Big Island Shandy | Tonka Beer Company

12 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Tonka Beer Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Chaz on 09-14-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by jjanega08:
Photo of jjanega08
3.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

No freshness dating but bottle of can is stamped 13 185 12 whatever that means

A= Pours a bright hazy golden sunshine color with a thin head that rises to a half finger and falls back down to a ring around the glass at an average pace. No lacing is left behind.

S= The smell of lemons comes from the glass quite aggressively even from a few feet away. Upon further investigation I get a nice light "beer" smell from it. Typical light grains like you would expect from a cheap beer.

T= The taste isn't as bad as I thought it may be. Light lemony citrus notes as well as some simple light beer. There is still an overbearing sweetness to this beer that I got from the IPA as well. It's not as bad here but it's still weird.

M= Bright active carbonation.

O= This beer is much much better than the IPA but it still isn't quite worthy of a second purchase from me. As big of an abomination as the IPA was I wrote this brewery off for now but ended up getting this from a mystery grab box kinda thing. Not a total bust.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of ebenicr
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of sparx1100
2.75/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of JackieTH
3.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Review from tasting notes. Poured from a can, light color with an open foam that wasn't persistent. Smells lightly lemon, lemon grass would be a fancy term and stretching it, with no real malt presence. Taste was almost entirely reminescent of very watery, sugar-free lemonade. Not any malt presence. This is a one dimensional borderline non-beer. I did note that it was thirst quenching but even on sale at my local store, way too pricy at that task.

 451 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.43/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You know this isn't all that bad. It is a solid ale, that with the initial aroma I took as a lager with a slightly grainy and doughy aroma with a slight yeast presence. Short lived head caps a cloudy yellow body. Light, but solid malt flavors and a soft fruit presence that is never too sweet (in fact, not that sweet at all) or too syrupy. It blends pretty well. There is a yeasty character that blends in a manner that makes me imagine belgian ales. Holds some body for a lighter ale and drinks easily for the summer. Working quite well after mowing the lawn.

 561 characters

Photo of jimmah120
3.54/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

16oz can with no date. sold in a 4-pack for around $9. review from notes.

This would make a great party beer. Light wheat beer and lemon juice make for a great drink on a hot summer's day. The feel can be a bit astringent, but otherwise it is a great shandy. The big problem with this brew is the expensive price. It's tough to support local breweries on a bare bones budget.

If this was the price of liney's, it would be a staple of my fridge. As it is, it's basically a one-buy for me.

 490 characters

Photo of Hopstout
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of liesea
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: great golden yellow with quite a bit of haze. Thick white head that dissipates quickly.

smell: very fruity, almost no malt fragrance. Lots of apricot, orange and lemon with no hop aroma, which is expected with a shandy. Smells very good but almost on the verge of wine cooler instead of beer.

taste: Not a ton of taste besides the fruit intense fruitiness. Little to no malt flavors. Again a lot of apricot flavor and lemon . A little too fruity for me but It would definitely be great on a hot summer day. Very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Sort of thick, but nothing like a porter. You can tell there is wheat in the beer. Coats your mouth nicely and keeps you wanting more.

Overall: Great beer for relaxing on a hot summer day. I wouldn't hesitate buying this beer for a vacation that I would just be sitting an enjoying the sun. I tried this beer during the middle of a Minnesota so it didn't really hit the spot, but it has potential. A little too fruity for me and is on the verge of a wine cooler. It reminds me of a lot of Pyramid's apricot ale.

 1,064 characters

Photo of ChopsMeister
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of bscalt
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Chaz
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy-golden in color -quite hazy in fact*- topped with a nice, two-fingered frothy off-white head. Nice lacing.

Nose is lemony and vegetal, but also with a hint of pale and perhaps specialty malts. I had expected a "Lemon Pledge" / 'soapy' and artificially-fruity beer at first, and some fruit beers (and especially such beers from big, contract-breweries) can be this way, but this one is practically subtle... lemon and almost a bit of tangy raspberry here in the nose...

Lightly-sweet and fruity/vegetal/oily on the first sip, and slightly tangy as well. Seems very well balanced -- seems altogether pleasant!

The lemon (extract?) seems genuine, and is barely there against the pale and (wheat) malt background, just floating atop it. The aroma carries-through, and the subtler, berry-like notes emerge in the aromatic portion of the palate.

5% isn't big, but somehow this feels "weightier"; perhaps it's due to the easy-drinking nature of this brand which is fairly true-to-style.

Sweetness emerges about half-way through the drink, not cloying, but enough to balance any tangy and sour aspects present here, most of which are in the form of a lemon-rind character -- quite nice, actually.

Seems heavier-bodied than it should be, but maybe that's to its advantage due to its easy-drinking nature: it'd be a cinch to pound a 4-pack of these!

Altogether it's not "GREAT!", but it's not bad, either. I can see myself enjoying a few next summer as I tube down the river and hit the hiking/biking trails.

Note: My significant other is picky, but she really likes this one, so it's been a summertime staple. And while it's not a very "DUDE!" thing to do, I might just stash a few of these in my 'Emergency 'Fridge' (e.g. dankest part of the cellar) for when I want one, and also to compare with other shandies -- as a style, it's really catching on.

*Haze is more prominent than I remembered from my first few go-rounds. It's not unpleasant, but makes me think there's some pale wheat malt in here give it that character, and this actually brings this beer around to its above average rating.

 2,125 characters

Big Island Shandy from Tonka Beer Company
3.28 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.
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