Kona Brewing, Widmer Brothers and Red Hook are three breweries whose beers have recently become more widely available on there shores, and I've been eyeing up some of the goods for a little while now. Finally I caved and decided to pick up these two from Kona Brewing because hey, look at those labels.
First up is the not-so-pale pale ale Fire Rock. Now, the aroma has plenty of fruity hoppiness to the fore, but already I can smell the sticky malt underneath. Sure enough, On tasting I find that there's quite a hit of toffee before the generic grapefruit rind hop flavour manages to fight it's way through. Of course, people will want this to be hoppier and will probably damn it for not being so, but I think it's pretty enjoyable and very easy to drink.
The novelty of the pair was Koko Brown, a brown ale brewed with roasted coconut. It sounds delicious, right? Well the smell shoves plenty of coconut at your face, along with a lightly roasted malt character that has bits of smoke and caramel dotted here and there. The flavour also has some coconut, but I'm sorry to say it just doesn't work. Not that it's just not nice, it actually tastes bad. Shame that.
A little less flavouring and a little more flavour, please! Otherwise the Fire Rock was solid, but I don't think I'll be stretching the Euros to pick up a few more.