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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: 477 | 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 BarmatChaser
2.76/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a transparent gold color with a quickly disappearing head. Slightly flat with a watery feel. Light bodied with some noticeable hops, but not enough to carry the beer and little to back them up. This is a small step up from their forgettable lager, but not worth the price.

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Photo of PBIU
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of hophugger
3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, nice color, head, lacing, blah blah blah. Let's get to the thick of things. There is something I like very much about this beer. This pale ale has a mild aroma which consists of hops, malt and some citrus. The aroma is pleasant. The taste, on the other hand is my favorite. Please do not judge me, but the taste is like a combination of hops, lemony citrus and some good skunk weed from the west coast(no really!!). This pale ale goes above and beyond and balances the citrus and hops so well. This beer is refreshing, feels good on the palate, and leaves you wanting more and more. Well Done, KONA !!!!!!!

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Photo of Taybeh
3.16/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle, bottled in early September, into a willi becher

A: pale shiny gold, a little haze, big head
S: Pretty sweet, grainy, with some honey, some floral notes, and some citrus
T: Light, clean, grains, some muted passion fruit, a little bit floral, and some honey and crackery malt on the end. Okay, but it doesn't really come together in a way that I find all that pleasing.
M: thin, watery, medium carbonation

Overall: Eh. Better than most macros, but not by much.

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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.

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Photo of FLima
3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden orange color with practically no head.
Nice tropical fruits aroma with predominant notes of pineapple, passion fruit and mango.
Likewise, fruity flavor with notes of honey, papaya, orange citrusy, passion fruit and melon. Dry aftertaste with a low to medium bitterness. Hops are very present in flavor and aroma, similar to an APA, but not much for bitterness.
Light body with perfect carbonation.
Positive surprise, I was expecting a boring beer. This is a flavorful beer with lots of tropical fruits. Assertive, clean and utterly pleasant. If it was easy to find I would always have this in my fridge to chill out.
Ap.3 Ar.4 Sab.3,75 Sens.4 Cj.3,75

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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.

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Photo of McStagger
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%

A: Pours golden. Finger of bleached white head. Fairly rapid dissipation. Moderate to minimal lacing. Carbonation is moderate, with a fair amount of bubbles rising rapdily to form the head.

S: Malt dominant, with notes of grain and honey. Not incredibly aromatic. Getting a whiff of almost cereal like grain. Hops are fairly muted, but I do detect some mild fruitiness. Maybe a bit of overripe stone fruit or tropical fruit. However, this is hard to detect, as the smell is fairly weak.

T: Grainy and a bit gritty up front. Not getting much more than that. Take on a definitive fruity edge in the finish, but again, it's muted. Aftertaste carries some of this fruitiness, but it picks up this weird soda cracker like quality that isn't particularly pleasent. Very dry.

M: Fairly thin in the mouth. Not particularly carbonated, this one comes across as a bit watery.

O: Not a stellar beer. Not even a good one, really. Just mediocre.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.31/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Very pleasant. Appearance is a dark yellow/orange with a white head. The smell was very subtle although there were some hop notes. The taste was very crisp and refreshing with some grapefruit from the hops but overall very mellow. The mouthfeel was nice and light. A nice easy summer beer.

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Photo of SteveJeremy
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Keginator70
2.38/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Let's pop the top and pow- a whiff off a pine needles in a week old laundry basket that neutralizes the appearance of a thick head, lacing that sticks to the glass and rising bubbles.

The aroma combined with the light honey, hint of tea and salt on the tongue doesn't do it for me. However it does finish clean. Tried one slightly warmer and another colder; sadly it does not get any better. Food pairing- I do think this might work in a steak marinade.

Maybe coming from half way across the globe adversely changed the beer. That being said I find it overhyped and not all that. Not recommended.

Honestly if this style is considered to be influential introducing people to craft beers, I'll go all the way over and say I'd prefer a passable AAL or Euro lager almost every time.

I feel so dirty.

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Photo of JohnLasher92
3.81/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Started off with the beer in the bottle. No fancy glass. The bottle is aesthetically pleasing. Initial taste is light and flavorful. Smooth, but nice amount of carbonation. Alcohol content is on the lower side - allows you to enjoy the taste a bit more. Hint of sweet, and hint of hops. A good summer time beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured with, of course, a golden color that had a general thinness about it. The head was fizzy and thin but it held a nice bit of lacing.

The nose is a light herbal hop of pine and lupilin. Not much else comes out.

The flavor is a light and refreshing Pilsner malt, with a cracker, dough and breadiness. The hops are mostly pine but it has a touch of lemon.

The feel is very light but never watery, refreshing and quenchable.

I actually drank this at home but would have loved to have had it at the beach as it does a good job of giving out enough flavor but holding that thirst quenching personality.

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Photo of nicholas2121
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big Wave Golden Ale brewed by Kona Brewing Co with an ABV of 4.4% This brew pours out a nice amber color with a nice thick white head. The smell is bitter with some grains. Nothing special about the smell of this brew. The taste is different- it is spicy but smooth. I'm not really picking up on the bitterness in this brew. There is a nice balance to this brew. The end to this brew is clean with a nice finish. There is nothing overpowering in this brew. Mouthfeel is nice. Kona Brewing Co. did a nice job with this one. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4.25 out 5.
I would get this brew again.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.96/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BOD 4/11/14. Pours a clear amber that is slightly beyond golden with a faint hint of red. Normal head with weak lacing retention. Excellent nose of tropical hops (mango, passion fruit) over a light biscuit sweetness. Almost light medium bodied with an above normal carbonation level that effervesces nicely on the finish. The taste profile is well balanced between hop flavor and sweetness. It is more spicy than tropically oriented, which is surprising based upon the hop bill and nose, over a nice biscuit sweetness background. The finish is crisp and effervesces into a tropical peppery note.

