Big Wave Golden Ale - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Wave Golden AleBig Wave Golden Ale

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BA SCORE
81
good

217 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 217
Hads: 1,385
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 38
Gots: 404 | FT: 1
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
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Reviews: 217 | Hads: 1,385
Photo of Cozuma
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Light yellow and slightly hazy with a white cap that starts about a half inch with a vigorous pour and fades to an eighth inch. Big on floral and tropical fruit notes on the nose very light bittering, reminds me a of hopped up version of a wheat beer. Very sessionable would be great to have in a cooler on the beach in Kaua'i soaking up some rays. Pick one up if you're looking to add some tropical feel to the next time you lounge in your hammock. (449 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is surprisingly hoppy, some malts as well. Taste is a good balance of malts and hops, drinks more like a pale ale than a blonde, pretty tasty and well hopped for the style. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a refreshing and solid beer. (331 characters)

Photo of GregBlatz
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Golden, small white head. Clear but with a tiny bit of haze.

S - Sweet grain and lemon.

T - Big hop taste. Dragonfruit or mango. Interesting hop flavor that I can't put my finger on. It is a welcome hop aggressiveness that I was not expecting.

M - Somewhat thin as expected for the stye. Medium carbonation.

O - Wow, now this could be very refreshing on a hot day but you still get some hop flavor. I would like to buy this in 6 packs if available in OH. (462 characters)

Photo of jjamadorphd
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Kona Brewing - Like I've written before, I really want to like this brewery, and the latest beers I'm trying are starting to prove me right. This offering, Big Wave, does a pretty decent job. Out of the bottle, it's none too impressive - your normal yellow, run-of-the-mill beer color - not much head, but surprisingly it has good lacing. The odor is absolutely wonderful, fresh and citrusy. Mouthfeel would be outstanding to me if it weren't so carbonated - it just takes away from the feel for me. Taste-wise, I liked it. The brew was bold, fresh, I could taste the citrus and it mixed well with the hops. Unfortunately, there was just something there - I just couldn't grade it outstanding. Overall, it's a good beer, I definitely enjoyed the two I just had... (763 characters)

Photo of magnj
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my mind notes. I asked if it was an IPA, waitress said yes...she was obviously wrong.

A - Light golden body, not terribly clear, low head retention and lacing.

S - Really mild aroma, pretty neutral but tilted toward malt. Reading the ingredients now, I would say the honey is detectable. Hops are low as per style, however at the time I was surprised.

T - Again a pretty neutral body, hops were detectable but grassy. Body was somewhat bready, grainy and a little sweet.

M/D - Light body despite the honey or maybe because of the honey. Easy to drink, pretty tasty. Obviously brewed to appease the non beeradvocate tourists who want a taste of the local brew, not a bad thing, not a bad beer. (701 characters)

Photo of PBIU
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden straw color. Creamy fluffy white head. Right on point for the style.

Smell is not too strong, passion fruit and cereal grain.

Taste is nice on this one. Golden Ale's for me either go herbal or fruity. I think of the dividing line beers for that discussion to be Summer Love by Victory and River Ale/Twilight Ale by Deschutes. Summer Love being herbal and Deschutes being more fruity. Kona leans more towards the fruity side, which I happen to like more.

Mouth feel is light which for a 4.4% is to be expected.

Overall one of my favorite Golden Ales. Not the best I have tasted but in the top 5. Great entry level craft beer for beginners as well. (668 characters)

Photo of Retroman40
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Golden yellow color with a loose but very persistent head.

S - Citrus hops with some floral background.

T - Very pronounced citrus hops with a sweet finish.

M - Rich and creamy with good carbonation.

O - A very pleasant surprise. Really good flavor for a fairly low ABV beer. Will definitely try to get more for additional "testing". (383 characters)

Photo of hustlesworth
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- slightly hazed golden color with a thick whitehead. The foam shrinks down at a medium pace... Leaving some spots and swirls of lacing.

S- nicely hoppy and almost pilsner-like, but with more of an American west coast hop attitude. Very floral and brightly citrusy with notes of lemon, lilies, pineapple and cut grass. Pale malt background is barely crackerish and the overall aroma is mild with hops in the forefront.

