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Hawaiian Style Pale Ale - Spearhead Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hawaiian Style Pale AleHawaiian Style Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

40 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 40
Hads: 102
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 14.14%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spearhead Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: StephenRich on 05-28-2011

Aloha from Toronto! As the name suggests, this bold, hoppy West Coast pale ale is brewed Hawaiian style—with pineapple. It is naturally carbonated, unfiltered and dry-hopped to provide a delicate carbonation and complex flavour and bouquet. This perfectly "imbalanced" pale ale has a fresh citrusy character with hints of tropical fruit, zest and pine and a refreshingly dry finish.

60 IBU
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 102
Photo of akdo
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: The beer has the same colour of a grapefruit zest, is unfiltered, has a little bit of carbonation and has a white one-finger head that ends as a white film.

Smell: The pine woods are in the background in favour of the lemon and a nice small hint of tropical fruits.

Taste: The palate reveals that the hint of tropical fruits from the nose was pineapple subdued by notes of lemon. As a result of that, the taste pineapple is not really pronounced. Although the IBU is 60, I found this beer's bitterness rather light for an American Pale Ale. In fact, during the finale, the fruity notes have their imprint on the notes of pine woods.

Feel: The beer has a soft feel and is even refreshing for an American Pale Ale. As we drink the beer, we barely feel the carbonation, which is a good thing. The long finish lets a fresh aftertaste in our throat.

Overall: Some people would call this a Vermont-style IPA, but this beer is an American Pale Ale through and through. The notes of pineapple, which were mild, is a welcomed change from others American Pale Ales. I would recommend it.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO as a single for the $2.00 catch all. Served at 5deg C in a draught glass.

A- Pretty good! Not much head from this unfiltered IPA but a decent film. Bit cloudy but not that much

S- Excellent! You can smell a hint of the pineapple.

T- This one will hit you with a bitter sweet pineapple flavor. Cascade hops and caramel malt are blended ok but the pineapple seems like an add on instead of an integral part of the recipe

M- Very good. Nice bitterness and dryness from the hops. Long finish

O- Ok not great. This is the reason I popped a 6 pack to get one. Won't buy it again

Food Pairing

This ok IPA will go very well with Pad Thai. The spiciness of the food and bitterness of the hops will match well.


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Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beer Town in London. Served in a matching tulip glass.

A - White foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and splotches of lace. Transparent golden body.

S - Doughy malts, some tropical and citrus hops, a tad sugary for the style, but on the whole pretty solid, with good integration of flavors.

T - Fresh, citrus zest, with a touch of pineapple and other tropical fruit. Less sweet and malt-forward here, with more of a crackery and light toasted grain malt backdrop. Bitterness is on the lower side, and the finish is crisp and clean.

M - Medium body, with lower moderate carbonation, a touch of grain to the texture, and a crisp and mildly dry finish.

D - A solid pale ale that's a tad sweeter than I like but otherwise competently done; wondering if the sweetness is a result of the pineapple addition? In any case, nice to have a year-round offering like this in Ontario; will probably drink it again next time I'm back visiting the folks.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one at the LCBO in Waterloo. Had it on tap a few times at Beer Town as well.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, fluffy, white head with great retention. Hazy safety orange, almost burnt in color, with medium levels of carbonation. Head fades to a faint wisp and clings to the glass. Good wisp remains with lots of nice lacing down the glass. Good looking for sure.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, some pineapple notes are there, with grapefruit and some light citrus notes. Pretty solid stuff.

TASTE: Pale malts, caramel notes and a touch of sweet melon or pineapple up front. Good hop dose at the swallow, with a bold and lingering aftertaste of pine, grapefruit and citrus notes on the palate. A good dose of bitterness lingers a well. Pretty nice stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation, creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes dry. Some bitterness lingers.

