1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hawaiian Style Pale Ale - Spearhead Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hawaiian Style Pale AleHawaiian Style Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

92 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | 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:
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

(Beer added by: StephenRich on 05-28-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

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

11-07-2012 01:53:45 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of cfalovo97

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -22.9%

11-06-2012 20:27:04 | More by cfalovo97
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

10-21-2012 16:43:09 | More by biegaman
Photo of Cardmarauder


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

10-20-2012 14:46:09 | More by Cardmarauder
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

10-09-2012 18:15:42 | More by wordemupg
Photo of Dalia


3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

10-07-2012 22:46:57 | More by Dalia
Photo of show6397

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

10-05-2012 19:37:38 | More by show6397
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

09-29-2012 02:49:25 | More by andrenaline
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%

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.

09-22-2012 01:26:20 | More by papat444
Photo of Molson2000

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

09-21-2012 22:37:48 | More by Molson2000
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -8%

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.

09-05-2012 23:48:31 | More by tbeckett
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

09-05-2012 18:56:08 | More by SebD
Photo of KrisDLSmith

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

09-04-2012 03:04:23 | More by KrisDLSmith
Photo of Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

(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.

08-21-2012 01:33:24 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of beerhunter13

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

08-17-2012 11:04:59 | More by beerhunter13
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +10%

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.

08-13-2012 00:30:08 | More by mick303
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

08-12-2012 01:28:00 | More by korguy123
Photo of BGDrock

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

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

08-12-2012 00:29:00 | More by BGDrock
Photo of kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

08-04-2012 18:12:36 | More by kjyost
Photo of irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2.8%

08-01-2012 16:34:31 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +1%

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.

07-28-2012 00:06:30 | More by spinrsx
Photo of thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -1%

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.

Final Grade: 3.85, a respectable B+. Sometimes it's hard to live up to the hype. Spearhead's Hawaiian-Style Pale Ale is a perfectly serviceable IPA, 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, but in general I'd probably prefer Mad Tom, Smashbomb or even Hoptical Illusion (maybe this calls for a blind tasting). Worth a try for any Ontario beer drinker needing their hop fix satiated, and something that I'd happily drink again, even if retrying it isn't exactly a priority.

07-26-2012 00:08:09 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

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.

07-24-2012 17:02:36 | More by bryehn
Photo of Leafsj

4/5  rDev +2.8%

07-24-2012 00:58:09 | More by Leafsj
Photo of mmurphy525

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

07-15-2012 19:04:55 | More by mmurphy525
Hawaiian Style Pale Ale from Spearhead Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.