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Big Wave Golden Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

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288 Reviews
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Big Wave Golden AleBig Wave Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Sixpoint on 03-19-2005

For Trade:
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Reviews: 288 | Ratings: 1,736
Photo of secondtooth
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow when poured into my pint glass. Superb fine white head of foam. Lace is small, but loopy and somehow appropriate for the "surf" theme.

Nose brings some curious tropical fruit aromas -- I get pineapple and mango. Very appealing!

Taste also echoes some of these tropical fruits, especially citrus, alongside the rich malty backbone. I get a bit of citrus hoppiness at the finish, too, making this a very enjoyable and easy to drink session ale. Perhaps my favorite of Kona's mainland bottled brews, so far.

 521 characters

Photo of headlessparrot
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


A beer that does a lot with a little--low ABV, low IBUs, but a really nice, delicate hop presence and huge points for drinkability. Pale malt, cracker malt, some light citrus flavours. Nice fruity ale esters. Beautiful hazy gold with surprising hop retention. I could easily seeing this going into my rotation if it didn't (unfortunately) carry the price of an import. I categorize this one along with Deschutes River Ale--a beer that gets overlooked because it's middle-of-the-road, even though it does that "middle-of-the-road" brilliantly.

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Photo of shand
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Wave pours a bubbly golden color with a small head. The aroma is quite nice, it's got fruity hops, citrus, and a bit of grains and sweet malt. The taste brings the grainy malt up front, but it's not too sweet. The citrus and fruit hop flavors, although rather mellow, do a pretty solid job at balancing things out. The grains and a bit of citrus ride out the finish. The mouthfeel is crisp and light, and the drinkability is great. Overall, a tasty thirst quencher.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, good amount of hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with some citrus sweetness that is quickly followed by a decent burst of hops bitterness. The malt character is thin but on-target for the style and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a very good lighter beer to pound down for a long time.

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Photo of zeff80
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left thin sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled sweet with tropical fruit aromas.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel with a touch of spice and some tropical fruit flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very tasty golden ale. Bright and refreshing.

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Photo of bnes09
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light and crisp with a hint of citric, herbal hop. Dry, crisp finish and well carbonated. Just a mild touch of sweetness. A great summer session beer best drank extra cold.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear golden color with a white head that thinned out.

S - juicy tropical fruit.

T - sweet and tropical upfront with citrusy bitterness taking things to a tart and dry finish.

F - light, crisp and refreshing.

O - a good example of the style.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

it tastes similar to a grapefruit shandy, very citrusy but it's not a bad thing with a grapefruit flavor that i think is the best tasting shandy style beer.

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Photo of Miles_Wilson
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light golden ale with a foamy head upon vigorous pour. Appealing look and proper amount of flavor. Not much in the finish but that only improves the drinkability of this beach beer. Great experience for summer days in sunny Florida! Good stock for a vacation too.

 263 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Kona Brewing Co. "Big Wave Golden Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, coded "54 5 JAN 22 15"
$1.49 @ Total Wine & More, Claymont, DE

Kona has always produced solid, quality beers and this one is no exception. I was fearful that it might just be another blonde ale, but it's actually fairly unique. It's a clear dark gold that's probably a touch darker than expected, but it remains light bodied and gently crisp. There's a bit of hop in the nose along with a nice fruitiness, and that fruitiness carries over into the flavor. It's surprisingly tropical! I find distinct pineapple, but there's also a light spritz of citrus, and some other tropical fruits (papaya, mango, etc.). Easy to drink, refreshing, and interesting - a great summer ale! Or, for anytime you want to be reminded of the tropics.

 795 characters

Photo of Dools9
3.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle, dated Dec. 16 13. Poured into a shaker pint.

A: Yup, its a nice golden color with lots of active carbonation. Finger or so of white head that fades rather quickly. Leaves suome decent patches of lace.

S: This is surprisingly hoppy for a golden ale. A bit of sweet peach pineapple and citrus with a lemon zest twang, some grassiness, pale malt breadiness.

T: Sweetness from pale barely malt breadiness, decent hop presence of tropical citrus, grassiness. Very low bitterness makes this one a perfect summer session brew.

M: Light body feel, a bit watery but expected, well carbonated however not selstery. Very refreshing.

O: Suprised by this one, its extremely refreshing and has a decent hop presence with minimal bitterness, perfect warm weather session brew. Worth a try.

