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Kona Hanalei

It pains me to say this, but a number of my closest associates detest real ales. As you can imagine this causes its fair share of problems, choosing the next pub, explaining which ale you’re drinking in a round (“no, I’m quite alright for a Carling thanks, chum”) and even just generally making conversation. Indeed, the repetitive cycle of “what are you drinking there?” followed by “hmmm… not for me, that” can become rather tedious. If you, like me, are oft found in this predicament then look no further than Hanalei. It’s golden hue and fruity aroma are agreeable to all, even heathen non-converts to the real ale cause.

A lesser IPA could overpower the taste with an over-reliance on fruity flavours to make up for any shortfalls, but Hanalei combines notes of guava, oranges and passionfruit (in homage to its Hawaiian roots) with standard bitter and hoppy hallmarks to perfection. Kona have created an absolute classic here, trumping their well renowned and best-selling golden ale Big Wave, in this writer’s humble opinion. I’m yet to introduce this to anyone who doesn’t like it. It’s just at home on a wet and windy weekend on Liverpool’s waterfront as it is on native Waikiki, waves lapping ashore. It’s versatile. It’s glorious. As Squeeze once sang, “they do it down on Camber Sands, they do it at Waikiki”, applicable anywhere.

Luke Connelly

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