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Longboard Island Lager | Kona Brewing Co.

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677 Reviews
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Longboard Island LagerLongboard Island Lager

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Longboard Island Lager is a smooth refreshing lager fermented and aged for five weeks at cold temperatures to yield its exceptionally smooth flavor. A delicate, slightly spicy hop aroma complements the malty body of this beer.

18 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 08-07-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 677 | Ratings: 2,645
Photo of jasonpeckins32
2.23/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Pale yellow in color with a pure white head created with a vigorous pour.

Aroma is slightly malty, slightly sweet. Honestly, nothing is really notable about the aroma, I'm just trying to force something out of it here.

Pale malts and grains make up the flavor profile. An ever-so-light touch of something bitter. Probably not enough to keep most beer geeks interested.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I love how the style of this brewer is to incorporate the fruits common in places like Hawaii. This variety is a lager weighing in at 4.6% ABV. What it lacks in potency it makes up for in appearance and flavor.

Look-It pours a crystal clear golden yellow with large carbonation bubbles sticking to the glass. The color is brilliant and reminds me of the golden yellow sun glinting off the Hawaiian sea. The head starts out fluffy and thick like lazy puffy cumulus clouds floating in the spring afternoon sky. However, it disappears shortly, but leaves a little bit of fine sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell-It smells of fruity malts with a weak tinge of citrus-floral hops. The malts are grainy and dominant, but with a hint of honey.

Taste-This lager deserves the name since it is a malt forward brew which focuses on the Hawaiian fruits. I taste pineapple, mango, and roasted grains, with a floral and citrus hop tinge at the back. The flavors swim with fruits and grains and tropical notes. As a lager, however, they focus on the grains and honey-based malts instead of the natural citrus and floral components from the hops which are subtle at best.

Mouthfeel-It is smooth and crisp as well as moist. It is light-bodied and subtle I would say, but then again I am a hop head. It has an moist feel also and a slightly dry finish.

Overall-I would say that this beer is refreshing and straightforward, but some of the fruits don’t come out clearly enough. I remember their castaway IPA and I tasted very clearly a plethora of traditional Hawaiian fruits. Enjoy this on at least one occasion.

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Photo of Slaterlovesbeer
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pored into a pint glass. Not much head as to be expected. Aroma is mild. Not much of anything going on. Flavor is somewhat standard lager but better. Actually a hint of malted barley and hops in the flavot but not much. Very smooth and refreshing. A tad overpriced for what it is but its pretty good. It goes great with summer foods like ribs and bbq. And is great and keeping you cooled off on a summer day. But the flavor is a tad lackibg. Overall not bad. Try it when its on sale.

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Photo of kendi18
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a very good summer go to beer. The smell and hop characteristic is rather mild and not overwhelming , but still present. The beer has a wonderful pale golden color and it just screams "easy drinker" and that's why I like it. I wouldn't go with this beer if you live in a cooler climate, but here in sunny Florida its just what I drink daily. It's readily available too for a couple bucks more than bud light price. Go ahead and try it I recommend it.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.76/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Great beer for a summer day sitting on the porch. The smell and taste tack me back to sitting on the beach in kona. Floral and light taste that is crisp and makes you feel the warmth of the sun. Light golden color

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Photo of vainosuomi
3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear straw color, creamy white head. Faint malt smell. Tastes of sweet malts, not much hop presence. Medium bodied, light, fairly carbonated. Clean finish. Refreshing.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
1.79/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A pretty pale golden lager. Had a large white head. This beer hardly has a smell to it, only had a trace of malts. Could taste a hint of fruit. It was very watered down.

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Photo of mjryan
3.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gift from my neighbor. Very pale, with a very mild, white bread aroma. Mild flavor as well. A quick flash of sweet malt, a touch of lemon, then it finishes crisp, and dry. This is an easy beer. Clean, crisp, and unobtrusive. An American Lager that does everything right. I'll be drinking more of this in the future.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Lovely goldenrod color, smells and tastes of crackers and fruit. Not overly sweet, very pleasant, refreshing, drinkable especially on a hot day. Definitely worth drinking again.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It's a decent lager, but others have been much better. Nothing that enhances its flavor really stands out. It's also pretty susceptible to skunkiness.