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Photo of Caveworm
3.24/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Co. A fitting choice to yet another day of asphyxiating humidity here in Ohio. Poured from the bottle into a glass, this brew has no head, barely any lacing, and a clear golden body.

I smell malts with perhaps a sweeter tropical aroma as well. Not roasted malts either, very lively. All in all, it smells like it will be a refreshing brew.

The taste has also got a slightly sweeter tropical hint going on here. Just VERY slightly. Other tastes include a lighter malt complex and virtually no hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Sure hits the spot on a hazy scorcher like today. Smooth and clean.

Overall a solid 3.25 for Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Co. Its very light and refreshing. Just a little TOO light, or I would've ranked it higher. But in summation a very good quencher. Not life changing, just above decent. I may buy this brew again

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Photo of trevorpost
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

A: Pours clear golden; small white head of about a finger diminishes rapidly

S: Smells sweet. Hints of citrus, pineapple and mango from the hops. Relatively promising

T: Hint of hop bitterness. A bit of citrus but not a ton of flavor from the hops. Way too sweet for a beer of this sort. A bit of butterscotch as well (diacetyl?) Seems almost under-attenuated. Not great.

M: Sweetness leads to this being a bit heavier tasting than anticipated at 4.4%.

O: A highly flawed, but serviceable session beer. Sweetness gets a bit grating and the flavor of the hops doesn't shine as much as the aroma would suggest but better than some similarly styled brews, but not by much.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77. This is not a bad way to begin the day - with a Blonde!

From the bottle: "Since 1994, Kona Brewing Co. has been committed to making handcrafted ales and lagers of uncompromised quality."; "We invite you to visit our brewery and pubs whenever you visit Hawaii. Mahalo!"; "Fresh, Responsible, Always Aloha"; "Catch a Wave! 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 Ale is a smooth, refreshing brew, inspired by what makes Hawaii great."; "Liquid Aloha".

The Blonde and I were both beginning to sweat in anticipation, or maybe it was just attributable to the heat and humidity, but I was quick with the pour. The pseudo-cascade died down, creating two fingers of rocky, bone-white head that began to fall, leaving nice lacing in its wake. The color was a bright, sunshine-yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4), like liquid sunshine in my glass! This would be far more heartening on a dreary winter day, but it was already hot and humid here in my kitchen. Nose was very fruity - peaches, mangoes, papaya, guava, even coconut. Aloha, honey! Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was entirely fruity, like Juicyfruit chewing gum or a roll of Tropical Fruit Life Savers. My my. I stand behind all of the fruits that I mentioned on the nose with the exception of coconut. I may have been hallucinating on that one. Finish was semi-sweet, not quite semi-dry, but quite refreshing on this occasion.

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Photo of PvtSnowball
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at one of the local grocery stores.

A: Pale, translucent gold with moderate head and poor retention.

S: Hop forward with some citrus. Slightly floral.

T: Noticeable sweetness. A decent blend of malt and hop.

M: Very crisp. Light and refreshing.

O: A decent beer. It doesn't look all that great, but improves from there.

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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;

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This golden ale is my least favorite of the kona brews. Going inot this I am not a fan of golden ale. The pale, pitiful yellow color reminds me of budweiser. Luckily, the beers smells much better. Once I take a swig I am again reassured that this is much more than a cheap domestic. Hints of citrus in an otherwise bland unsurprising swig. I like it though its somewhat refreshing. overall I rate this beer 3.00 okay. I would not recommend this to a friend however I would recommend this if your other options are unfavorable or unknown. Try it at least once, right?

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a clear golden color. The head is a finger high and white in shade. Very bubbly in texture, it doesn't have the best retention. A nice ring of lacing sticks to the glass, though.

S: There are some subtle tropical notes I'm really digging. Lychee, mango, melon, and papaya come through nicely, with lesser notes of pine and mint. Crackery malts also come through.

T: The malts come through to start - very much like white bread, in a way. It finishes more interestingly, with a combination of tropical hops (and yes, there's a subtle juiciness to it), table sugar, and cream. The main flaw with this is that it tastes rather 'restrained'. Still, it doesn't do anything wrong, either.

M: Really refreshing and light in body. The crisp bite makes it go down spectacularly on a hot day. Maybe it could be drier, but who cares. Just fizzy enough, too.

O: I don't think it's as interesting as it could be - typical for a Kona beer, its trump card is how light and refreshing it is. Flavor-wise, it could have accomplished more, especially considering it uses Galaxy and Citra (two of my favorites). This will definitely make my rotation for hot weather duty, though.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.67/5  rDev +4%
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%

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Photo of hreb
2.93/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours pale golden in color with a medium white head and is almost but not quite crystal clear. Pleasant, mild, floral hop aroma. Flavor is in line, mild and neutral. Somewhat fizzy, but drinkable. Slightly nutty grain flavor pleasantly complemented by tropical fruit hop flavors. This beer mostly succeeds in being inoffensive and drinkable. The exception, of course, is that it's really too boring to be a session ale.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Golden with a thin white head.

Smell: Hops with a light citrus and wheat smell.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of wheat with hops and light citrus after taste.

Overall: Good beer to go with my fried seafood.

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