Big Wave Golden Ale
Kona Brewing Co.

Big Wave Golden AleBig Wave Golden Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Blonde Ale - American
Ranked #350
Ranked #44,189
3.58 | pDev: 14.25%
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States
Big Wave Golden AleBig Wave Golden Ale
Notes: 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
Reviews: 412 | Ratings: 2,207 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by brennenw56:
Photo of brennenw56
brennenw56 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +8.9%

Sep 28, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of Antg8989
Antg8989 from New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Again, a clean, decent tasting light ale from Kona. Not sure why it's getting such low ratings. It's nothing amazing but it's more drinkable than most beers out there.

Jun 06, 2016
Photo of Jeffgerace
Jeffgerace from New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I don't want to try something new and I want to sip on a refreshing beer all day, this is my go to. Deliciously drinkable, it's perfect for a picnic, BBQ or
day at the beach.

Jan 31, 2018
Photo of trparky
trparky from Ohio

4.54/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Citrus in nature, you can definitely taste hints of pineapple in it. Overall it's very drinkable, smooth and mellow. Slightly carbonated but not too much, it definitely goes down smooth. Great if you want a nice beer after a long hot day.

I had this beer on tap in The Yard House while on vacation in Hawaii. I found this beer in Ohio and I just had to have it. I mainly bought it for a little taste of Hawaii now that the weather is turning colder here in Ohio. It makes me feel just a little closer to the paradise that is Hawaii.

Oct 16, 2018
Photo of DevAJ
DevAJ from Missouri

2.46/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Alright after not being able to get even halfway through 3 different American style ales this evening, I think I've come to the conclusion that I just don't like any significant amount of American hops. Supposedly this is the least bitter of the 3 that I tried tonight (Celebration Ale, Audible Ale, and this) and while that may be true, the aftertaste (hop) is still horrible to me. While I thought Pilsner Urquell was a tad more bitter than I like, I was at least able to drink the entire beer. The 3 mentioned, not even close.

Apr 21, 2015
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic from Texas

4.94/5  rDev +38%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Bottled on 02AUG18 printed on bottom left corner of from label. Grabbed at grocery store for under $2 per bottle from a mixer.

Appearance - Slightly to moderately hazy gold body with decent carbonation. Pours a tiny white head with extremely fine bubbling, possibly the finest bubbling I've ever seen, that dissipates fairly rapidly. Lacing is fine and has decent stick, but washes off easily. Aptly conjures imagery of sheets of white seafoam spreading across the sand. 4

Smell - Soft, distinct sweetness. Some sort of floral fruitiness. Honey, malt and hop faintly underneath it. Very appetizing. After tasting it, I came back to the smell and realized maybe it's jackfruit? Love how unique it is while still being delicate and alluring. 5

Taste - Flavors I've never tasted in a beer. Almost reminds me of jackfruit for some reason. 5

Mouthfeel - Smooth, lightly effervescent, drinkable. Light-medium bodied. A bit of faint bitter white noise up front but finishes pretty clean. 5

Overall - No off characters anywhere in this brew. Astonishingly balanced and drinkable. Amazing for a session beer. I almost feel like an asshole for giving this beer such high ratings, but I honestly can't bring myself to take away from any part of the score. On second inspection, I have to admit to myself that I honestly feel it deserves these numbers. 5

---Dec 11, 2019 update---

Saw they had this in a 24oz can so I wanted to do a bonus review. This time it didn't have the fine bubbling at all, but had a massive, medium density white head. PKGD SEP 30 19 printed on bottom rim of can. Sot his is 2 months old but tastes musky and just isn't the same beer. Don't know if that's brewing issues, or distribution, but a bit of a let down.

Sep 25, 2018
Photo of Schlitz74
Schlitz74 from Illinois

3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured it into a shaker glass, pours a medium golden color with a half finger of fizzy head. it did not leave any real lacing on the glass. This beer is not something I would want to drink again. This is just average.

Jun 28, 2018
Photo of joedvegas
joedvegas from Nevada

3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold and relatively clear look. Lingering half-finger white head with decent lacing. Medium hints of pineapple, orange-peel, lemon and malt on the nose. Balanced taste that isn't big in any area. Hints of old road, citrus and a biscuity finish. Medium feel, with a decent palate-coating finish.

Oct 21, 2017
Photo of SaltofOH
SaltofOH from Ohio

3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle dated 21 Oct 2017. Nonic pint.

A: pours a brassy gold with 1 finger white bubbly head that recedes quickly to a thin white cap of bubbles.

S: some faint citra hop citrusyness, with some sweetness.

T: New age pale ale, lite.

M: light bodied and very highly carbonated. Thin. Clean finishing.

O: I had this at a work happy hour and was really impressed; impressed enough to buy a single and bring it home. Granted, the happy hour bottle was fresh and this one is pushing 3 months, but damn, this is a disappointment. This is a beer, but not much more can be said for it.