T- interesting balance here.. Bitterness is low but hop flavor is high, seemingly due to the timid subtlety of the malt used. It provides almost no flavor, maybe some bready cracker or cooked flour, but for such a light beer I guess it works. Citrusy and almost tart hop flavor catches the big wave with what could be perceived as a tropical character. Lemon, pineapple and grass, apple skin and white grape. Maybe some star fruit and unripe guava idk. Finishes super dry with lingering tart fruitiness.

MF- light bodied and refreshing. Insanely dry and clean enhanced by zippy, well rounded carbonation.

D- not so bad, if you're a fan of the style. This one really falls somewhere in between a pils and a kolsch as it totally has traits of both. Malt seems to provide nothing but structure which is odd, but the hops are nice enough so yeah like hang ten bro. (1,288 characters)

Photo of SkunkWorks
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow color, light aroma, reasonably carbed, and overall generally seems like a BMC with a little extra flavor. Its fairly boring to be honest, but that's the style. Worth drinking if you're looking for something light and has a lot of flavor considering that its a blonde. (281 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with as a really nice clean and clear looking yellowish gold. The head is white a fizzy looking. The retention and lacing are minimal. The smell of the beer has a grainy malt sweetness that it relatively inviting. Some honey-like aromas are coming in there as well. The taste of the beer has the same type of sweetness with a bit of a corn-like flavor. There is minimal bitterness throughout. The mouthfeel of the beer is light bodied, nicely carbonated and slightly creamy. Overall this beer is very drinkable and refreshing too. (546 characters)

Photo of pkalix
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

straw color pour. hope that isnt a bad sign. 4.4% that is a bad sign.... no head to speak of.
smell is pine-y, floral, grapefruit.
taste is . . . . pine-y, floral, grapefruit. eh, nothing special. drinkable, i guess. wouldnt be interested in having more than two of these in a row. maybe 1 and a half.
mouthfeel.... is good.
overall, not my style. it's a hop-py version of a landshark. not much more to say than that. this was beer #6 to fill out my mix-a-six at whole foods this afternoon... i think i had to use the restroom or something and didnt put a whole lot of presence into the decision... but that's why i have the side of Woodford Reserve bourbon. and the LAkers game.... (682 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a conical pint glass

A - It is straw colored with a chill haze to it. I got a fleeting off-white head that settled to a skim.

S - The smell is floral and fruity with a hint of caramel malt.

T - The taste has the floral hops aspect. That is the main flavor. It's like drinking potpourri.

M - Moderate to medium

O - It is actually better than I anticipated. My friend a macro drinker loved it when he had it in Hawaii. I bought a sixer for him and snuck (sneaked) one. I was not in a hurry to try any Kona beers, but this one was decent enough to make me want to try some others. (609 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Riding the wave.

It looks : 1 finger of creamy bubbly head, white. Body is very true to the name, golden in color, and mostly transparent

It smells : citrus hop out front, with rice, ritz cracker, and wet flowers.

It tastes : very delectable malt taste out front, followed by an offensive punch of hop, which thankfully subsided quickly, and then ends with a golden baked bread flavor. I understand the hop must balance the malts, but the way the stenchy hop comes in really screws the pooch. Ends slightly grassy.

Mouthfeel : creamy, light bodied, ends semi-dry.

Overall : it's a good ale, and would be a superior one if it weren't for the rush of garbage hop that comes in halfway through the taste. That being said, I'd have it again, and share it with friends. It is one of the best golden ales I've had, and is satisfying and smooth. (843 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-golden color with a small white head
S-hoppy smell with a citrus grapefruit smell
T-lighter hop taste than the smell, and a grapefruit aftertaste that seems to stay with you
M-medium body and medium carbonation
O-the smell and the taste are the same, and it turned out to be a crisp clean beer. (296 characters)

Photo of Tonedef
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice golden color with good amount of head and some lacing going down..smells like honey malty goodness with a slight touch of hops..taste follows the nose..malty smooth and a touch of hops..a good tasting enjoyable beer..a solid B (231 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 10:41-MAR 14 14. Sampled on May 1, 2014.

The pour is golden yellow with a white fizzy head that settles back quickly. Excellent clarity.

Blondes can be rather bland but there is a likable grainy malt character playing up on the nose with a clean, crisp hop balance mixed in. Feels inviting.

Medium and smooth body.

