Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Big Wave Golden Ale - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Wave Golden AleBig Wave Golden Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

234 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 234
Hads: 1,478
Avg: 3.53
pDev: 37.11%
Wants: 46
Gots: 478 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co. visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sixpoint on 03-19-2005

Big Wave is light golden ale with a subtle fruitiness and delicate hop aroma. A smooth, easy drinking refreshing ale. The lightly roasted honey malt contributes to the golden hue of this beer and also gives a slight sweetness that is balanced out by our special blend of hops.

20 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Wave Golden Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 234 | Hads: 1,478
Photo of cherche
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is another beer I have loved, hated, liked and now think is just pretty good. Definitely a light summer type of beer. The flavor is pretty solid for such a light beer but I would suggest passing if you are not planning on being at the beach or at a BBQ in the sun and you like a little flavor to your beer. The taste to me seems like a lager with some fruitiness to it. Color is a light gold, not much of a head to it. Smell is light and fruity. If I am drinking this beer I am happy because I am on a beach in the sun :)

 526 characters

Photo of soju6
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a light golden color with a decent head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma is on the mild side with a bit of citrus, malt sweetness, grassy with a hint of tropical fruit.

T: Taste follows with citrus, some malt sweetness, tropical fruit and just a touch of honey. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

T: Light body, smooth with just enough honey to give it a bit of flair without making it too sweet.

O; Pleasant beer to relax with on a hot Summer day.

 472 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a clear, brilliant golden yellow with a white, finger width head. Decent retention, the resulting lace is thin but consistent, and displays good stick.

Smell - Citrus notes are most prevalent; lemon and a touch of orange. Pineapple. Faint bready malts play off in the background.

Taste - What's presented on the nose is reversed on the tongue. Mostly big malt notes upfront, grain and honeyed bread. Hops come in a little firmer on the back end, with citrus and a touch of grass. The finish is quick, with a touch of lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Very light in body with fizzy carbonation; seltzer water-like quality.

Overall - Fantastic smell, decent flavor, but a poor body... still, if they made this the summer release over the Wailua Wheat, I wouldn't shed a tear.

 796 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Totowa recently, having never had this before. The other offerings that I've enjoyed from Kona were quite light and that was the case here as well, even though this was better than I anticipated Since the alcohol was barely noticeable, this went down easy and smooth without much of an aftertaste or any lingering carbonation.

Nice golden pour to this with a hint of cloudiness in the hue and a frothy head the left rings of lacing along the back side of my pint glass. Some bread could be detected in the nose and there was a bit of cereal and grain in the taste on top of that. There was a bit of peach and tropical fruit under that and the mouthfeel was pretty light from start to finish. Good carbonation but not enough to lift everything up, as the flavors slowly faded away after every sip.

I only had one of these at a time but it would have been easy to down a few in one sitting given that I never tasted or felt the alcohol. While low on grain and body, there was a hint of bitterness and just enough fruit flavor and crispness to make this easily enjoyable. This would make for a great lawnmower beer when the warmer weather returns but by itself, this was quietly enjoyable.

 1,206 characters

Photo of shand
3.94/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Wave pours a bubbly golden color with a small head. The aroma is quite nice, it's got fruity hops, citrus, and a bit of grains and sweet malt. The taste brings the grainy malt up front, but it's not too sweet. The citrus and fruit hop flavors, although rather mellow, do a pretty solid job at balancing things out. The grains and a bit of citrus ride out the finish. The mouthfeel is crisp and light, and the drinkability is great. Overall, a tasty thirst quencher.

 469 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.31/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a fluted pilsener glass.

Look: Clear golden body with slowly rising bubbles. Foamy white head that leaves massive sudsy lines of lacing.

Aroma: Spicy hops that bring a woodsy cedar note, with lots of citrus in the way of lime and subtle grapefruit peel.

Taste: A little more subdued than the aroma, but the same bright citrus zest with more of an orange flavor coming through. A softer malt presence brings down the sharpness of the hops as compared to the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Clean, bright, light bodied.

