Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(Beer) Dispatches from Hawaii

OK, this post has not much to do with Bend, other than I'm from Bend and went to Hawaii. Well, it has a little to do with Bend -- read on.

Anyway, Beau already posted about my encounters with Deschutes (both grocery stores I went to had Mirror Pond available in six-pack form. The Twilight Ale I saw had expired in November (mmmmm, delicious...no, I didn't buy it). I never did see Deschutes on tap, though.

Anyway, my experiences with Hawaiaan beers, briefly:
-- I had Kona's Longboard Lager, Fire Rock Pale Ale and Big Wave Golden Ale in bottles and on tap. I know these are available pretty easily mainland side, but I had never had them. I wasn't really excited about the pale, but I enjoyed the lager and the Golden Ale. I wouldn't really trade any of them for a Deschutes. I also just picked up some Pipeline Porter by Kona at the store when I got back...excited to try that. Interestingly, the brewmaster for 10 Barrel Brewing here in Bend came from Kona. Below is a pic of some Golden Ale from Poipu, south shore of Kauai:

--While on Kauai I also had Hawai’i Nui Brewing Kaua’i Golden Ale (better known as Keoki Gold, from my research?), which, for me, was kind of like the Konas -- drinkable but not something I'd really seek out.
--By far the best part of my Hawaii trip (beer-wise) was a trip to Waimea Brewing Company in Kaua'i, billed as the westernmost brewpub in the world:

We found out later that they apparently have gone through a lot of different owners and have had some problems over the years. but I couldn't tell by the pleasant afternoon my wife and I spent sampling their beers:

(I took a sip out of the first one before I remembered to take a picture). Anyway, the beers are, from left: Lilikoi Ale, Wai'ale'ale Ale, Captain Cook's IPA, Na Pali Ale, Pakala Porter, Cane Fire Red, Westwide Wheat and Uli Uli Brown. I definitely preferred the darker beers (from this post you probably think I hate any light-colored beer, although that's definitely not the case). The Porter was a a classic version of the beer, smoky and heavy and really enjoyable. Reds aren't usually my favorite style of beer, but I really enjoyed that as well. Anyway, if you ever find yourself on the western side of Kauai, check it out.

--On non-beer-related drinking, we also checked out Kauai Coffee Company not too far down the road. This is actually what you get when you buy coffee at Trader Joe's. Anyway, that was a blast, too, you could sample any all of the coffees they currently have in production. And that was a fun way to wait out a rainstorm.

-- Also, Hawaii was awesome, and Bend is cold. I miss wearing shorts every day.

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