Koko Brown | Kona Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
82
good
338 Reviews
THE BROS
71
okay
Read the review
Koko BrownKoko Brown
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Koko Brown's distinctive, nutty aroma and flavor comes from real, toasted coconut blended into each brew. One sip of this smooth, mahogany colored ale and you'll feel like you're on a warm, sun drenched beach in Hawaii. Crack one open!

Added by julian on 02-19-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
338
Ratings:
1,455
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
14.64%
 
 
Wants:
49
Gots:
203
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 338 | Ratings: 1,455
Photo of JohnFatAss
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown color, head faded fast but left some lacing on my glass.

Has a sweet coconut smell.

As expected, it has coconut flavor. It is sweet, but the coconut is not overpowering.
It has a buttery mouthfeel, and finishes with a slight bitterness.

It is a nice beer, the coconut flavors make it different. I think it is worth checking out, but not something I would want to drink on a regular basis.

 416 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: golden-brown in color, 1/3 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: huge coconut, light toasted malt and nut

Taste: toasted malt, toasted coconut that gets more pronounced toward the end and earthy hops

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation, sweet start with a big bitter middle spike and a less bitter end.

Overall: I like coconut and this one is a nice specialty beer. I understand the necessity for some bitterness here, but to me it needs to be a little less sharp or perhaps a different type of hops. I like the uniqueness and would pick up another six pack, but there are others I would get first.

 624 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle dated 2/24/12 poured into a Sam Smith nonic.

A: Pours transparent dark amber with a bit of chill haze, just a small amount of head and lacing that quickly retreat.

S: Coconut comes through big time with hints of brown sugar and milk chocolate as well...macaroons, toasted hazelnuts...sugary, slightly artificial.

T: Coconut hits and fades into a toasted grain, slight sweetness...dried dates, faint hints of a dessert sweetness (cookies, German chocolate cake), hint of oak.

MF: Moderate light body, lower carbonation, with a touch of dryness on the palette.

O: Decent but not something I'd want to drink a ton of...I think without the coconut this beer would have nothing to offer.

 699 characters

Photo of TheDinger
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried on draft at KBC at the Honolulu airport. A very nice light brown pour with a generous 2 finger white head. Decent spotting and lacing throughout. Smell is toasted coconut, nuts and some fruits. Taste follows the nose, but thankfully it's not a coconut bomb. It actually accents the beer nicely and I'm not a huge coconut fan. Definately a unique spin on the style and I enjoyed the effort. This has been my favorite offering from Kona. Fruits and nuts blend into the taste well. Pretty complex which was a surprise. Feel is medium with good carbonation. Like my brown with a bit more body, but it's adequate. Overall- A good effort with a unique spin on the style, more of a sessionable brown. It works for me and will try out of the bottle back home-

 757 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear honey brown color with a wispy off white head. Definitely on the light side for a brown ale.

The aroma is overwhelmingly toasted coconut. Smells like an almond joy. The coconut aroma is nice but quite strong. There is some caramel/toffee notes as well but those are subtle.

Surprise, the taste is of toasted coconut. It is a rather smooth flavor so once you get over the initial shock of strong coconut, it is actually not too bad. There is a caramel sweetness and a lemony tea flavor that brown ales tend to have. Some grassy bitterness in the end.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Starts off sweet on the palate but is balanced by a grassy hop. It is a bit astringent in the finish with a slight lemony sourness.

An interesting beer and expected from a Hawaiian brewer. You need to like coconut to like this beer. I am not a huge coconut fan but the beer works.

 910 characters

Photo of startreker
2.25/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Nice creamy head to be sure. Minimal carbonation.

S. The aroma was more then what I expected. I was expecting a little bit of coconut, but as soon as cracked it open, I got an exquisite smell of coconuts before it even hit my glass.

T. I truly enjoy coconut, but not like this. I was hoping there would be a balance of other distinct flavors, but couldnt find any here. It was like tasting a very bitter mounds bar, thats not for me.