 787 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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 biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Upon arriving in Honolulu today, I noticed two things almost immediately in my sleep-deprived state: the big waves of the Pacific ocean from my hotel room lanai, and this particular Big Wave at the ABC stores on every damned block in the neighbourhood.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden straw colour, with one finger of thin and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some specked lace around the glass as it quickly evaporates.

It smells of tropical fruit, pineapple mostly (I know, it may just be in my head, in my suggestible state), and soft, grainy malt. The taste is more fruity malt, some tangerine and papaya joining the sweet pineapple essence that I just can't seem to shake, with a stronger biscuity character as it warms, as well as some emerging, yet still minor, grassy hops.

The carbonation is present, but quite sedate, the body a medium-light weight, and smooth like fruit juice. It finishes sweet and fruity, like there was any other way around here.

Another very enjoyable blonde ale - I'm sensing a trend, or even a conspiracy, to dissuade me of my apathy for the style. Nice, fruity, and yet balanced, with crazy local perceived flavours. Oh, and look - the final leg of the Amazing race is in Honolulu, even stopping just down the street from where we are now. Apophenia is in the air again!

 1,330 characters

Photo of neenerzig
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a slightly/cloudy, but mainly clear medium golden color. has a nice white head that is about 3/4 of an inch thick when first poured that eventually settles to a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass with little spots of foam here and there but not much lacing. Aromas of floral citrus and some minerally grassyness. Has a slightly sweet malt flavor upfront that gives way so some nice citrus zest in the hops. More citrusy in the hop department than it is bitter. Rounded with with a bit of herbal mineralness. Has a crisp and smooth, medium bodied motufeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink in the way good beer should be. An excellent beer for the first warm weather evening that Cleveland has had in about 7 months!


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Photo of Pantalones
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second bottle from the Kona variety pack; bottling date is February 16th, 2015.

The color is pretty appropriate for something called a "golden ale" -- very clear, bright golden sort of color. Bubbles occasionally visible rising up from the bottom. Not a lot of foam on top, but what is present is white and audibly fizzy for the brief period of time before it shrinks away into a scattered layer on top and a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell reminds me of freshly-cut grass, but at the same time there's a sweetness to it. Not a super strong smell, not a complex smell with a bunch of different elements mixed together, but it is a very pleasant one.

Flavor is light, but like the smell, what's there is nice. The "cut-grass but sweeter" type thing is definitely present in the flavor (probably the one feature that stands out the most overall), but there's also just a hint of bready/grain type malt flavor, present mostly at the end and sometimes hanging around for just a bit. This flavor seems to come out more as I get near the end of my second glass (...yeah, I had two of them in the same sitting for this review rather than waiting a day or several like I usually do. XD) There's also occasionally something that reminds me a bit of the clear sodas, like Sprite. I'm not picking up any hop bitterness at all until near the bottom of my second glass, and even then it's only just barely noticeable.

Feel is -- as you should've guessed by this point! -- light, but definitely not bad. "Fizzy but it works" is definitely in effect here -- there's definitely the feel of a fizzy drink going on here, but rather than coming across as harsh mouth-prickling it actually feels pretty nice. It's not hard at all to drink bigger gulps of this rather than just sips.

Overall, this is a really nice beer. Unexpectedly nice, actually. I had no idea what it would be like before I cracked open that first bottle and started drinking, but was pleasantly surprised -- enough to go ahead and have a second bottle and write a review right then and there, even. This seems to be pretty much the ideal sort of beer for this hot weather we've been having lately: light enough and low enough alcohol that you can drink multiple bottles without regretting it, and also tasty enough that you'd actually WANT to drink more than one, even if they're not accompanied by food! I may just have to pick up a six-pack of this one before the summer's over (I've noticed that this one's appeared on shelves alongside the Longboard lager recently -- seems like middle-of-nowhere Virginia is beginning to get more Hawaiian beer, heh), as I'm sure the one bottle remaining in the variety pack isn't going to last too much longer.

 2,727 characters

Photo of riversider76
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange with a thin white head. Not much retention, and just a hint of laceing. Aroma is of fruit, and grassy hops. Body is light,and crisp with mild carbonation. Taste is sweetart, with a hint of bready malt. Smooth and refreshing. Liked it.

 256 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first time I had the Golden Wave Ale, it was in Hawaii on the Big Island while honeymooning with my wife. I finally found this in Texas, and decided to do a review after not having one for 5 years, lol! I had this offering from Kona Brewing Co. poured into a pint/nonic glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - It pours a clear golden, and did not produce much head on the top, but what was formed was a very bright white.

