Imagine Hawaii. What comes to mind? Most likely you thought of beaches, volcanos, LOST, and maybe Johnny Tsunami if you’re a 90s kid. Hawaiian beer is generally not the first thing to come to mind. Apparently, Hawaii has 9 breweries and that’s 8 more than I had ever heard of. I didn’t even know you could fit 9 breweries on Hawaii’s islands.
Kona Brewing Co. comes straight off of Big Island, Hawaii. They have been around since 1995 when they introduced Pacific Golden Ale (now called Big Wave Golden Ale) and Fire Rock Pale Ale. Three years later, they would introduce the beer I’m reviewing today: the Longboard Island Lager.
Longboard Island Lager is “a smooth refreshing lager fermented and aged for weeks at cold temperatures to yield its exceptionally smooth flavor. A delicate, slightly spicy hop aroma complements the malty body of this beer.” (Description courtesy of Kona Brewing)
I tasted the Longboard Island Lager in a Pilsner glass. The appearance was golden with a strong, white head (before you say it…that’s what she said). The initial nose I got from it was a spicy, malty aroma. Taste-wise, it comes across as what you would expect from a lager and is as drinkable as you would imagine (it’s very easy to drink away that 24 oz. can). It’s very crisp and malty while being low enough in ABV at 4.6% that you could drink it all day. I can imagine enjoying it while lounging about on a warm beach and wanting to enjoy what Hawaii has to offer in terms of beer. It’s refreshing without being overbearing.
You can find Kona Brewing Co. all across Texas. According to Kona’s beer locator, in Austin, it is available at the Whole Foods Market Mothership, Whip In, Wahoo’s, an extremely specific Chevron, and the usual suspects: HEB and Twin Liquors.