M. The mouthfeel was medium to average, nothing to write letters home about.

O. After I tasted this for the 1st time, I must say that it wasnt horrible, but certainly nothing I would ever purchase again. Not at all a good session brew by any means. Im placing the other five beers on the bottom shelf of my fridge, incase Im out of beer, and thats all there is. The only other option is to pour them down the sink and feed the fish.

 911 characters

Photo of psuKinger
2.68/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle generously given to me by Spanial's Beer because they "appreciate my business". Very cool. Bottle poured into my Kona "Liquid Aloha" pint glass.

A: Pours a light shade of brown, surprisingly translucent, but with a big frothy off-white head on top. Large pancake batter bubbles throughout.

S: Muted notes of biscuits and overly-sweetened malts, with just a touch of coconut underneath. The coconut notes become more distinct as the beer warms.

T: Coconut is by far the most pronounced aspect of this beer. The malts underneath don't remind me of a "classic brown", either. Bready sweetness, almost cloying. No hint of roastiness. No "nutty" character. Just a malt sweetness that reminds me of "scotch ale", and lots and lots of fake, *extracty" coconut flavor.

M: Unremarkable. Rather watery. Low carbonation. Nothing much to discuss on the finish.

D/O: This beer lacks balance. I like coconut, but not like this. It's not horrible, but there's nothing about this that would make me want to revisit it. I could finish it if I wanted to, but I don't need the calories, so down the drain it goes.

 1,106 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a medium brown with tiny bubbles that slowly rise to the top. A small white head slowly fades into a gentle cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of coconut cream, toasted nuts, and light caramel.
Taste starts off good but quickly becomes over-ridden with a honey and milky coconut flavor that is hitting me like suntan lotion in my mouth.
Mouthfeel is creamy, semi sweet and bitter at the end with a thin finish.

 449 characters

Photo of darkstar12
4.24/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap into a pint glass at TJ Stone's in Old Town Alexandria, VA, as well as Kooper's Tavern in Fells Point, Baltimore

A: Nice brown color, very thin tan head with some good lacing
S: Coconut, coconut, coconut - they didn't hold back
T: Again tons of coconut and really well done in doing so - makes the beer sweet, but not over-the-top
M: Thin but nice and smooth
O: This is an excellent easily-drinkable spring/summer beer. A very nice change of pace from the usual brown ale, and very easy to chug through a few of these

 530 characters

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a dimpled mug.

A – Crystal clear medium brown with a one-finger head of soapy cream colored bubbles. Patchy/clumpy lacing.

S – Toasted malts and coconut. Overall aroma is medium strength.

T – The taste almost exactly follows the nose, with nutty, roasted grains and lots of coconut, however the coconut flavor is not overwhelming, which is nice. Slight bit of earthy hops in the finish. Some fruit sweetness (would you believe me if I said pineapple?) comes out as it warms. Not terribly rich or complex, but still pretty tasty.

M – Thin bodied bordering on watery, with medium carbonation. The carbonation works, but the thinness doesn’t. Could definitely use a little more fullness.

O – Coconut; surely a gimmick, right? Well…actually this is a pretty decent beer, although definitely not something I would want to drink a six'er of. Who knew coconut and beer would make a drinkable combo? This one should get props for originality, as the coconut makes it pretty unique.

 1,019 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – The brew has a light brown colored body with a large billowy head formed upon pouring. The head had some persistence and faded slowly to give a light amount of lacing.

Smell – Coconut is the most potent aroma present. There is a lighter caramel aroma and an ever so light roasted malt aroma mixed in as well.

Taste – The taste is of roasted malt up front. There are flavors of caramel and coconut that mix well with the originating roasty flavor. While it starts out a little lighter, the coconut really comes on more toward the end of the taste and leaves a rather nice, slightly sweeter, coconut flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body is on the light to medium side with a slightly below average carbonation level. The carbonation is very fitting as it allows the smoother tastes to really permeate the tongue. The body however is a little too thin and could use a little boost in thickness.

Overall – This is a very easy drinking brew with a great aroma and flavor. While the body is a little weak, it definitely should not keep anyone from trying this one.

 1,128 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nicer color than most browns, with a bright copper cast. Decent head in the wine glass. I don't detect any aroma, but there is plenty of toasted coconut in the nose. Well, a little nuttiness in the smell as it warms up.

