A wedding and a funeral this weekend. And, since we left the kids at home for the wedding in Hawaii, and therefore felt young again for two days, we really checked off a lot of life moment boxes for a simple three days. Of course, weddings and funerals don't usually make for great beer, so that part was lacking.
Which, of course, is fine. Every weekend doesn't need to be high-speed whale burn. Sometimes you have a couple mediocre pale ales and life is still great.
Almanac Citra Sour
When you're packing, it doesn't pay to get all soused on a big double IPA. Instead, have one nice 7% beer that's full of taste. That way, you won't forget the underwear. I reall enjoyed this beer, though, and it did slow me down a bit. Good thing I was only packing for two nights. Almanac's newest is first of a series of single-hopped sours, and if you think their beers are too sour, this one deserves a try from you. It's not as crazy face-puckeringly enamel-killing sour as their dogpatch series. Instead, you get a nice mellow sour blonde that also features that melon and grapefruit flavor that Citra is known for. With news that the brewery hired a new blender, and that this fall's Blueberry will be the first from that new employee, it's probably a good time to give them another shot if you've rendered an unfavorable opinion of them. If you like them, it's a grand time. Try this sour and the pumpkin sour now, and any day now we'll have the grand cru sours, and then we get to taste the new blends this fall.
Mehana Mauna Kela Pale Ale
Big Island Overboard IPA
A trip to the local store kept us from drinking any more $15 Pina Coladas by the pool side, phew. The first was a nothing pale ale with little to recommend it other than how watery and cold it was and how the nice the sand was between my feet as I walked through the beach I could see from our window. You, too, can see the view from my window above. Wait, those things have nothing to do with the beer.
The Overboard IPA was the best beer I had in Hawaii. An old-school IPA featuring malt, citrus and pine notes, it had just enough fruit to not be a dinosaur. If had quarter-stars on my phone, it probably would have been a 3.75, but I couldn't push it to four on the phone, which is saying something. This isnt a place known for its beer, is that something it says. (That also speaks to a possible opportunity for a new brewery, and I'm glad my family is moving to the big island so I get to try more of their offerings.)
Kona Big Wave Golden Ale
Belching Beaver Dammed DIPA
Maui Big Swell IPA
Went on a boat for a snorkle booze cruise Saturday before the wedding, and had just a wee touch of sea sickness that put the drinking portion of the evening in jeopardy. But I rallied without the booting that attracked a sea of black fish to the guy next to me in the snorkle session. Saw some fish, swam with some turtles, and then toasted the sea with a Big Wave that had just enough taste to be better than water at the end of a good day of swimming. Not a bad session right there, Kona. Cheers.
For some reason, Belching Beaver gets good distribution into Hawaii. But I can't speak for the freshness of this one because all I could taste was malt and alcohol. Oh look here. I think that's a '2014' on the bottle. Should have been more discerning with my eye when I was buying, and I probably shouldn't have rated this beer once I discovered how old it was. My bad, Belching Beaver, my bad.
Wedding time meant some nice mixed drinks all full of ginger and brambles, but I wanted to have lasting power so I switched over to Big Swell at some point. That was a swell idea except for getting rounded up for shots every hour or so, and, well, I can't review this beer very well is what I'm saying. I do remember talking to the bartender about Hawaii beer -- he said he didn't like IPAs, and I briefly wondered if it's just too hot in Hawaii to really get into some of the meatier styles. Still, an Easy Jack on the water makes sense even in that Maui sun, so maybe they'll make some really good light beers in the coming years.
Travel day! Time to rest up and get ready for the last week of the season, and a long-awaited trip to the beer store. How was your weekend?