S - Citrus and tropical fruits with just a bit of hops are what I get on the nose.

T - The main flavor on the palate is sweet grains, with hints of pineapple and citrus. The beer is crisp, clean, and slightly sweet on the finish. There is almost no bitterness whatsoever in this beer.

M - Light bodied, not overly carbonated, it is very smooth.

O - I did enjoy the Golden Wave Ale from Kona Brewing Co. It is a very easy drinking light style year-round beer. Very refreshing beer to drink on any given day.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the hotel bar while on vacation in Hawaii, served in pint glass the beer arrives crystal clear with a straw color, 1 finger cream colored head, with good retention and pleasant lacing. The nose is a little faint is pleasant and approachable with a sweet biscuit malt character along with a blend of grassy and citrus hop. The flavor follows suit but is fuller in character. Starts with a gentle biscuit malt base from which a more pronounced citrus, tropical fruit character develops. Mild bitterness. Finishes with a lingering fruit flavor on the tongue, orange. Lighter bodied with moderate carbonation the beer is crisp and clear. Easy to drink. Overall, very nice.

 678 characters

Photo of JohnFatAss
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taking a break from the fall and pumpkin beers I opted for the Big Wave Golden Ale.
Pretty much what I expected. A light golden colored ale. It has a very nice aroma of citrus fruits and hops. This is a mild beer with good flavor. Sweet up front and finishes with a very mild dry bitterness. It is lightly carbonated. It has a light but not watery mouthfeel.
Extremely easy to drink.

This would be a great beer for the summer.

 430 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A-Mostly clear but a slight haze to a light golden colored ale. Nice creamy white head...

S-Very citrus forward...sweet citrus....oranges...tangerines....apricots....peaches...yes a lot of peaches the more I smell...

T-Not full flavored but has a nice citrus component....peaches and oranges....lighter than on the aroma...could use a little more malt backing.

M-I know this was meant to be a session ale but it is too light in the shorts for me. The very watery body takes away from the flavor some actually as your attention is drawn to that instead.

O-I really like the aroma and the flavor to a lesser regard...the body is very light...I guess in the heat and sun a low ABV tasty ale like this would drink nicely but I wonder how much better this could be with a little more malt at say a still sessionable 5%?

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 11-13-09
Cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Cloudy golden yellow, fair amount of carbonation, less than half of a finger of foam

S - Sweet malt smell reminds me of a citrus smell. Little hop smell

T - light bodied, malt aftertaste, not to overpowering on the malt, pretty smooth going down

M/D - To me a light bodied brew, sweet malt taste with little malt aftertaste. Finished pretty smooth though, not bad from Kona, not my favorite from Kona but for sure it's worth trying. I could enjoy a couple in one sitting.

 530 characters

Photo of ferndave
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decent ale, not heavy, not too light. It's very average, and I mean that as a compliment. It doesn't lean too heavily on hops or malt, but the flavor is present. Much better than a macro without getting into intense flavors.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this in Maui on my first anniversary of my marriage. Kona brewing is pretty much the only craft beer that is found in the Ka'anapalli/Lahaina area of Maui. The color is a nice golden body with a light airy head on it. The aroma has a nice fresh grainy kick to it with a mild hop standout. The taste is clean and refreshing with a heavier taste than I expected. Not a world-class beer, but a nice little beer to add to my collection.

 439 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have a very nice lightly hopped, fruity smell when you open the bottle. Pours a yellowish golden color with very little head, Initial taste is lightly hoppy and fruity sweetness also and mellows out to almost no aftertaste. Lacing and carbonation is there but not abundantly. This actually kind of reminds me of a Hefe, as far as the sweetness goes. This is a very drinkable brew, perfect for a hot day. I would definitely buy more when summer comes back around.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.84/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A hazy golden color beer. The head was white and fizzy and fades to a simple collar. Small streams of carbonation rise slowly to the top.
The aroma was mostly of hops. They had a fresh and dank smell. Smelled nie.
Taste was thin and watery with some hops and grainy malts. The hops wern't as noticeable as in the nose but still had a desent taste.
The beer drank dry and almost abrasive, but felt flat and lifeless on the palate.
Over all it's a good beer especially for the summer months with it's easy drinking and low alcohol. Take it to the shore.

 551 characters

Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
3.55 out of 5 based on 1,736 ratings.
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