Nutty flavors with a little butter. The malty sweetness is pleasant, and then some bitterness sneaks up. Caramel and modest roasted malt flavors. Watery body.

An amiable oddity, and a deal at $3.39 for the 22 oz bottle. Seems to be a wife pleaser, so who am I to judge.

 492 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear tawny color. Bubbly white head has modest retention. Thin, spidery lacing.

S: Coconut shavings, caramel, toffee, grassy hops, and an underlying sweet malty scent that I can't pinpoint. Vague fruitiness. The coconut is very fragrant.

T: Fresh coconut up front, with caramel, toffee, and that same aforementioned sweetness. It almost tastes like pilsner malt, though I don't think that's actually it. Coconut goes toasty mid-palate. Slight nutty taste underneath is barely perceptible. Fruity tastes reminiscent of dates and figs. Hop tastes of hay and lemongrass. More chewy caramel. Abrupt finish of toasted coconut and sweet caramel.

M: Light bodied. Slight chewy/viscous feel, yet it remains foamy and creamy too. Modest carbonation is sharp and has a bit of a scrubbing effect.

O: Simple, but pleasing. You come for the coconut and, well, you stay for the coconut. There isn't too much else going on, the base beer is a little bland. An easy drink for a breezy summer night. Part of me wants to test this out as a mixer, but I think it would be easily overwhelmed.

 1,137 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear dark brown color with an off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is sweet malt, caramel, a touch of chocolate and coconut. This beer smells very tropical, almost like a mix between a brown ale with a slight whiff of Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil. 

T- The taste is a lot of sweet malt and caramel with a touch if bitterness in the finish from the hope.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I like a good brown ale and this one has a nice little twist with the coconut. The coconut is not a distraction like I was worried about, it is very well placed in the brew.

 676 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.39/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed after warming to about ten below room temperature. Straight from the fridge was just kind of bland.
A - brown with thin little head and slight lacing. Fine traces of floaters throughout, coconut?.
S - sweet coconut overlying some malts. The coconut smell is not unlike a bag of flaked bakers coconut. Nice if your a coconut fan.
T - shockingly sweet coconut milk, I'd assume this is from the "natural flavor added". Long lasting coconut taste sort of like having a coconut flavored candy.
M - medium malty smooth body with moderate carbonation.
D - too out of the ordinary to be an easy drinker unless you chug it cold.

Smelled interesting but the taste just came through as too confectioner's coconut to be really good.

Definitely let this one warm up to get the full coconut experience.

 799 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Hi-Time Liquor in Costa Mesa, California.

Served refrigerator cold and side-poured with standard vigor.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and good retention. Colour is a semitransparent dark amber-copper. No visible yeast particles. Interesting for a brown ale.

Sm: Light nice coconut, nuts, cream, and tropical fruit esters (very buried). Intriguing. What does toasting coconut really do? I hope to find out. A moderately strong, pleasant aroma.

T: Pretty strong coconut tones, some cream - particularly on the open, light nuts, and clean, layered lightly toasted malts to help lend it a full body and round out the flavour profile. Slight tropical fruit ester hints are present, but timid. Well balanced and nicely built, though I'd prefer the coconut truncated a bit on the finish. Unique but not complex or particularly subtle. Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with adequate thickness and carbonation. Some cream. Suits the flavours pretty well.

Dr: A very unique brown ale that I'd certainly get again - preferably on draught. The coconut is well-executed, contrary to my expectations. I'd recommend it to friends merely because it's unique. If you want to see the style successfully experimented on, give this one a try. A solid offering from Kona brewing.

B-

 1,481 characters

Photo of mgoffee
4.82/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Nice sweet but not overbearing taste. Great to accompany food.

Would buy this again and would advice others to do so. Not too strong either, so can be enjoyed without worrying about the strength.

I actually think the caramel tastes are stronger than the coconut.... That said there is a nice mellow coconut after taste.

 334 characters

Photo of TheBigE5
4.57/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Half finger of light tan head. Nut brown amber coloring. Clear.

S - Dark malts, coconut and chocolate come through in the nose.

