Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Big Wave Golden Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
81
good
295 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Big Wave Golden AleBig Wave Golden Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States
konabrewingco.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
295
Ratings:
1,751
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
35.21%
 
 
Wants:
59
Gots:
657
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 295 | Ratings: 1,751
Photo of hophugger
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
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 !!!!!!!

 610 characters

Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had the Kona Big Wave on tap at Salt Life Grille in Jackson Beach. This is a great updated take on seafood shack. Check it out!

Served in a standard pint glass, the beer is a chill hazed gold with a skim of white foam.

There are apricots and grains in the nose. Blind folded I would have guessed Magic Hat #9.

Taste also leads with apricot. There is a nice floral undertone and some caramel malt. Everything hung together well with this beer.

Mouth is well calibrated for a hot weather beer.

Change of pace beer for sure. But I ended up drinking four over the course of a leisurely two hour eating and drinking session.

 627 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Firestone restaurant pint glass
From: Vons in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $12.79 for a variety 12-pack
Purchased: June 15, 2013
Consumed: June 15, 2013
Misc.: Born on date of April 25, 2013

Poured a golden yellow clear color with two fingers of frothy white head. Pretty good foamy spiderweb foamy lacing on the sides. Very good retention all the way down on the top.

Very surprised with the smell. Was expecting a watery honey flavor, but got a mix of floral hops and citrus hops. Got grapefruit and I think tangerine as well. Got some honey as well. Very nice.

Taste wasn’t quite as good as the smell, but decent nonetheless. Got a toned down version of the floral hops and citrus hops. Watery grapefruit, sweet floral notes.

Light body. Thin texture. Average-to-soft carbonation. Abrupt watery finish. Clean, crisp and refreshing.

I can’t believe how good this beer was. A very nice pleasant surprise.

 956 characters

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

Photo of Floydster
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint at Moose McGillicudy's in Kihei and Lahaina while I was in Maui a couple weeks ago, reviewed from notes, think I also had a bottle of this earlier that week

A-Light golden orange color, 1 1/4 inch creamy white head, nice retention, not much lacing
S-Sweetness, caramel, toffee, and bready malts, some orange peel, mild hoppiness, and a hint of fruit juice
T-Starts off with a bit of sweet fruits, malt is also on the sweeter side in the middle, then some very light hops in the finish, gets more flavorful as it warms and juicy fruit becomes more prominent, could have used more dryness to balance it out, still different from any blonde I have ever tried and quite surprising
M-Sweet, chewy, and a little dry mouthfeel, needs more carbonation and was a little on the syrupy side, medium body that was impressive thickness for a blonde, taste lasts pretty long
D-ABV seems low, light on the stomach except for the occasional heaviness from the sweet accents, nice session beer, goes down pretty easy

This is the one beer that Kona bottles and does not send over to California, so that explains why I had never seen it, not bad for three dollars during happy hour at the Moose, that place reminded me of the old one in Redondo Beach, would drink again, recommended

 1,271 characters

Photo of matjack85
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date stamped on it right on the bottom of the front label. The only thing I don't know is whether that's a born on date or an expiration date.

The beer poured a clear champaign color, sort of like gingerale gold. The half finger of white head dissipated quickly and there wasn't much lacing.

The beer has both a pleasantr hoppy smell as well as an unpleasant barnyard smell.

Well, well,well - what do we have here? A hop dominated blonde ale. Slightly bitter grapefriut/lemon flavor tempered with a kiss of sweet honey.

Light bodied with medium high carbonation.

It's alright, but I like my blonde ales to be fruitier and maltier.

 670 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.38/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap into a large plunder glass. The appearance is a clear, pale golden color with a large white head. The aroma is malt and fruit. The taste is very nice blend of fruit, malt and hops. A great summer time beer.

 231 characters

Photo of safaricook
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Light easy going golden ale with a great tropical fruit aroma, think mango. Taste is straught forward hoppy very little balancing malts make it refreshing but also a bit harsh. Hop flavor mainly pine and grapefruit
Good drinkability. Not watery or fizzy.
Indeed a very nice refreshing beer after a day in the sun.