Overall: Quite delicious, very refreshing with loads of citrus zest.

 589 characters

Photo of stephens101
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Didn't think Hawaii would have good beer, but they do, and this stuff is made to take you through long lazy days fucking around at the beach. This one poured a golden orange. Smelled a bit of orange peel and malts. Light bodied and drinkable yet had some tastiness so didn't become boring. Tasted of malts and maybe some slight fruitiness and hops coming through and finished smooth and satisfying.

 398 characters

Photo of ElGordo
2.98/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright golden color with a quick flourish of white head. Aroma of very light pale malt with a mild biscuity sweetness and a hint of tropical fruit. Palate is rather, um, neutral. Pale malt with a touch of sweetness and an underlying note of tropical fruit. The sweetness fades on the finish, yielding to a mildly chalky flavor and texture. Body is watery and, again, mildly chalky at the finish. You could do worse than this on a hot day, but it is pretty uninteresting.

 478 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is definitely a volume beer. The sample I poured was brought back from Hawaii, thanks to Nancy and Joe for this one.

My sample poured with absolutely no head at all. I MEAN NO HEAD AT ALL, not even at trace.

The aroma was neutral, maybe just a whiff of hops in the background.

Suprisingly, the beer was almost perfectly balanced and clear of off-flavors.

The mouthfeel was light to medium, with little carbonation.

Overall, a very drinkable beer in terms of quantity, but not enough flavor to make it interesting.

 535 characters

Photo of brdc
2.65/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From notes. On tap in Hawaii.

Poured into a pint, it is light yellow in color, and it came with a minimal head, but that could just be the pour, as this is not exactly a beer bar.
Aroma is faint, grains, some fruity notes, no vanilla as others found.
Thin, it was refreshing for the situation, but it lacks flavors in a major way, so descriptions here are limited.

 367 characters

Photo of Braz
3.21/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear vibrant gold color with a one inch white head. Head disappears rather quickly leaving a thin lace. Smells of faint floral and grapefruit notes. Taste is very delicate with a very subtle sweetness. Mild fruit/citrus flavor. I didn't pick up much hop flavor but the aroma is there. Easy drinking, reps the style well. Smooth light body.

 356 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 11-13-09
Cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Cloudy golden yellow, fair amount of carbonation, less than half of a finger of foam

S - Sweet malt smell reminds me of a citrus smell. Little hop smell

T - light bodied, malt aftertaste, not to overpowering on the malt, pretty smooth going down

M/D - To me a light bodied brew, sweet malt taste with little malt aftertaste. Finished pretty smooth though, not bad from Kona, not my favorite from Kona but for sure it's worth trying. I could enjoy a couple in one sitting.

 530 characters

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Pale yellow color. Good perfume of flowery hops. Good carbonation and retention. Taste is malty and fuity. Light body. Good carbonation.
Great drinkability.

 157 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kona Brewing Big Wave Golden Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a golden haze blend of orange and yellow.

Whiffs of light hops and ripe fruit. A rather modest nose that doesn't overpower the senses, yet very pleasant.

Fruity with hints of pear and apples. Snappy moderate hop finish. The mouthfeel is smooth with a nice body. A rather nice and enjoyable blonde ale with a pleasing drinkability level.

 441 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear and yellow golden with a white head of loose foam that fell too fast but left spots of lace. Nose is simple. Light breaddy grain with a bit of natural sweetness on it. Some ripe peach, a bit of grass and some citrus to give it pizazz. Taste follows the nose all the way. The balance is toward the malt so that is forward and firm but light and not too sweet. The ripe peach takes a back seat but it's juicy. There is a touch of bitter grass and a bit of tart citrus to give it some tang. The body is thin and the mouthfeel is watery. The carbonation was ample but it did not enliven this beer because it wasn't dry. This finishes with a very light bitter and sweet .

This was a good beer that drank pleasantly. It did not excite in any way but would be ideal for a summer beer as it is very refreshing and with the low abv this could really hit the spot on a hot day.

