Mehana Mauna Kea Pale Ale | Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company

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Mehana Mauna Kea Pale AleMehana Mauna Kea Pale Ale
70 Ratings
Mehana Mauna Kea Pale AleMehana Mauna Kea Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company
Hawaii, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-21-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 30
Reviews by SargeC:
Photo of SargeC
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of steve86
4.2/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caramel malt and "C" hops dominate the aroma. Slight pear in the background. Very nice.

Poured a nice amber/light copper. Rich off-white head persisted and left legs on the glass.

Bittersweet caramel malt.with a nice hoppy bitterness. I got more of an English hop flavor than a "c" hop flavor, but it was very good. Clean malty finish, with plenty enough bitterness to balance. Great tasting beer.

I like this one a lot, and have already gone back for more.

 460 characters

Photo of Beer21
2/5  rDev -40.3%

Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 16oz American pint at the Waikiki Yard House.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber colour, with one finger of chunky and foamy ecru head, which leaves a limestone wall of lace around the glass as it gradually slinks away.

It smells of mild bready caramel malt, and soft leafy, earthy hops . The taste is zingy grassy, weedy hops, pale doughy malt, and a bit of low-key menthol warming.

The bubbles are quite sedate in their workaday frothiness, the body a somewhat clingy middleweight, and nonetheless pretty smooth. It finishes mostly sweet and malty, but with an astringent hoppy twinge running through it.

A none too shabby pale ale, easy to drink, unapologetically unchallenging, and I'll stop right there.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of cliff1066
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of Hardcore
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of bditty187
3.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, peachy-coppery in hue, there is a tickle of orange in the mix; the color composite of the liquid is typical for the style. The head was very loud and active; it looked like and acted like a cola. At the apex the bubbles reached a mere sliver of a finger and then they quickly sputtered to a thin collar and then nothing. Thus, the head retention wasn’t very impressive and neither was the subsequent lacing, or lack thereof. Overall, the appearance of this beer is mundane.

The nose clearly says, “APA.” I am impressed. I honestly wasn’t expecting such an intoxicating nose, it is a shame the actually potency wasn’t louder because this beer is plenty articulate. Throughout the bouquet there are juicy hops that manifest themselves in the form of citrus zest, grapefruit flesh, and there is even a smattering of pine, some wildflowers, and honey. The ale-fruitiness is restrained but I could detect some strawberries/blackberries. The maltiness is distant but that is to be expected; there is some sweet caramel sweetness at the back. The nose is well constructed, I find it to be inviting.

The palate is a bit of a letdown. The nose showed so much promise but it lied to me. I was told there would be hoppy bitterness; I didn’t taste enough. Sure there is some here bitterness, it is Pale Ale-like no doubt, but I was expecting a more “Americanized” blast. I got a lightly citrusy twang with a wildflower and piney underbelly. Conversely the malt is played up, which really isn’t a problem. But since I can taste the caramel, honey malt so clearly I wish the hops were louder and thus this beer would be fantastic since many APA fails to draw in the malt. Strawberries and sweet berry candy clearly demonstrates this beer is an ale. Light bitterness at the finish, otherwise it is juicy and sweet. I like this beer fine; it is a good drinking APA. If it had more punch, it would be truly great!

Almost medium in body, moderately low carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well even if it is unexceptional.

I found this beer to be an easy quaff. It is a bit too fruity to pair with grilled meats but I bet it would work well with sharp cheeses and tangy fruit. It is tasty, simple, and agreeable. Sometimes you don’t need any more than that. I need to thank my Uncle Rick and Aunt Kathy for bringing me a mixed six-pack of Hawaiian beers. Thanks for including this one.

 2,414 characters

Photo of JamLand
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of dvmin98
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of double2chin
4/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of MAUEX_MFA
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.12/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't keep detailed tasting notes on this one while on my honeymoon in Maui in April 2006, but I tried several Hawaiian beers while in town, and this was one of if not my favorite of the bunch. A crisp clean pale ale that shows me that this brewery (which I had never heard of before the trip) is a solid contender for best of the few Hawaiian breweries around. Aroma is a nice kiss of hops, floral and clean, with a flavorful malt profile. Reminiscent of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in overall character, but more subdued (which makes sense in the hot humid climate where it is made). Recommended.

