I'll save the great detail for another time, suffice to say we tried 40 different beers while one vacation on Oahu last week, both before & after the XTerra World Trail Run Championships. Nothing that blew my mind, but we had quite a few noteworthy beers, many good ones, and not too many stinkers. I took notes as we went, to avoid later confusion, to give you all a nice, easy grade scale (he he he). Editor's note...two of the higher grades are for floats (which is really cheating), but they're going in here anyway. If you think beer floats are gross, then you're really missing out. We're not talking Heineken floats here people. Think Starbucks frappucino with an alcohol kick... A good amount of our beers were enjoyed at the Kona Brewing Co & the Yardhouse @Waikiki Beach, which we had to visit 3 times since they boast 130 draft beers!!
Kona Imperial Kona Stout A- just like Pipeline Porter, but replace the porter with 8% stout
Youngberry A- 1/2 Young's Dbl. Chocolate Stout (on nitro), 1/2 Lindeman's Framboise. Perfect texture with half the beer on nitro, half not.
Young's Dbl. Choc. Stout float A-
Deschutes Green Lakes Organic A-/B+ maltier on tap than bottled, pretty good either way
Lindeman's Framboise float A-/B+ almost as good as the Young's, SAWEEEEEET!
Kona Pipeline Porter A-/B+ brewed with Kona coffee, 'nuf said
Rogue Old Crustacean B+ solid barleywine, a little on the hoppy side, but malty up front
Maui Coconut Porter B+ great body for a porter, suttle roasted coconut finish
Kona Wailua Wheat B+ you may never see me rate a wheat beer this high again...the surprise of the trip. i've had it bottled and had not planned to have it again, but holy crap, is it refreshing on tap. brewed w/passionfruit. maybe I had a bad one last month???
Paulaner Salvator B+ winner of the doublebock taste-off (surprisingly)
Maui Big Swell IPA B+ great bodied canned IPA
Blue Frog Big DIPA B+ body of a barleywine, flavor of an IPA
Blue Frog IPA B+ better hops than the DIPA, but less on the mouthfeel
St Rogue Red B+ better than I remembered. Dry hopped & still malty
Grimbergen Dubbel B/B+ one of several belgians at the Yardhouse. the best we tried
Blue Frog Red Frog B solid hoppy red ale
Kona IPA B citusy & refreshing
Kona Sandman? Porter B solid porter, but we had it right before Pipeline...
Spaten Optimator B I'd still buy it before Paulaner, but it didn't match up well that day
Warsteiner Dunkel B solid sample of the style. malt lovers rejoice
Leffe Bruin B very similar to the Grimbergen
Lost Coast Alleycat Amber B/B-
Kona Barleywine B- darker, english style
Big Aloha Ehu B- english style pale, great body, but lacking in hops
Kona Lavaman Red B-
Kona Pale B-
Blue Frog Oatmeal stout B- (nitro)
Rogue Hazelnut Brown B- the nut flavor was more underwhelming than we remembered
Mehana Pale B-
Maui Bikini Blonde B- about as good as a blonde will ever be
Mammoth Paranoid Pale B-
Red Hook Double Black B- coffee imperial stout...poor for the style, but good overall (& for a Red Hook beer)
Hinano Tihiti Lager B-/C+ good, sweet lager...better than average
Bare Knuckle Stout B-/C+ underwhelming flavor, smooth (nitro), more like a Guiness than I'd like
Kona Hefe C+
Kona Macadamia Nut Brown C+ the lack of macadamia flavor was disappointing
Keoki Sunset C/C-
Kona Big Wave Golden C/C-
Blue Frog Dunkelweizen C- not my favoroite style, & this one was too heavily spiced
Duke's Blonde D standard blonde, which is to say, boooooring