 314 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.36/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours yellow, large white head. Smell: pure macro lager. Ugh. Taste slight skunk, overly sweet, unpalatable, sickle, and there's little to nothing "blond" about it.

Just not a good brew, and I never would have guessed that I was drinking an ale. Watery, not very drinkable.

 274 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a clear, brilliant golden yellow with a white, finger width head. Decent retention, the resulting lace is thin but consistent, and displays good stick.

Smell - Citrus notes are most prevalent; lemon and a touch of orange. Pineapple. Faint bready malts play off in the background.

Taste - What's presented on the nose is reversed on the tongue. Mostly big malt notes upfront, grain and honeyed bread. Hops come in a little firmer on the back end, with citrus and a touch of grass. The finish is quick, with a touch of lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Very light in body with fizzy carbonation; seltzer water-like quality.

Overall - Fantastic smell, decent flavor, but a poor body... still, if they made this the summer release over the Wailua Wheat, I wouldn't shed a tear.

 796 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.48/5  rDev -2%
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.

 1,206 characters

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.

 175 characters

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 hosehead83
4.34/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Light copper/gold in color,with a decent cap of white foam.
Aroma-Subtle citus hops, tropical fruit notes
Taste-Fruity citrus hops, soft pineapple note, underlying citrus rind. Well-balanced, smooth, fresh and tasty. Fish tacos would fit the bill nicely.

 309 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Riding the wave.

It looks : 1 finger of creamy bubbly head, white. Body is very true to the name, golden in color, and mostly transparent

It smells : citrus hop out front, with rice, ritz cracker, and wet flowers.

It tastes : very delectable malt taste out front, followed by an offensive punch of hop, which thankfully subsided quickly, and then ends with a golden baked bread flavor. I understand the hop must balance the malts, but the way the stenchy hop comes in really screws the pooch. Ends slightly grassy.

Mouthfeel : creamy, light bodied, ends semi-dry.

Overall : it's a good ale, and would be a superior one if it weren't for the rush of garbage hop that comes in halfway through the taste. That being said, I'd have it again, and share it with friends. It is one of the best golden ales I've had, and is satisfying and smooth.

 843 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Ontap. Clear honey gold, good solid film, some early lace. Very gentle fruity hops. Watery in character, not big in any way. Quite subdued taste. Light beer good for maybe washing stuff down. Unremarkable.

 205 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap after a round at Luanna Hills Country Club. Pretty clear, and golden in color. Thin white head disappeared pretty quick.

A bit grainy in the aroma. Pretty pale. Reminded me of a pale wheat. A bit of fruit as it warms, but not much.

Seemed a bit tart, with some astringent-like notes. A bit of fruit and grainy.

Light body, with ample carbonation. Not a whole lot here, but oddly enough, I found this to be rather refreshing, (maybe it was the dozen balls I lost on the course). Not very exciting, but decent.

 528 characters

Photo of stephens101
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Didn't think Hawaii would have good beer, but they do, and this stuff is made to take you through long lazy days fucking around at the beach. This one poured a golden orange. Smelled a bit of orange peel and malts. Light bodied and drinkable yet had some tastiness so didn't become boring. Tasted of malts and maybe some slight fruitiness and hops coming through and finished smooth and satisfying.

 398 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.31/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a fluted pilsener glass.

Look: Clear golden body with slowly rising bubbles. Foamy white head that leaves massive sudsy lines of lacing.

Aroma: Spicy hops that bring a woodsy cedar note, with lots of citrus in the way of lime and subtle grapefruit peel.

Taste: A little more subdued than the aroma, but the same bright citrus zest with more of an orange flavor coming through. A softer malt presence brings down the sharpness of the hops as compared to the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Clean, bright, light bodied.

Overall: Quite delicious, very refreshing with loads of citrus zest.