Light grainy and toasted malty taste up front and then the grassy hops come in with a bit of a bitter kick at the finish. Neatly balanced. It went down quick and smooth. (522 characters)

Photo of SteveJeremy
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It must be my birthday - was gifted Big Wave Golden Ale by my father, who got it for free at the store he works at and loathes craft beer. His loss; I embrace all beers. Let's see how this one pleases.

Appearance - Dark brown/yellow, with a pure white head on its top. Very appealing and promising.

Smell - heavy on the aromatic hops, with grapefruit coming through mostly in the nose. I really dig it.

Taste - Not too fruity, not too bitter - it's thoroughly pleasant (I know I say it often), with a mildly sharp, fruity taste coming through before descending into a dryer, more of a lager-like finish (well aware it's an ale).

Mouthfeel - As always, not much different to say that wasn't noted in the taste. Mildly fruity and bitter to create a flavorful little ale. A fun beer to drink; reminds me of Horny Blonde Watermelon Wheat.

Like Watermelon Wheat, this beer is extremely underrated. Sad Landshark Lager and other mediocre summer offerings get more recognition than this subtle offering. (1,001 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/14/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light bits of foamy lacing cling down the glass. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, pineapple, tangerine, floral, grass, pine, cracker, light bread, light honey, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with moderate malt presence; and solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange zest, pineapple, floral, grass, toast, bread, cracker, light honey, and floral earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pineapple, toast, bread, cracker, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Nice and pleasant flavor profile with very balanced hop/malt flavors; with a solid amount of robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish as expected of 4.4%. Overall this is a nice blond ale. Solid amount of robustness with a nice balanced hop/malt flavor profile; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering. (1,300 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #68 (Spetember 2012):

LOOK: Pale gold, massive white foam head.

SMELL: Fruity, grain, honey

TASTE: Smooth, light-ish body, light sweetness, cereal grains, fruity, mildly tropical, toasty, honey finish

If the average non-beer geek drinker were to close their eyes and imagine what beer might taste in Hawaii, they might expect to taste something like this beer; a light ale with seemingly tropical fruity notes. Decent and drinkable.

STYLE: American Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.4%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round (532 characters)

Photo of therica
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found on-tap at LuLu's Surf Club in Waikiki (see my separate review for that establishment which I added). I was with my sons, we had 3 on-tap Hawaii beers brought to us (Fire Rock Pale Ale, Kona Big Wave Ale and Longboard Lager). We each seemed to prefer a different one-- my older son preferred this one, and my least-choice. I had it again on-tap later at another establishment, and I liked it better that time.

A= modest head that dissipated quickly, lighter pale-golden with a slight bit of a cloudy haze.

S= light honey-malt nose with something like candy-apple.

T= modest hops-bite and the same honey-malt taste with some candy-apple. Slight smoky taste.

M= fine, nothing obtrusive unless you just plain don't like a slight hops-bite.

D= very drinkable if you like the first one. (791 characters)

Photo of BigBrewStu
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light carbonation--which I like on a hot summer day--and a nice blonde color. It has a crisp and refreshing flavor. It tastes like a pretty good golden beer and it is worth trying. It is too light for me to enjoy on a regular basis--almost no alcohol. (251 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had the Kona Big Wave on tap at Salt Life Grille in Jackson Beach. This is a great updated take on seafood shack. Check it out!

Served in a standard pint glass, the beer is a chill hazed gold with a skim of white foam.

There are apricots and grains in the nose. Blind folded I would have guessed Magic Hat #9.

Taste also leads with apricot. There is a nice floral undertone and some caramel malt. Everything hung together well with this beer.

Mouth is well calibrated for a hot weather beer.

Change of pace beer for sure. But I ended up drinking four over the course of a leisurely two hour eating and drinking session. (627 characters)

Photo of confer
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold in color with a white head that disappears quickly.
The dominant smell is vanilla, couldn't figure that out.
This turned out to be a very plain malt dominant ale. A little watery in the feel and definitely not Kona's best offering, but for drinking in an open air bar somewhere in the islands it works pretty good. (319 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
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 rjs246
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer nerds will take this the wrong way but this is like a Miller Lite that has way more hope on the nose. You smell it right away and it's excellent. Then the taste is crisp but very mild. I can see myself drinking 12 of these but would never confuse it with the world's greatest beer. (290 characters)

Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.