Hawaiian Style Pale Ale - Spearhead Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hawaiian Style Pale AleHawaiian Style Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 8.74%
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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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo.

Poured into a nonic. Hazy orange, bright, nice colour. Half inch head survives as a thick ring. Sheets o lacing.

Pine, grapefruit, mango, maybe a bit of pineapple. Sweet.

Solid APA. Nice tropical notes to justify the Hawaiian monicker, though the pineapple is a bit light. Long bitter finish, hops are citrus and pine.

Thin, zippy carb.

Quite happy with this - glad to see a new Ontario brewery take on a popular style and do it well.

Photo of BGDrock
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer Launch at Volo. Pours apricot coloured body with a small white head. Modest fruit hoppy aromas. Average mouthfeel, however fizzy carbonation. Served on the too cold side, 4 degrees Celcius. Better colder, as that yields a hoppy beer with a shot of pineapple in the finish. As it warmed I found it drier than I would like, and the pineapple only adding to the significant acidicity I experienced. Seemed a bit boozier than the 6.5% listed, maybe in the 7.5% range, which the pineapple juice acts as to give it a "fruit punch effect" of hiding the alcohol. Still very drinkable.
Had again a much later batch, 6 weeks later. Pineapple was very constrained but so was the edge. Moderated beer in all respects.Not as good as even the first batch.
I had this again mid-november at Cloak & Dagger and it was way too pineapple juice which detracted from the style. A fruit beer hopped up.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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

Photo of heebes
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at C'est What.

Pours a crisp orange amber with a thin off white head, lacing sticks at the top of the glass. Nose was very bright, lots of hop aroma - light fruit, citrus, pineapple of course. Taste was impressive and had a good balance of malt backbone to support the dose of hops. Bitter finish lingered well throughout the beer. Medium bodied all round, mouth feel was decently drinkable. Overall I was taken in with this new beer/brewery, the pineapple extract makes for a super fruity/floral smell, and the balanced taste hit the right spot. Delicious, refreshing, nice to try on tap.

Photo of DaveBar
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Enjoy!

Photo of Stocean1
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at c'est what, poured a one finger head upon a burnt orange body, decent retention with fleeting foamy lacing.

Lots of citrus in the nose, grapefruit and mango, little malt, refreshing and enticing.

Taste is an explosion of damn near perfection, blast of grapefruit and mango followed by pineapple in the after taste, really something. Quite frankly the best brew I have had for a while.

Medium bodied with little carbonation, this is a balanced bitter brew that is oh so drinkable.

They have to bottle this, a spectacular brew.

Photo of Rutager
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Grindhouse Burger Bar. Served in Spearhead tulip glass.

A - Hazy medium orange colour with one finger of bubbly off-white head.

S - Citrus, tropical fruit and a good overall bitterness. Slight caramel malt backbone present as well. Not getting the pineapple.

T - Bitter grafefruit, very faint tropical fruit and a touch of pine. Some sweet caramel in the background as well. Don't specifically get the pineapple.

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

O - I really enjoyed this one and had 3 or 4 pints over the weekend at various places. A great introduction in to the Ontario craft beer market. I look forward to their future releases.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Only, a 400ml serving in the Spearhead glass. Same price as a pint though... wonder if this is typical of this offering across establishments?

Pours a hazed apricot orange with a finger of head which recedes to a collar and leaves small patches of lacing.

Nose shows off some tropical fruits, dashes of grapefruit, floral, and a faint hint of sweet pineapple and a light caramel presence. Not as aromatic as hoped. Flavor is graced with a good dose of hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits - papaya and pineapple in particular. Definitely notice the pineapple juice giving it a sweet and slightly acidic note in the finish, kind of thins out the finish as well in my opinion. Moderate hop bite which is bold for Ontario, pretty smooth drinking, nice drier finish which I like from my IPAs, no hint of the ABV, refreshing and hoppy.

Can't help but think that with the hop profile I would prefer it without the addition of pineapple juice but they're going for different so I guess it fits. Not a perfect beer but a solid first offering that promises good things in the future, which is great for Ontario beer drinkers. Would gladly order it again.

Photo of papat444
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of spinrsx
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of liamt07
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at C'est What, into a pint glass. Have had this many times, a brief review is well overdue.