 589 characters

Photo of soju6
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a light golden color with a decent head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma is on the mild side with a bit of citrus, malt sweetness, grassy with a hint of tropical fruit.

T: Taste follows with citrus, some malt sweetness, tropical fruit and just a touch of honey. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

T: Light body, smooth with just enough honey to give it a bit of flair without making it too sweet.

O; Pleasant beer to relax with on a hot Summer day.

 472 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
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;

 370 characters

Photo of Braz
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear vibrant gold color with a one inch white head. Head disappears rather quickly leaving a thin lace. Smells of faint floral and grapefruit notes. Taste is very delicate with a very subtle sweetness. Mild fruit/citrus flavor. I didn't pick up much hop flavor but the aroma is there. Easy drinking, reps the style well. Smooth light body.

 356 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 is a smooth, refreshing brew. Inspired by what makes Hawaii great. Kona's Big Wave Golden Ale is brewed in the style of an American Blonde Ale, and is the final year-round bottle release to make it to the east coast. Manufacturing date on the bottle is August 01 2012.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Kona pint glass. Served above 42º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a cream white head of a thin consistency over a pale golden-yellow body with mild carbonation presence. A slight haziness is visible from a cloud of sediment in suspension as well as the presence of occasional pulpy flesh here and there. Lacing is thin and head quality is of little fascination either. It's very predictable for a golden ale, but that doesn't mean it can't improve the way it presents itself. 3.25

(Smell) Heavy emphasis on citrus fruit, with notes of grapefruit and orange, possibly from a bright hop addition, which is notable in the aroma. Pale malts are not the forward aspect of the aroma. A very inviting and clean aroma. 4

(Taste) Sweetness is underutilized. The hop presence with citrus is very tea-like, with little malt body to balance it out. Therefore, it's a bit high on bitterness. Citrus is also disappointingly shallow, with a more musty lemongrass and pale hop character than anticipated. Flavor is a bit shallow throughout. It's not gross by any means, but the lack of a sweet profile really drags the drinkability down, and makes for a thin profile with a limited flavor. Reminds me at times of watered-down green tea. 2.75

(Mouthfeel) Carbonation is fuzzy with a touch of cream. Balance is slightly less sweet than anticipated, mild dry finish with a mild hop bitterness. Body is light for the style, light overall. Carbonation is right, but the body is very shallow and should be a notch higher to reach a desirable balance. 3

(Overall) Low on sweetness. Reminds me at times of a light ale. Quite drinkable like water and tea might be, but not very enjoyable like a more substantial beer should be. Much of the fix would be made with a fuller malt profile, although a brighter-flavored hop flavor would also have made the flavor desirable. Until then, this is merely a drinkable but not particularly enjoyable golden ale. 3

Kona Brewing Company's
Big Wave Golden Ale
/5.00

 2,473 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear and yellow golden with a white head of loose foam that fell too fast but left spots of lace. Nose is simple. Light breaddy grain with a bit of natural sweetness on it. Some ripe peach, a bit of grass and some citrus to give it pizazz. Taste follows the nose all the way. The balance is toward the malt so that is forward and firm but light and not too sweet. The ripe peach takes a back seat but it's juicy. There is a touch of bitter grass and a bit of tart citrus to give it some tang. The body is thin and the mouthfeel is watery. The carbonation was ample but it did not enliven this beer because it wasn't dry. This finishes with a very light bitter and sweet .

This was a good beer that drank pleasantly. It did not excite in any way but would be ideal for a summer beer as it is very refreshing and with the low abv this could really hit the spot on a hot day.

 881 characters

Photo of delta490
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear medium gold with a thin fizzy white head. Light retention yields tight soapy lacing. The aroma is very mild with some grain and some sweetness. The taste is OK. Nothing really interesting or distinctive going on. Actually, not much of anything going on beyond a little grain. the body is very thin and pretty heavily carbonated.

 342 characters

Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
3.55 out of 5 based on 1,751 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe