Written by Tom Becham for PGA
Having just returned from almost two weeks in the islands, it’s been a shock returning to reality (although reality in California is much less harsh than, say, in Buffalo).
But now, I am ready to comment on some of the beer to be had in the Hawaiian Islands.
The situation is far better now than it has been in years past, since my first visit. Formerly, Kona Brewing was the only craft choice to be had, and it wasn’t as widely available as it is now. Since then, Maui Brewing has started up, smaller semi-craft outfits like Mehana have improved their game, and even local watering holes that attract a predominantly Bud Lite crowd will at least have Kona brews on tap as well. And there are more new players in the game, too.
I was clued into the beer of Big Island Brewhaus by the lads on the television show Brew Dogs. I nabbed some of their Secret Sabbath Belgian-style Golden Ale, and Overboard IPA, in bottles at local markets on Kauai. Both beers were excellently made and worth the price. Overboard is a classic American IPA, with a hefty malt backbone, and gorgeous floral and tropical hops, which show their character in both aroma and flavor. Balance is perfect for the style. Secret Sabbath brings all the Belgian yeast fruitiness one expects from the style, combined with both some sweetness and dryness from a generous use of local Hawaiian honey. Beer geeks and novices alike will love this one. All in all, I heartily recommend seeking out anything made by Big Island.
Tom Becham lives in Oxnard, CA. He’s been writing for PGA for many years now. We really should pay him but we’re poor here at PGA. Tom’s a great writer and contributor to PGA. He loves good beer, and has a great palate. Notice how much we’re sucking up to him? Maybe he should pay US?