OVERALL: This is really good stuff, bot on tap and out of the bottle. The pineapple isn't all that pronounced, but that is mostly likely a good thing. Quality brew for sure. Called a Pale Ale but this is 100% an IPA. Highly recommended.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a unique 355ml bottle into a Maudite Snifter. $13.95 a 6 pack - LCBO

A- is a hazy copper color with an off white head of which sticks at around 8mm thick with streams of lively bubbles parading to the surface.

S- strong hoppy aromas of citrus/grapefruit in the nose with underlining notes of overripe pineapple and a tiny flutter of caramel malts.

T- Hops are dominant up front with strong flavors of citrus- orange rind/grapefruit. The unmistakeable Cascade bite is followed by a touch of grass/pine with the mid-palate also becoming quite herbal. The finish is fairly dry with a lingering bitterness. I found the slight flavors of pineapple became magnified once i added a slice of Hawaiian Pizza to the mix. There is also a sweetness delivered by the malt that is noticeable mid palate.

M- Though the beer has good weight im not a big fan of aggressive, prickly carbonation in Pale Ales. I doesn't effect the beer that much but it feels rough around the edges and if smoothed out i think the strong hop flavors would stand out more.

D- a flavor-full and highly drinkable brew.

Overall a great brew and the hints of pineapple add a change of pace. Worth checking out if you can manage the high price tag.

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Photo of TerryW
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber yellow under a moderate head that leaves some good lace.

Smells quite fruity - hops plus something else (which would be the pineapple, of course) which makes for an interesting experience from the outset.

Sweet upfront from the pineapple, that gives way to grapefruit hops straight away. Tasty enough, the pineapple is an interesting twist that helps distinguish what would probably be an ordinary IPA otherwise. Nicely carbonated, easy drinking, flavourful. Worth a try.

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Photo of Mit
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy orangy amber colour with a decent lasting head.

Definite tart sweet contrast from the pineapple along with the grape fruit hops....very pleasant.

The hops take over in my opinion with that bitter taste at the fore...but the pineapple makes an appearance at the end of the taste to round out the flavour and keep it from being unbalanced. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is good for the abv...

Overall I really like this beer...I tried it about a year ago or so at a food festival but hadn't been able to get any until recently. I would buy this a lot if it were more widely available in the Beer and Liquor stores around me.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A cloudy orange body with solid carbonation. Produced a finger of head that produced a respectable amount of lace and retained exceptionally well. A little more lace would have netted the perfect score.

Smell: Citrus hops dominate the nose and further assert themselves as the beer warms up. The background is a mixture of pineapple and malt which, given the beer's name seems appropriate.

Taste: Starts with a mix of malt and pineapple and then abruptly shifts to a grapefruit hops with slight backing of malt and lemon rind. It sadly walks an unenviable line of being too tame for most IPA standards and too hopped for a normal Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is really done well on this beer, but the transitioning from mild pineapple to viciously bitter hops needs some work. Also unless you like Grapefruit, you won't be a fan of the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Lighter then I thought it would be, but still a little bit harsh on my palate. That still being said, this was in no way a struggle going down and it settled quite well.

Final Thoughts: I'll admit, using Pineapple in beer is a good idea as the juice of the pineapple produces a sweet & sour acidic note that meshes surprisingly well with the malt. If they didn't just kill this beer with it's hopping, I'd really be interested to see what else you could do with this, specifically in a red lager. Give this one a go.

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Photo of Kremlock
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice pale orange colour body. The head is white and frothy. Poured about 1/2 inch and then has settled to about 1/8th of an inch but the sides are climbing up and staying think on the edge of the glace. No sediment noticeable, beer is a bit hazy but you can still see through.

S: Citrus hops, hints of tangerine, unripe mango.

T: The citrus flavours of grapefruit is coming through very well, and then at the back of the palate I get a bit of lemon. The malt flavours are there but the hops do take over. I can taste a bit of grain and bread and some malt sweetness.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation but I get a bit of alcohol warmed as the beer goes down. Good rounded bitterness persist to the end.

O: Overall it's a very good Pale Ale. The ibu are a bit high for a pale ale but everything else is great on style. Hops are great and well balanced.

