved it. I was asked 3 times to mail her some if I come across it again.

All in all, it was a great trip and I came home with some good souvenirs. My first growler (it was very practical to wait until I was in Hawaii to buy and drag a growler home with me. Doing that in the 2 hour drive away San Diego would have been WAY too much work), Mehana Brewing Pale Ale, and Kona Brewing Co. Koko brown. This beer from Kona is a brown ale brewed with toasted coconut. I have not seen it in the contenital US and was a bit skeptical, but liked the label so I bought it. It turned out to be a very nice beer. The toasted coconut flavor is very subtle, but enhances the nutty flavor of the brown ale really nicely. Also, it pairs with ‘Smores great!


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