It is really amazing how craft beers have thankfully caught on in the local restaurant scene, which has created more demand for importers & distributors to bring in a growing array of quality minded beers.
Fortunately, a real standout- Big Island Brewhaus, is local.
I first met brewmaster/owner Thomas Kerns when he helped open the Fish & Game Brewing Company in the late 1990’s over in Kahana, Maui. In the mid 2000’s the awards & accolades really starting rolling in & deservedly so and over time, Tom & his beers really developed quite a following. I was surprised to hear that Tom & his wife Jayne moved to Waimea over on the Big Island, first taking over a Mexican restaurant & finally starting to produce their craft beers again. In several recent tastings, these beers are really worth searching out for.
Of his impressive portfolio of beers, here are the 3 we really liked. They are all available only in the 22 ounce bottle.
In addition to my comments, I have also included some more technical information (noted in Italics) from Bill “The Beer Guy” Carl (Beer Specialist & Certified Cicerone©) who presented them to us this last go around.
“The Golden Sabbath is a Strong Belgian style Golden Ale. Traditionally a Belgian Candy sugar is used in the beer to lighten the body while increasing the alcohol. Tom Kearns prefers to use Hawaiian raised honey instead of the candy sugar to increase the sugar content. The honey may not always be raised on the Big Island but is ALWAYS raised in Hawaii. A blend of Ohia/Lehua, Christmas berry, and Macadamia honey is used in the beer along with Cascade, German Hallertauer, and Czech Saaz hops”.
This is a very tasty beer, with lots of fruity-spice-floral qualities with the honey nuances popping in and out. I’ve never had a beer done in this style before, but I really liked how delicious it really is. Makes you want to drink more and more with each sip.
“Overboard IPA is a two-time gold medal winner in the American IPA category (the most populous category) during the 2011 & 2013 US Open Beer Championships. The hops in the IPA are Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe, and Amarillo leading to 50 IBUs”.
We love how outgoing and showy this beer is. The exotic/citrus fruit & spice aromas just seem to jump out of the glass. It is definitely firm in structure has lots of vigor and personality with a rather brazen, whopping finish. Definitely a winner!
WHITE MOUNTAIN PORTER
“White Mountain Porter incorporates both hand toasted Hawaiian coconut and Big Island grown and roasted coffee from the award winning White Mountain Coffee Co on the Hamakua coast. Both Cascade and Czech Saaz hops are used in this roasty, lightly sweet, 3 time award winner from the US Open Beer Championships”.
Where the previous two beers are for thirstquenching & gupability, this one makes you stop and think. Sipping and relaxing. There is, of course, lots of roasted coffee character with cacao & coconut nuances. It is darkly colored and has a real soothing yet refreshing creaminess which the bubbles seem to accentuate. I imagine enjoying this on the lanai on a cool evening, while relaxing and winding down.
Yes, these are very interesting, well made beers. PLUS, it is another way to support local!!!!!