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Photo of Rutager
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks unibroue4ever for a couple of these, a big canadian want!

Appearance. Pours a quite clear yellow-gold with just a little amber and topped with two fingers of frothy white head, decent retention.

Smell. Nice fruity hops, pineapple and tropical fruits, some toasted light grains.

Taste. Some bitter hops, light tropical fruits and light grainy malts, mild bitterness and a little lingering pineapple.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium+, prickly carbonation.

Overall. A very nice pale with some decent bitter hops and the nice addition of pineapple in complementary way, not overwhealming in the least.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a bright amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of floral and citrus hops with light pineapple notes. Taste is also dominated by loads of citrus and hoppy notes with medium bitter aftertaste. Pineapple juice notes is quite subtle but bring a nice touch. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed and interesting approach to say the least.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to andrenaline for including this in our most recent trade
A - hazy swamp water golden brown, tall off white head retained well, traces of lacing
S - biscuity and caramel matliness, mellow citrus and pine with some pepper and florals in the background
T - the hops alone are a well balanced mix of sweet tropical citrus, pepper, and grass, then balanced against biscuity malts with a touch of caramel sweetness, big flavour but easy on the palate
M - medium body, healthy hop bitterness is contrasted well with sweetness and tang and a hint of pepper
O - one of the most balanced pale's i've enjoyed in a long time, the Hawaiian style aspect is complimentary and is a nice contrast and balance to the sharper hop flavours, really hoping this makes it to Alberta

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Photo of biegaman
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hawaiian Style Pale Ale, ironically enough, is far from sunny. Its golden-ish colour is tarnished and heavily clouded (no surprise given that the beer is unfiltered and brewed with fruit). Fittingly, however, it does dress the glass in a lei of pearly white bubbles.

Short of a plane ride, this is the closest I'll get to the beach. Nevermind the pineapple, dry-hopping provides more than enough tropical fruitiness; tangerine, grapefruit, lychee and mango are all noted as much (or more) than the pineapple. There's also a strong bitterness that conjures to mind the tallest, greenest grassiness.

The extra little bit of pineapple juice is a nice compliment to the existing citric fruitiness. Again, ultra-acidic, 'spiked' flavours of grapefruit and mango are appreciated foremost, accompanied by a slight honeyed, biscuity maltiness. The grassy, somewhat resiny bitterness prevails, however, and leaves a desirable earthiness.

The malts do well to well to hold up in a game geared towards hops. Their weight is appreciated in the midst of all this acidity. The result is a well-integrated and balanced pH (and bitterness). As well as hefty, it is also considerably refreshing for a 60 IBU, 6% alcohol beer.

Moka laka haile, c'mon you wanna lei me, pass the poi! Mahalo! Hawaiian Style Pale Ale has enough fruit cache to move an umpa lumpa to tears. It is what the Willy Wonka river would taste like if you fell in. The idea to add pineapple to an already citric, tropical ale is a clever idea and well executed. Recommended.

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Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into tulip 9/10/12 thanks liamt07 for taking this one off my want list

A clear golden orange with lots of tiny bubbles and upon closer inspection some tiny suspended particles, thumbs width of foam has decent retention leaving random patches of lace well down the glass

S lots of citrus on this one with a hint of floral pine, pineapple both candied and juice with some caramels, faint booze and a pretty nice nose overall

T much like the nose but with a little grapefruit rind and slightly more pine, still just a hint of booze but mostly tropical citrus, slightly sweet maybe some sweet orange as it warms

M pin prick bubbles work well in the mouth with a slight tingle, a little gritty but I like that in IPA's has a nice citric rind aftertaste that lingers for quite a while

O pretty solid stuff with some good qualities in every area, I don't like giving the same mark in every area but sometimes you find a straight up "good" beer

I could have another and I just might because liamt07 sent me two bottles. I can see why this is on the Canadian top 100 and if they can consistently keep this quality it will be there permanently.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden colour, finger of head with some retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Scent is dominated by sweet citrus hop notes, very floral, sweet lemon iced tea, candied sugar and a solid dose of pineapple on the finish.