 881 characters

Photo of AdamBear
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-golden yellow with a slightly sticky white head

S-bitter grains and cooked vegetables. Smells pretty good actually. Strong scent. 

T-comes in with a very crisp and smooth taste of slightly bitter grains. Theres also a taste of cooked vegetables added. I don't mean that in a bad way. It's good! There's a matching after-taste. It's a solid flavor.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a slightly dry finish

O-this is a pretty decent beer. It's very mild yet the flavors are actually quite bold. I could put a lot of this down for sure, though it wouldn't be my beer of choice. It's just an interesting try really. 

 618 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.16/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Year round. The waves that roll onto Hawaiian beaches are some of the best in the world. Catch the crest of a breaking wave and ride it all the way in. Our sun-drenched big wave golden is a smooth, refreshing brew. Inspired by what makes Hawaii great. Kona's Big Wave Golden Ale is brewed in the style of an American Blonde Ale, and is the final year-round bottle release to make it to the east coast. Manufacturing date on the bottle is August 01 2012.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Kona pint glass. Served above 42º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a cream white head of a thin consistency over a pale golden-yellow body with mild carbonation presence. A slight haziness is visible from a cloud of sediment in suspension as well as the presence of occasional pulpy flesh here and there. Lacing is thin and head quality is of little fascination either. It's very predictable for a golden ale, but that doesn't mean it can't improve the way it presents itself. 3.25

(Smell) Heavy emphasis on citrus fruit, with notes of grapefruit and orange, possibly from a bright hop addition, which is notable in the aroma. Pale malts are not the forward aspect of the aroma. A very inviting and clean aroma. 4

(Taste) Sweetness is underutilized. The hop presence with citrus is very tea-like, with little malt body to balance it out. Therefore, it's a bit high on bitterness. Citrus is also disappointingly shallow, with a more musty lemongrass and pale hop character than anticipated. Flavor is a bit shallow throughout. It's not gross by any means, but the lack of a sweet profile really drags the drinkability down, and makes for a thin profile with a limited flavor. Reminds me at times of watered-down green tea. 2.75

(Mouthfeel) Carbonation is fuzzy with a touch of cream. Balance is slightly less sweet than anticipated, mild dry finish with a mild hop bitterness. Body is light for the style, light overall. Carbonation is right, but the body is very shallow and should be a notch higher to reach a desirable balance. 3

(Overall) Low on sweetness. Reminds me at times of a light ale. Quite drinkable like water and tea might be, but not very enjoyable like a more substantial beer should be. Much of the fix would be made with a fuller malt profile, although a brighter-flavored hop flavor would also have made the flavor desirable. Until then, this is merely a drinkable but not particularly enjoyable golden ale. 3

Kona Brewing Company's
Big Wave Golden Ale

 2,473 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.59/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the Kona Brewing variety pack - served in an Imperial nonic glass
Dated 19-FEB-13

A: Pours a golden straw body with magnificent clarity. Effervescent with micro bubbles that form a thick finger of sudsy white stuff. Decent hang time and some rungs of dripping lace decorate the glass.

S: Smells piney with some grapefruit zest and tangerines. I am getting a light yeast spice and a bit of tropical mangoes. No real malt sweetness coming through. Delicate aromas yet relatively fresh with American hops. Surprisingly nice.

T: Taste is very light, fruity, and tropical with a firm grassy hay note. I get some tangerine citrus, mango, and pines with a moderate amount of bitterness on the palate. There is a light sourdough bread malt base that is not really sweet at all. Alcohol not even mentionable. This almost drinks like a West Coast APA/IPA. Really not bad at all especially on a hot summer day.

M: Clean light and crisp with a nice drying quality. Finish is slightly wetter but very light and dry overall.

D: At just 4.4% this is a really nice session beer. Much hoppier than I was anticipating. It drinks more like a hoppy Pale Ale. Light crisp and refreshing warm weather brew. Not your typical Blonde and I would say my favorite of the pack.