Hazy copper orange with a plain white head, leaves a ton of sticky lace with some mild retention. Nose is full of tropical fruits and citrus, mango is notable. Candied malt/sugar cookie type aromas waft from this as well. Taste has some similar characteristics in terms of the tropical fruits and citrus, with some orange creamsicle-like flavours. Sugary biscuity malts, sweet with a moderate bitterness in the finish. A bit of pine comes through as well. A chewy medium heavy body. Alcohol is slightly suggested, but this is quite dangerous in terms of how easy it is to drink. Certainly one of my favourite from the style in the province, however pints of this are quite pricey, running up to $8-9 a glass. 4/4//45/4/45

Rereview: Second time around (almost a year down the line from it's debut), this beer has become noticeably reduced in quality. Now filtered, pineapple and juicy hop notes are there in much less quantity and the mouthfeel has suffered tremendously. While still quite good, this now pales in comparison to the initial iterations.

Photo of SebD
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of mrmanning
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Gambrinus launch party. Many samples. A hazy orange with a two finger soapy white cap. Lots of sticky lace left behind after the swirl. The aromas are fruit forward, with tropical fruits leading the way, and leading to white grapefruit and tangerine with herbal/floral tones. Very pleasing and appealing. Sweet fruity malts compliment the ripe and fresh hoppy bitterness. Medium bodied, fruity, and very, very bitter, and astringent finish. Soft and creamy carbonation. One of the best in this province. The quality here is hard to match.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Quej
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a great beer. I was skeptical as to how the pineapple would blend into an IPA, but it was a match made in heaven. The beer was a hazy gold and had a fluffy white head with good staying power. The aroma was a perfect balance between the citric hoppy smells and fruitiness of the pineapple. The taste was sharp, dry, and bitter with the hops and the pineapple flavour at the forefront. It's malt character took a back seat, but complemented the beer well. It had a medium mouthfeel and light, zesty carbonation. Overall, very original and very well done. One of the best new beers I've tried in a while.

Photo of bryehn
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, bright pencil yellow colour with ample frothy white foam. The head has good retention and leaves a thick lace behind.

Very hop-forward aroma with bright floral and citrus tones, along with a sweet, syrupy note and a subtle hint of pineapple juice.

Crisp, bitter taste with a grapefruit citrus tone and a mild caramel backing. Dry, earthy finish. A bit one-noted/unbalanced.

Medium-bodied with a relatively mild carbonation level. Solid bitterness on the tongue with a slight oiliness. Aftertaste is tart, with orange peel and pineapple notes.

Another good, but not-quite-great Ontario-brewed American IPA. I was expecting more of a pineapple note, but can also appreciate its subtleness. Went well with both sushi and a steak fajita. Will visit again, but at $14 a sixer, it’ll have to serve as a rare treat. Would definitely want to try this fresh on tap or from a cask.

Photo of jrenihan
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is a dark golden/light amber colour. A small but relatively long-lasting white head is on top. Good lacing.

The beer had to warm up a bit before I got a lot of aroma, but when I did it was really nice. Quite juicy, with lots of citrus. The pineapple becomes very noticeable over time. Beer generally smells very "fresh".

Taste has a nice level of bitterness, with lots of citrus present. The pineapple is very subtle, but adds a lovely juicy flavour to the beer that is really great. I don't think I would have picked out 'pineapple juice' on my own if I had not known it was there, but when you are looking it is quite apparent. The finish is fairly bitter.

Moderate to high carbonation. Would normally be too much for me, but I find that it works in this beer. A nice medium body. Very refreshing.

Overall. a really good beer. Great start for the brewery. I have enjoyed this beer a number of times now and am always eager to have another. To me, a great example of a brewery being creative without being absurd.

Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of korguy123
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of hopsolutely
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very impressive new addition to Ontario's APA offerings.

Enjoyed in a designated tulip glass whose shape was perhaps the least pleasant part of the whole tasting. Beautiful clear, orange amber with nice head, decent lacing and enjoyable carbonation level. Mouthfeel is pleasant, without the oiliness sometimes present at this ABV.

Aroma is pure "west-coast" hop - plus the tropical notes of pineapple. The taste is fantastic, with the tropical tones well balanced against its citrus core. Highly recommend.

Enjoyed at the Woolwich Arms in Guelph. This is the first time I have seen this beer on tap outside of a beer show, and it is definitely one I will order again.

Photo of Jeffo
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
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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Hawaiian Style Pale Ale from Spearhead Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.