T - Starts as an excellent brown ale. Moves into a light coconut flavoring. Clean finish with lingering notes of coconut.

M - Smooth and creamy with light carbonation.

O - This beer would be great without the coconut flavoring, just as a brown ale. With wonderfully abundant coconut notes in the nose and a touch of coconut in the finish, this beer is taken to the next level of craft beers.

 564 characters

Photo of poriggity
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I will say, I am a fan of all of Kona Brewing's offerings. That being said, I'd never had the Koko Brown until now. I poured it from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Small off white/tan head, with a nice dark copper color. First sip was a nice carmel and coffee note, with slight hops on the finish. The glass laces nicely, and it's quite refreshing. Great drinkable beer. Not thick or heavy, but a good drinkin beer!

 421 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear copper, with a couple fingers of thick off-white head. This retains with a foamy smoothness that skims the surface, soaping the sides of the glass with patchy swathes of lace. The aroma smells of straight up toasted coconut, with extra underlying notes of green citrus, light toffee, and a bit of nutty dough along the back.

The taste is earthy green hops up front, with caramel and some light coffee flavor shoring up the middle, before a big flush of coconut milk floods out across the back of the profile. Hops finish this with a dry leafy bitterness that sticks to the tongue a bit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft and bubbly feel that lays a mellow crispness on the tongue and is generally pretty easy feeling in the mouth.

This wasn’t too bad if you’re looking for something a little lighter for the palate. You really have to let this warm up a bit too really get those coconut flavors to show and even then it seemed a bit overdone at times, but I was glad to at least find some other hop and malt flavors here to keep this mildly interesting. It’s certainly very drinkable for what it is.

 1,172 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger off white head, excellent retention on a deep amber and clear body. Some lacing.

S: sweet caramel malt, moderate degree of aroma strength. Mild burnt toast note.

T: I was immediately shocked at how strong the milk and coconut flavor was at the start.
This one actually tastes like toasted/dried coconut and immediately transitions to what I have experienced from drinking milk straight from a freshly opened coconut.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation:

Overall: Not so much good but interesting. The finished is a little watery but this one has a lot of coconut flavor. Definitely worth giving it a try if nothing more than for its uniqueness.

 670 characters

Photo of aficionado
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Remarkable color and clarity. Transluscent light brown with a tinge of red. Small white head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind a bit of lacing.

Aroma is weak. Should be fruitier and maltier with more toasted coconut presence. Smells like Sam Adams Irish Red... bready, light caramel, old crystal malt.

Flavor is much better than the aroma. Nice and smooth. Not overbearing with the coconut. Just the mildest notes remain. Easy drinking with a good balance of bitterness. I could drink a few of these at a party. It is rather balanced with not too much sugar and therefore it doesn't give me a headache.

The mouthfeel is thin and lackluster. With better aroma and mouthfeel, this would be a very solid coconut beer.

 725 characters

Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of toasted malts, some coconut. Taste is coconut up front, some toasted malts, easy drinking and refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a unique beer worth checking out.

 279 characters

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear and very deep amber in color with a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that gradually died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are interesting aromas of coconuts, nuts and toffee in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has lots of flavors of coconuts (similar to the coconut flakes that are used in cake frosting) along with notes of toffee and sweetness and some hints of vanilla.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The addition of coconuts to this beer definitely makes the smell and taste very unique. It is also rather easy to drink, although I wouldn’t call it sessionable given the sweetness.

 800 characters

Photo of leviathanhops
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Copper in color with a mild head.

S. Fragrance of chocolate, coconut, and malt.
Smells like a chocolate coconut cake...could
it taste as good as it smells?

T. I was pretty surprised when I took my first
sip of Koko Brown. I've had some other
of kona's offerings and they weren't that
memorable. When I first started drinking
beer, I got introduced through red and
brown ales. Like most people my taste in
beer changed as I discovered other
types of beer, so it had been quite some
time since I sat down to a brown ale. This
is by far one of the better ones I've had.

M. Creamy, not overly thick.

O. I really liked this beer. Not many beers can
taste as good or better than they smell.
Drink up!

 722 characters

Koko Brown from Kona Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 1,455 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
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe