Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Leapbeer Reviews #301-303 A Brief Taste of Polynesian Beer

Earlier this year my supervisor, Martin, took his family to Maui for a trip. My first reaction when hearing he was going there was ‘Please bring back beer’, and bring back beer he did. He picked me up a bomber of the Kona Longwood Lager, a Hinano Lager from Tahiti and some of the CoCoNut Porter by Maui Brewing Company.

The Hawaiian Haul, Thank You Martin

The Hawaiian Haul, Thank You Martin

The first beer I sampled from these three is the Longboard Lager. Kona Brewing Company is located on west side (also known as the dry side) of the Big Island of Hawaii, in Kailua-Kona. This beer has been featured in the current iteration of Hawaii 5-0 on more than once, undoubtably as part of the mandatory ‘local content’ for the show. Not that I want to get into the great details about this brewery or its history, but I plain and simple just don’t know it. What I can say is the Big Island is full of wonderful surprises, and this brewery is one of them.

Brewed in Paradise

How about the beer? That I do know. I had a few different Kona beers on my last trip to Hawaii (3+ yrs ago), and I remember them all fondly. Longboard Lager isn’t any drastic step outside of normal Lager territory. It is a very light golden lager that smells a bit bready and yeasty. A decent sized head that dissipates, made of tight bubbles. It proves to be a nice easy drinking beer. While it doesn’t break the mold of lager beers, it is a solid offering. One cool note about these beers is inside the cap includes a Polynesian word and the english translation. This bottle included ‘Malama’ meaning to care, but one of the other caps I’ve seen is ‘Manu’ meaning shark.

Leapbeer #301 is Longboard Lager by Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company's Longboard Lager

Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Lager

Brewery: Kona Brewing Company from Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
Size/ABV: 650ml Bomber/4.6%
Purchased @: Gift from a Martin

Next up is Hinano Lager. I expected this beer to taste almost exactly as the Longboard did. It smelled a bit hoppier than the Longboard, perhaps of Saaz (or pilsner) hops. Brewed in French Polynesia. It is a skunkier lager, with a somewhat off putting aftertaste. Its a bit like a pilsner, but not entirely. Untappd labels it as an Adjunct Lager, meaning they incoporate different ingredients to the brewing process to reduce costs in the brew, sometimes incorporating different or unwelcome flavours. I appreciated the distance this beer took to get to me, but I wouldn’t be reaching for a second one.

Leapbeer #302 is Hinano Lager

Hinano Adjunct Lager from Tahiti

Hinano Adjunct Lager from Tahiti

Brewery: Brasserie de Tahiti
Size/ABV: 500ml Can / 5.0%
Purchased @: Gift from a Martin

Lastly I had the CoCoNut Porter from Maui Brewing Company of Lahaina, Maui. This beer is labelled as a porter Brewed with hand toasted coconut. If you’re a fan of Drinking Made Easy like I am, the episode that they were on Maui showed how it was made. You can watch it at this link, DME-Maui. This porter has a toasty coconut smell to it, think caramel coconut. It was very reminiscent to the fantastic aroma surrounding a coconut oil factory (think the smell when someone is baking a cookie with coconut on it) The beer is very dark, almost jet black with a tan/brown head of tight bubbles.  The beer is initally very smooth tasting sweet and malty, then a toasty almost burnt coconut kick hits you. It leaves an almost lingering burnt licorice flavour with you, in a very good way. A fantastic tasting porter in its own right, very tasty. The beer sports fantastic head retention. Initially its light and playful then it follows up with a rich smokey toasted compliment, delicious. While I got these from Maui I saw that they do sell them (along with other Maui Brewing Beers) in Portland @ Belmont Station.

Leapbeer #303 is CoCoNut Porter by Maui Brewing Company

CoCoNut Porter by Maui Brewing Company

CoCoNut Porter by Maui Brewing Company

Brewery: Maui Brewing Company from Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Size/ABV: 355ml Can / 6.0%
Purchased @: Gift from a Martin

Thanks for reading

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