12 oz. bottle (several) purchased at EZ Discount in Lahaina, HI for approximately $1.25.

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Photo of SamuelMiller
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bierguy5
3.47/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, no date on the label. Pours a hazy copper color, with a fluffy white head. Thehead disappeared very quickly, but left a few spots of lace.

Citrusy hop aroma, and an odd bit of sourness. A bit of bready malt in the distance.

Decent malt character, with some hints of citrusy hops. Some underlying sourness, which seems out of place. Finishes with some earthy flavors.

Decent body and carbonation. Not very impressive.

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Photo of dipso123
3.02/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of atigerlife
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

Pours a nice orange/gold with a small creamy white head. The head dissipates rather quickly. Decent lacing and a good amount of carbonation can be seen rising.

Aroma of grapefruit rind and very flowery. Very interesting. The taste was sweeter than expected. Decent amount of hops that shine mostly at the back end. Malt is present, though not overpowering. Rather light flavor that has a citrus undertone.

The mouthfeel was cleansing with a medium body. There was a strange "soapy" feel that I couldn't shake. Not pleasant.

Overall, a drinkable brew from Mehana. Light enough that you could have several. My main reservation was the sweet/flowery/soapy taste and mouthfeel might become cloying. One was fine for me.

 756 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy golden brown color with a moderate off-white head, which lingers quite well, being constantly renewed by streams of carbonation. The lacing is abundant, coarse, and broken.

Aroma: Predominately pine tar hops, with a base of honey-like malt.

Taste: Opens with a rather grainy astringent note; slightly bready notes follow on. Finishes quite dry with a fusilade of lingering pine tar hops.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, with a mild sting of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A quite pleasant pale ale, although it seems excessively dry.

 561 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of crobinso
2.5/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of ghostwalker
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle purchased at the Liquor Collection in Honolulu.

Body is light amber with thin head, moderate lacing.

Nose is almost non-existent. Really.

Flavor is watered down APA. Very little malt body, light hops on the finish. It's like my favorite session PA; only much, much less so.

Mouthfeel is thin, macro thin.

Drinkability is OK. It seems that many Hawaiian brews are made to be served cold on a hot day...fair enough. This is just far too light for my palate.

 484 characters

Photo of CU570M
4.53/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light copper colored beer. This pours with little to no head and was gone in 2 seconds. The smell came off fruity, flowery, and hoppy. Like a tropical fruit. Great Aromas!! Taste sweet, creamy, and, tangy. hits your taste buds and leaves you craving more. Taste was also fruity and flowery. Mouthfeel was a smooth creamy soft feeling. Drinkability is great! I wish i could pick up a 12 or 6 pack of these.

 407 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big, rocky, ecru head with good retention. Color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a slightly grapish scent. Mouthfeel was medium with a lightly sweetish flavor on the tongue. Finish had a crisper, hoppier taste than what I expected. An unusual beer for an off-the-beaten-path brewery. Mahalo!

 309 characters

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

Photo of birddogg66
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz nonick pint

A- Pours a deep gold color, with a 1/2" white head and medium bubbles, which gives the glass an O.K. lacing

S- Malt comes out in the beginning with a small amount of citrus hops, and some cereal grains. Later on in the pint, I found some more bready characteristics almost like a pretzel.

T- The taste starts out with a nice amount of maltiness that eases into more bitterness as it warms. A nice balance of flavor.

M- A very light to medium bodied beer. Not an overabundance of effervescence.

D- I found this beer to have a nice balance between the malt and hops. Not overly bitter and not very sweet either. If you are looking for a nice local Pale that won't be very overpowering with flavor, grab a Mauna Kea. With it's lack of being very heavy, this is a good beach beer!

 815 characters

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Mehana Mauna Kea Pale Ale from Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.35 out of 5 with 70 ratings