T - Much like the nose with the sweet citrus hops dominating, the pineapple flavours are subdued but offer up a tasty sweetness that balances the bitterness of the hops. A bready caramel lingers on the finish with a touch of sour fruit.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness on the finish.

O - I didn't want to believe the hype, but the flavours are reminiscent of one of my favourite west coast breweries, Lagunitas. Deliciously sweet hops profile complemented by the subtle pineapple and balanced by the bready caramel malt backbone. I'm optimistic/hopeful that this can become a staple at the local LCBO.

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Photo of papat444
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 355ml. bottle, ABV stated as 6%.

Appearance: Honey colored body, hazy and chilled, with a generous fluffy head that mildly bubbles and has a pretty nice patchwork on the glass.

Smell: Sweet, juicy pineapple with fresh citrus hops.

Taste: Very malt forward at first, pineapple is quite discreet and not as present as i would have believed. It's felt more in the aftertaste. Biscuity a bit with some tiny sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly smooth with a low bitterness that has a fading effect in the finish.

Overall: Love fresh pineapple but i was a bit underwhelmed as the pineapple is not prominent enough IMO. Still tasty but don't expect to get smacked with lots of pineapple.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a one finger slightly off white head and a hazy golden colour. Good carbonation coming up. Minimal lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Pineapple is really strong with lot's of citrus.

T - Less pineapple but it's still very much present. Lot's of citrussy hops too. A small amount of malt body but not really present. Their website talks about how unbalanced the beer is and I have to agree with them. Almost all of the flavour is either citrussy or dominated by the pineapple juice addition.

M - Good carbonation on the high side, medium body, and a good bitterness.

O/D - A really one dimensional IPA. That said, it's pretty tasty. The pineapple comes off a bit too strong for me, but it works. Nice once and a while but it would be too much to have a few in one night.

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Photo of SebD
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice semi-cloudy golden/orange color to it. It has an off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of citrus, pineapple, mango and caramelly malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice pineapple/citrus character to it with some piney resin and sweet caramelly malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas. Not as fresh and hoppy as when I tried it on tap but still good nevertheless.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(4.0) A: Pours a radiant clear copper with a very tall bubbly and puffy head. Very nice retention with a sticky lacing.

(4.5) S: Very tropical with bold and juicy pineapple, orange, and mango at the forefront. An earthy and sappy pine follows with a rich and buttery bread aroma. Spices are in there but can’t pull an individual one out. Very well executed aroma.

(4.0) T: Bitter pine, a solid rich and bready malt backbone, and of course the sweet tropical elements of pineapple and maybe even to a stronger degree - mango. This has a good fungi-earthy quality to it. Spices are in good proportions and include a bit of a peppery heat. The tastes compliment one another very well and provide for a very smooth taste.

(4.5) M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Very oily and resiny with a solid chewy texture.

(4.5) D: Great to see this product in bottles and at local LCBOs. This is one of my favourite go-to’s as I find the tropical element isn’t too overpowering. I would have to say this is one of the best products available in Ontario. Great stuff.

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Photo of mick303
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a healthy two-finger froth of white foam, after a few minutes it leaves a nice few mm of film and good lacing. Colour is a medium tan gold, with active carbonation.

Aroma is immediately hoppy, pleasant light malt feel, fresh straw. Also a sort of tropical fruitiness, mangoes, pineapple.

Taste has got elements of pineapple blended into the nice hop bitterness. Appropriately hopped with a good balance. Lot of the fruitiness of the nose. Quite like the flavour balance here. Hops are at the front but don't overwhelm the great flavours behind them.

Mouthfeel is medium body, with a good amount of carbonation, and a good thick hop/malt body, coats the mouth. Finish has a little bit of tongue prickle and a full mouth bitter tanginess.

This is definitely an interesting and a new favourite take on the IPA style. Excellent balance, allowing a refreshing fruitiness to come through and compliment the strong hops. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of korguy123
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip.