 1,273 characters

Photo of tai4ji2x
2.92/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

imported to china by ACBP www.realbeer.com.cn

stamped on neck with 1/18/2008. importer's label also has bottling date

poured into tulip

deep golden honey color with orange and copper hues. relatively clear, though the second half of the bottle brings some haze and yeast sediment. some head, but quickly fades to a few wisps and a ring. no lacing.

faint aroma of citrus peel, with malt note underneath. some other fruity nuances (peach), then some phenols. whiff of grassy hop. hint of bread and yeast.

taste is too dominated by medicinal phenols, throughout and especially in the finish. underneath, some malt and fruity subtleties, plus a snappy hop bitterness, but it all gets lost and distracted by the medicinal character.

not too thin. moderate carbonation.

that's three strikes for kona. sorry to say. although i guess maybe i'll give them another chance, since american blonde ale is such a crap style anyway.

 924 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: slight haze; light gold in color; 1 finger white head that receded to a wispy cap; no lacing;

S: pineapple, grapefruit, mango; no malt character evident;

T: graininess throughout; some tropical fruit from mid-palate to the finish; moderate bitterness at the end;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation;

O: hoppier than it should be for the style;

 370 characters

Photo of chugalug06
2.37/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Crisp, clean, yellow brew with white thick foamy head. Good lacing.

Papery, wet cardboard, bland.

Thin, wet, awkward dryness, missing much flavor from hops. Papery. Darn near water. Medium carbonation, substantial carbonation helps out the lack of flavors. Too wet and watery, not well balanced or complemented.

Initial drainpour, but then I wanted a crisp clean-ish brew. Cant recommend, but fits the summer profile. Kona can do better, a total miss.

 457 characters

Photo of EagleTalon
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

According to the label, it may have been brewed in any of five places. the closest is Memphis TN, so I will assume that is where this one was made.

Pours out to a permanent white head and minimal lacing. Bright golden color. Aroma is biscuity and citrusy with a bit of tropical fruit esters likely from the yeast. Hop aromas are grapefruit, grass and floral. Flavor is clean and refreshing with sweet pale malts and floral/fruity hops balancing perfectly with a crisp, dry finish. Mouthfeel is excellent for style. Damn good blonde.

 534 characters

Photo of delta490
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear medium gold with a thin fizzy white head. Light retention yields tight soapy lacing. The aroma is very mild with some grain and some sweetness. The taste is OK. Nothing really interesting or distinctive going on. Actually, not much of anything going on beyond a little grain. the body is very thin and pretty heavily carbonated.

 342 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/25/13 and poured 2/12/14.

Appearance: First, I like the shape of the bottle and custom design. Pours clear, pale yellow. Alright lacing. Tiny head.

Smell: Pleasant. Little sweet. A light hop aroma. Some malt. A bit grainy. Basic, but a solid smell. The hoppy note was a nice little surprise.

Taste/feel: Good brew. Thin feel with moderate carbonation. Good drinkability at only 4.4%. Solid hop flavor without a lot of bitterness. Slight malt sweetness at the end. A good amount of grain Simple, but done very well.

A definite summer, or to be more precise, beach beer. Light, refreshing, nice bit of hops, highly sessionable ABV... could have been a very "eh" beer, but it's actually very solid for the style. Not super interesting, but tasty enough. Would definitely have this one again, especially in the heat when I want something light. My first (and certainly not last) beer from Kona. Mahalo!

 913 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While watching the sunset and having dinner here in Kauai, this Golden Ale tasted fantastic.

First when I got it at my table, the color was of a hazy golden yellow with very little foam.

The smell of fruit,spice and citrus along with a hint of malt, filled the nose with a very plesant aroma the whole time. There was times that everytime I would take a sniff or a sip the flavor just kept me intrigued.

The taste of all the above just kept coming back. I really like this Golden Ale from Kona Brewing. I've had it in bottle and now in draft and I'll tell you that their is a difference in flavor and aroma between the two. I would rate the draft Golden Ale far above the bottle.

 683 characters

Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 234 ratings.