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Photo of muldersha
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had from a 22oz brown glass bottle with a brew date of: 05/04/15. Purchased in Portland, OR

Sports a clear, pale yellow body with a boisterous, chunky, white head. Very little retention on the head as it dissipates into a fine lacing.

Steely and bready aromas of untoasted grain, grass, citrus, herb, a touch of tropical fruit, and a dab of fermenting melon.

Medium to medium-light body that has a somewhat surprising amount of heft and fruit in the mid-palate. However, the spritely carbonation provides ample lift to bring about a crisp and refreshing finish. Overall, a highly quaffable and subtly fruity lager.

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Photo of Naked_Batman
3.02/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A-pale straw with a nice head that dissipates quickly.

S-very bread-like with some steel/metal minerality, getting some corny-malt notes as well, very, very slight apple/pear notes

T-very sweet up front, leading into a little bit of malty complexity, but otherwise kind of unremarkable

M-light, refreshing, heavy carbonation

Overall-Not bad, but nothing really jumps out at me. Taste alot like an adjunct. I would have a hard time telling this apart from other macros.

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Photo of timontheroad
2.83/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: straw yellow, clear. Nice thick half inch head with good retention, lots of carbonation bubbles floating to the surface helped the head retention. Good lacing.
Smell: slight bit of grassy hops, but mostly corn and a little bit of sweet malt.
Taste: taste was even less pronounced than the smell, with no hop bitterness and very little malt, again, mostly corn in the flavor.
Mouthfeel: Thin and watery, even with all the floating bubbles, there's no bite from the carbonation.
Overall: Pretty meh, almost worse than most AALs.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at honolulu international airport

a: golden yellow, one finger of white head

s: straight grainy, very slight grassy hop presence

t: sweet grainy malt with a mild grassy hop bitterness

m: light and fizzy but far from watery

o: a very standard lager with nothing bad about it

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Photo of TopherBreski
1.41/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Clear yellow with a decent amount of carbonation. Almost no smell; can grab a whiff of barley. Can't tell if I grabbed a craft beer that was rated 80 on here or MHL.

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Photo of Jericho7x
4.06/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Im a new to craft beers...there is your disclaimer. lol
I like this beer a lot. If you are moving out of the mass-produced American beers, you will like this as a next step up.
Clear golden color, very light bitterness (which I do not like bold hops yet), clean finish, drinkable. Would be great for a day outdoors in the summer on a hot day. They also sell it at my local supermarket!

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Photo of ZBowden
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear yellow straw gold small head, smells hoppy with cracker maltiness, tastes of bitter spicy hops paired with crisp biscuity cracker malts, bright mouthfeel with moderate carbonation with a clean finish.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours brilliant straw to gold under a 1” sudsy white foam cap.
S: Spicy hops, light grain with faint apple.
T: Drinks very crisp and clean with a firm malt backbone with just a hint of caramel and a moderately bitter hop accent.
F: Medium light body and medium to medium high carbonation.
O: Very smooth, refreshing easy to drink lager.

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Photo of MrDell
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I was feeling a little fuzzy when I had this as I had over-indulged with a load of Belgian trappist beers the night before I trying this! I found it very refreshing though, as a lager should be. Nothing really stands out in this one taste wise but I enjoyed drinking it with a pizza. I could session this on a hot day with a barbeque for example.

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Photo of vikinggary28
3.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks amber colour with thin white head. Definite smell, very hoppy, grainy for a lager. Mild smooth flavour that carries the hops over from the aroma. Very clean taste. Taste more like a basic pale ale than a lager. Great summer beer. I'm not a big lager fan, (o.k. oktoberfest and bock excluded) but this one is very enjoyable. Prost!

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Photo of Pantalones
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Second bottle from the Kona variety pack I picked up not long ago. Bottling date is February 17th, 2015.

Appearance is pretty much what you'd expect of a pale lager -- pours very pale yellow, slightly darker once it's all in the glass, very clear. Lots of bubbles rising up through the beer, and a fluffy white head of foam on top which is pretty big upon first pouring but rapidly shrinks to a coating on top over the next couple minutes -- but unlike some of the other pale lagers I've had, the foam doesn't ever disappear completely, at least not in the time you'd take to drink a standard pint glass's worth of this. Bonus points for great bottle design, both the label and bottle itself.

