Aug 15, 2012

Kona Brewing Big Wave Golden Ale

Apparently, Kona Brewing’s Big Wave Golden Ale was one of the company’s original beers back in the 1990s. It’s just now, however, making it’s way to the mainland — the first since their Koko Brown arrived early last year..

This particular beer is a golden ale that weighs in at an easy drinking 4.4% ABV and 21 IBU. Big Wave is definitely a beer that’s sessionable and more than appropriate for sitting outside at the beach or on your back deck (as I was while drinking it) in the hot Summer sun. The beer is brewed with Pale and Caramel malts and a blend of Galaxy and Citra hops. The result is a crisp ale that goes down smooth and refreshes nicely.


Big Wave poured with a quickly falling, small cap of white foam that sat briefly atop the golden amber liquid.


The beer has a welcome aroma as elements of light grain, subtle bready malts, citrus, tropical fruits (pineapple) and a touch of pine come together nicely.


While the nose says “hops, hop, hops,” the beer is much more balanced in terms of the malt presence in relation to hop character. It’s still got a mouthful of pineapple, citrus, and light pine, but the grainy and bready malt arrives to keep everything in check and nicely balanced. I get a touch of honey and caramel before a gentle level of hop bitterness arrives and lingers slightly in the refreshing finish. The beer is relatively light bodied with a softer carbonation.


The nose on this beer surprised me. I wasn’t expecting anything like the tropical fruits that I found. Throw in the fact that the beer is wonderfully balanced and you’ve got a great little brew that is sessionable, refreshing and ideal for some outdoor fun. The flavors are over-the-top which makes the beer very approachable and smooth. I can see myself picking up at sixer of this before it gets too chilly outside.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

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