A- Slightly hazy vibrant gold pour with a two finger soapy, snow white head. Lacing sheets the glass.

S- Pineapple sweetness up front, bright citrus and tropical fruit follow. Grapefruit, mango, mandarin, some strawberries. There is some sweet malts in the back mixed with what I perceive to be as honey. There is a touch of pine bitterness in the mix as well

T- Sweetness from the pineapple and malts that quickly shift gears to the bright citrus and pine bitterness.

M- Light bodied, great carbonation.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: slight haze, not just chill; deep gold colour; great head, airy but long lasting

Aroma: strong, fruity, citrus hops; pineapple is def evident; clear and intriguing; somewhat floral, also getting some strawberry

Taste: crisp, vibrant fruit at start, well balanced with hops which turn grassy in the finish and have huge length - dry and bitter with some fruit still hovering around; some juicy pineapple flavour does show through, but it's more an accent

Overall: a tremendously refreshing and sessionable summer beer, perfectly balanced and fun

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Photo of kjyost
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade via murphy525. Thanks! Poured fridge cold into a tulip. From notes.

A hazy copper body with a light white head, though there is little lacing. Nose is dominated by pineapple pulp. Meh (have I mentioned I dislike pineapple?). Body on the other hand is incredibly tropically tasty. Mango, pineapple and citrus. Hops & pineapple are super well balanced. Light bitterness, builds in a crisp way. Well built beer, amazed I liked it as much as I did considering my pineapple aversion.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the ottawa lcbo for 2$

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber/copper colour with a large size fizzy/frothy off-white coloured head. There an average amount of carbonation and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, oranges, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops and malts mixed with pineapple and orange/tangerine. It finishes with a pineapple/citrus aftertaste with a good amount of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - Reminds me a bit of a Red Racer IPA.. but dialed down just a few notches. I'd like to see some sort of dating system on the bottle, but this still tastes relatively fresh. I'm really exicted with all the great ipa's showing up in my area.. good stuff worth picking up.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355 mL bottle, taken from a six-pack purchased at the LCBO. No freshness information given. I was pretty stunned when I saw this at my local shop - they've gone from having only one IPA available regularly (Dead Elephant) to having at least 4 or 5 new ones in the span of a year. Not bad at all!

Pours a lovely honey-amber colour, slightly cloudy, generously topped with two fingers of frothy, long-lasting pearl white head. It dissipates slowly over the next few minutes, coating the sides of the glass in lacing and leaving a bumpy, uneven foamy cap on the surface. Certainly looks like a decent IPA, and it smells the part too - lots of fresh, fruity hop flavours - tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple and maybe a hint of pine needles are all easy to pick out of the bouquet. Not much of a malt presence.

Tasty stuff, but nothing spectacular or unique for an American IPA. A faint backbone of bready malts and caramel provides support for the ample hop flavours - coming in the aforementioned grapefruit, pineapple and orange citrus forms picked up on the nose, as well as a hint of peach or apricot. Nice finish with moderate astringency from the hops; a bit dry but with some lingering juicy fruit sweetness. On the thin side of medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a slightly slick/oily mouthfeel. Easy to drink, and pretty sessionable for the style.

This is a good IPA, but it's not an exceptional one. From what I am told, this is probably from the first bottling run, and as a result may have been sitting in a warehouse for a while. Given that notion, I'll refrain from finalizing my opinion just yet - but my current judgment is that there are other Ontario-made IPAs I'd probably pick before this.

[Updated Oct. 1 2014] - bottle from another six-pack.

Final Grade: 3.86, a respectable B+. Spearhead's Hawaiian-Style Pale Ale is a highly serviceable pale ale, but given the (relatively recent) explosion of good IPAs in this market, I can't think of any compelling reasons to pick this one specifically. Don't get me wrong - it's tasty and well-made, and the pineapple does provide a nice touch. Worth a try for any Ontario beer drinker needing their hop fix satiated, and something that I will return to again eventually.

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Hawaiian Style Pale Ale from Spearhead Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.