Smell isn't especially strong, but what's there isn't bad. A bit of a grain/bready sort of thing and a bit of that grassy pale-lager-hops smell (especially noticeable when first opening the bottle, but present afterward too) which I didn't notice when I had my first bottle of this last night, and a bit of an almost corn-on-the-cob type sweetness.

Taste has the features present in the smell -- grain, a sweet/starchy thing that's reminding me of corn even though I'm guessing no actual corn is present in the beer (as it's not classified as an adjunct lager), and again just a bit of hoppy grassiness which I for some reason wasn't picking up in the bottle I had last night. The flavors are on the milder side, but what's there is pretty nice, definitely nothing that seems "off" at all. Plays nice with food, too -- the later half of this glass is accompanying some mac & cheese with tomatoes and green chiles, and neither the food or the beer seem to be impacting each other's flavors in a bad way at all.

Mouthfeel is pretty nice, too. Light but not quite watery, and very, very drinkable. This is definitely a beer you can easily have two or three of with a meal (or without a meal, even.) I'd probably do just that if not for the fact that I've got to go to work at 4:00 and I don't want to be drinking multiple beers before I drive!

Overall -- this is actually a really nice little lager, and works really well for cooling off after a long summer day or having a beer (or a few) with a meal. I think I underrated this one a bit yesterday when I had my first one -- comparing to Nooner (as I had one bottle of each yesterday) the first thing that stood out is how mild it is, but comparing to others in the overall "pale lager" category (American pale lager/European pale lager/adjunct lager) that I've had, this is actually really good, easily the best of its category that I've had!
To summarize: basically an upgraded version of the Red Stripe, Tecate, etc. type of lighter island/tropical pale lagers -- all of the positive features of those beers, but with none of the negatives and a bit more flavor. If you're looking for something that's lighter without being "lite," I'd say this would be a great choice.

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Photo of mkh012
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very well-rounded beer. Not the most complex, but light and easy drinking. Has some tropical fruit flavors to distinguish it from your average lager. Slight hints of citrus and floral hops but an extremely smooth finish. A great beer to have 5 or 6 of in a night but not as boring as macro lagers. Good to convert your friends if they're macro drinkers.

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Photo of Sweet_Hammy
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Decent. Easy. Definable papaya as one other reviewer pointed out. Just enough bright hop flavor to keep.it clean. Had on tap at Old Chi. After being over hop blasted too many times I am searching for balance. This beer is nicely balanced but leaves emptiness on the initial taste. Finishes well though.

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Photo of ARoman
2.84/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap, poured into a shaker. The aroma is bread dough with a light, grassy spice, and a touch of honey late. The beer pours a clear straw pale with a foamy white head that only has a light retention, but moderate lace. The taste is a medium sweet and light bitter. The beer is smooth and oily with a light fuzz and light body. The flavors on the palate are honey and corn with a slick finish of honey and a mild, grassy spice that leaves a bready aftertaste.

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Photo of biegaman
3.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Given its name, you'd expect Longboard Island Lager to be topped with surf-worthy white froth and leave waves of lacing. But it's not and it doesn't. Instead the surface is still and calm as a koy pond. This beer is, however, appropriately clear and sunny for something made on Hawaii's Big Island.

The aroma has a lightness on par with its complexion. But that's not to say there's no flavour. Lagers like this can be a fantastic representation for beer's most important ingredient: malt. Indeed, this one has a graininess reminiscent of the feed room in a stable. It's a bouquet that emphasizes the fresh and grassy side of the cereal grain with hops providing a faint floral note too.

The palate, on the other hand, is much more 'malty' than 'grainy'. It tastes definitively like something from the bakery not the farm; these biscuity, bready, even doughy flavours and their inherent gentle sweetness would be most at home in a confection or cake or cereal protein bar.

Despite the fine offering of flavour, this isn't the kind of beer to slowly savour - light-bodied and easy to drink, it puts up no fight going down (and doesn't take much time to do so). The contents of the glass disappear quickly as each sip almost leaves you more thirsty for the next.

Longboard Island Lager is exactly the kind of flagship beer you'd understandably expect from a Hawaiian brewery. It's an offering that doesn't demand much attention and is probably best enjoyed in hot, sunny settings. It isn't quite on par with top German Helles but is worlds above any American macro.

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Longboard Island Lager from Kona Brewing Co.
3.37 out of 5 based on 2,645 ratings.
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