Jan 14, 2018
Photo of Porterpipes
Porterpipes from Michigan

4.54/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really like this beer after drinking a heavy porter or stout. It’s really refreshing and is lighter. Has a great aroma taste. Would recommend as a lighter ipa

Dec 21, 2017
Photo of JacobR1523
JacobR1523 from California

3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gives a good aroma, has a light somewhat fruity taste to it, and goes down easy. I would recommend this to the person who wants to start trying different and better beers, this is a good starting point.

Feb 11, 2018
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
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%

Jun 26, 2014
Photo of penguinsgoboom
penguinsgoboom from California

3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a spongy 2 finger head that fades. A light golden straw yellow with good carbonation.

S: Sweet. Smell is of honey, papaya, pineapple, flowers, and light herbal hops. If they bottled tropical paradise in a beer, this is what it would smell like.

T: Starts off malty and then there's some hops at some point. Whatever flavor is very subdued. Doesn't quite deliver on what the smell promised.

O: A very drinkable beer. Light, refreshing, fruity. This is good for a hot summer day and it captures the feeling of vacationing on a beach. Not much in terms of taste, but it'll do.

Aug 04, 2018
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck from Canada

3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 mL bottle from a six-pack purchased at The Beer Store; best before May 30 2018 and served well chilled. Never thought I'd see a Hawaiian beer being sold here in Ontario, but I suppose the times are a-changin'. And yes, it was almost certainly brewed in New Hampshire, anyhow.

Pours clear pale golden-yellow in hue, with its initial half-finger of loose, soapy white head quickly receding down to a collar of creamy-looking foam; an uninterrupted curtain of lacing is laid down during this process. Pineapple, passion fruit and apricots on the nose, along with citrusy orange peel and lime zest, all of it underlain with crackery, bready pale malt sweetness.

A fine blonde ale, though I'll add that the flavour profile is somewhat less compelling than the enticing aroma might've first hinted. Clean cereal grains, crackery pale barley malts and light honeyed sweetness are immediately apparent, with the Galaxy and Citra hops soon jumping in, providing characteristic hints of stone fruit, pineapple, orange and passion fruit. The hop bitterness is very much minimized throughout, with only a touch of pithiness towards the finish - and even this is thereafter overcome by the pale malts and residual fruitiness of the hops. Off-dry aftertaste. Light in body, with middling carbonation that softens over time, giving this brew a smooth mouthfeel and pleasant texture. Nothing to write home about, but a properly-constructed blonde ale nonetheless.

Final Grade: 3.82, a B+. Kona's Big Wave Golden Ale is a respectable mainline offering, albeit a fairly conventional one - the hops are used rather conservatively, but in the end, that only makes it more approachable (to non-beer geeks) and more sessionable (to all beer drinkers). This is the sort of beer that is worth keeping in the back of the fridge - specifically so that you have something on hand to offer to visitors who would otherwise be inclined to reach for a macro. As you'd expect for a beer imported into Canada from the States, the premium price point does sting a bit... but this is still a good blonde ale that is well worth a spin.

Aug 17, 2017
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Gian Beer Garden and Eatery,enjoyed chilled in a mug.

The color is golden w/ gentle haze and thick white cap which recedes to a small ring. The smell is malty with light sweet scent and mild fruit ester from the yeast. The feel is decent with mild sweetness and moderate carbonation level with gentle bitterness and clean overall feel with semi--dry finish.

The taste is good with some malt flavor which is toasted with some light sweetness and gentle yeast accents with a semi-creamy taste and mild hop in the background. Overall this is a pretty gentle flavored beer with some fresh tasting malt but not a very complex affair, just a pretty well brewed blonde which is easy to drink

Oct 21, 2013
Photo of lwillitz
lwillitz from Wisconsin

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith nonic

A - thin layer off-white foam over a cloudy body of golden yellow, medium/high visible carbonation

S - citrus and grain, honey sweetness

T - citrus hops, notes of tropical fruit, grain, honey sweetness

M - light/medium body, highly carbonated

O - Big Wave is a decent blonde. Light and refreshing.

Jul 14, 2015
Photo of ZachRusk
ZachRusk from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Oct 11, 2014
Photo of ChicagoShakeAndBake26
ChicagoShakeAndBake26 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 19, 2015
Photo of Flathead_Monster
Flathead_Monster from Montana

3/5  rDev -16.2%

Nov 15, 2013
Photo of megamick
megamick from Iowa

4.38/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dec 27, 2015
Photo of ChaimS
ChaimS from Florida

3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Nice and hoppy. Light lager. Taste great

May 22, 2015
Photo of MaddoJay
MaddoJay from Texas

3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Apr 15, 2016
Photo of deac83
deac83 from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nov 02, 2015
Photo of jaswilson2
jaswilson2 from South Carolina

3/5  rDev -16.2%

May 20, 2014
Photo of DerwinWentworth
DerwinWentworth from Utah

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

May 01, 2017
Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 2207 ratings