Fire Rock Pale Ale

Fire Rock Pale Ale
Kona Brewing Company

12 oz bottle
6.0% ABV
1.2 BP

I was curious about how well a beer could travel from Hawaii to me in NY. I got my answer on the bottle: “Brewed by Kona Brewery, Portsmouth NH for Kona Brewery, Kona HI”. Now, I haven’t heard of Kona opening a branch in NH, so I did some digging and came across a Hawaii Business article that explains it.

In a nutshell, Kona has contracted with Redhook Brewery to produce some of their labels for the mainland. But wait! Isn’t Redhook in Washington State? Well, yes. And a bit more digging revealed that Redhook is actually a part of Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc., a public conglomerate trading on NASDAQ as CBAI. And as if that’s not a surprise, Anheuser-Busch, or AB-InBev, owns 25% of that entity.

What I thought was going to be a craft beer shipped from HI ended up being a contract brew from a large public corporation. Let’s hope the beer tastes better than these findings do!

Appearance
Pours a nice deep golden or very light amber with one finger of faintly tan head. Decent lacing on the glass, and delicate visible carbonation.

Smell
Malty nose with some lightly floral hops coming through. Traces of caramel, biscuit, and honey.

Taste
Malty and biscuity with some decent bittering going on. Some odd flavor in there, almost like ripe banana peel. Hops mainly come through in bittering.

Mouthfeel
Smooth, thicker than I’d think on the tongue, with a very light carbonation.

Drinkability
Very drinkable. Not too bitter nor too sweet. Refreshing.

Overall
I’m happy with this one. It still has that craft beer smell, taste, and feel, despite the publicly traded corporate backing. I’ll have to learn more about the RedHook brewing facility in NH. How big, who actually owns it, etc.

I’d still like to try this from the micro in HI. Someday. Of course if anyone wants to fly me out there, I’m more than willing to travel in the name of beer. 😉

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3 Responses to Fire Rock Pale Ale

  1. Bebe says:

    I like Fire Rock too & wondered how many calories it has?

  2. chas says:

    Just returned from HI vacation last month (Nov,09). Best lunch sandwich: fresh mahi mahi @ Milagros Bar in Paia, Maui. Best beer pairing: Fire Rock Pale Amber. An unforgettable combination. All the Kona Brewery beers I tried were very well described. Can’t wait to return, some day.

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