Aloha! The Bierlady goes Hawaiian!

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I know the Bierlady normally only talks about Beer, but I have to indulge a bit and talk about the last week. My family and I took a trip to Oahu, Hawaii. Mostly Thanks to Lets Make a Deal. I was on an episode earlier this year and won some money. And partly due to my husband working for ABC so we got a pretty kicking discount at the Aulani Resort. http://resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/ I was a bit skeptical to go to a Disney resort not cause I had any doubt that it would be fantastic. Its just that I had worked for the Mouse for a decade and my husband for a decade plus. So since we live and breathe Mickey I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see him in Hawaii. But for what its worth this Resort is amazing. And just like the commercial says “with just a touch of Disney”
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The resort is almost beyond describing, not just the actual look of it, the countless pools, the private beach, the outdoor movies,IMG_0714 the onsite luau, the games, the spa, a place to swim with fish IMG_2337 and even Aunty’s Beach House a place you could if you wanted leave your children from 930am to 9pm for free! And trust me your kids will love you for it. I can’t say we left our boys longer than to get a massage and one day to drive to Waikiki another but what a lovely perk for us and them.

Yes the resort it pricy if you don’t work for the company, but it truly is a spot where you get what you pay for. Every single cast member had a smile, an “Aloha” and was there to help. Anything you needed anytime they did it. Seriously a 5 star place. I wont go into too much detail since this is a beer blog but feel free to look me up on Trip Advisor. I will have more “hotel” details there.

The first evening we enjoyed our gorgeous view and what else? A Kona Longboard on our balcony. Welcome to Hawaii! The Bierlady had arrived! Alooooooooooooooooooha! IMG_0317

The first morning we were there we got caught up in the time change so the family was up at 4:30am which wasn’t a bad thing as we were down at the beach by 5am so watch the Moon go down and the sun come up. Spectacular view! IMG_1985 We spent that day on the private beach where they had paddleboards, and kayaks and snorkeling and sand toys.

Then just a few stairs up we could go in one of the many pools. Our favorite was the lazy river that allowed you to just float in a tropical circle, DSCN7940 or if you want to go down the greatest water slide ever. There are private adult only pools and hot tubs but don’t be fooled there are still kids all around. Im not saying you should not go without kids, but if I were just a couple not a foursome I may find another secluded island to hang out on. BUT this resort can’t be beat so I see the appeal.
Out by the pool they had take away food and most importantly the SHAVE ICE stand. DSCN8182 Now don’t get caught saying “SHAVED ice” no “D”.DSCN8199 Shave ice, bro. We enjoyed three different flavors with the incredible..ahem…fat free…cause its vacation right?….condensed milk all over the top. My youngest son is three. So he didn’t get too adventurous but he loved his “watermelon and strawberry” ice. Wait Griff you get three flavors…”oh okay strawberry and watermelon and strawberry”. Fair enough it’s your vacation too.

Inside the Aulani is amazing architecture, fine dining and a pretty decent buffet. It was $40 for adults (kids can order ala carte much cheaper) and I’m pretty sure we ate $40 worth of sushi alone. So it was worth it.

I wont go on about details you can read on their website, but a few things I noticed that weren’t on the site, they have laundry. Found that the last day. Oh well. For 3 tokens (ala $3) you can wash your suitcase and dry for the same. I will bring less clothes next time. More room coming home for chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Also saw they have BBQ grills you can use. See here’s the thing the food may be pricey there but they don’t force you to eat it. Our room had a fridge, coffee pot with new coffee everyday, a toaster, a microwave and plates and silverware. There is a small grocery store across the street for the basics and more… and if you have a car or rent one there 1 exit down is a Safeway, a Kmart and a Target. (Note we got our Hawaiian shirts there, cheaper!). Again found the grills the 2nd to last night or we would have bought steaks.

We only rented a car two days while we were there to go out to see Pearl Harbor. IMG_2067 http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm A sobering and incredible experience. And the Dole Pineapple Plantation,IMG_0537 http://www.dole-plantation.com/ a destination on my own personal bucket list. After I ate my body weight in pineapple, we took the kids on their Pineapple Express a 20min train ride around the fields. We also went in the Pineapple Maze. The worlds apparently largest. I would say um….without being negative….hey try the train!

We made it up it Waimea Falls http://www.hawaiiweb.com/waimea-valley-adventure-park-o-ahu.html only to find out the way to the falls closed at 5 and we arrived at 4 and there was an apparent 30 min walk to the actual falls. So we decided that wasn’t enough time. Which ended up being okay as my 3 year old took a header outside the Falls area and we were on a mad scavenger hunt to find bandaids. I found myself checking in on Facebook at “Some Random Longs Drugs In Paradise”.
The North shore. Gorgeous. For those who know CA beaches this is like Hermosa or Venice. Real beach people. Walking around no shoes. Shaka man. Shaka.
The next day my husband and I set forth alone to Waikiki. We tried to make a stop at the Kona Brew Pub on the other side of the island but alas it was closed for the day.IMG_0684 So we headed to the heart of Waikiki…wow that place is crazy. IMG_0690Full of people and energy. We were slightly touristy and stopped at Dukes. There is a Dukes in Malibu and in fact Mr. Beerman asked me to become the Bierlady at that Dukes. http://www.dukeswaikiki.com/

So 10 years later we found ourselves at the one in Hawaii! And low and behold they had a BEER SAMPLER! IMG_0694 The Bierlady was whole again! There were four beers and I loved them all. The first was a lighter beer from KONA called Dukes Blond Ale. What a GREAT beer. I had a pint of it after my sampler. I was sad to hear you can only get it at Dukes but hey that’s what I came for to try beers I can’t get at home. The second was KONA’s Lavaman Red Ale, a tasty red, but when has Kona let me down? I haven’t seen this one in LA but I will keep a look out for it! Looks like its only a draft beer as well. http://konabrewingco.com/our-pubs/draft-only-beers/ The next was KONA’s Firerock. This one you can find in a Kona Variety pack with Longboard, Big Wave, and whatever the seasonal brew is. I like Firerock normally, but loved it on tap. Made a difference. I mean sure draft beer is always better, but this almost took a slight bit of the hoppy flavor and smoothed it out vs bottle. And the final beer on my sampler was Hawaii Nui Brewing Hapa Brown ale.IMG_0698 http://hawaiinuibrewing.com/ A really tasty brown with that “Hawaii” taste to it. I can’t explain it. I like a good brown on a cold day but this you want to drink on the beach! I would not have believed it was ABV 6.4% tasted lighter!
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The next day we went to a Luau at Paradise Cove. http://www.paradisecovehawaii.com/index.htm It was just a 5 min walk from our resort, but they have busses that bring in 100’s and during peak season over 1000 people a night! It was so worth it. If you want a great luau in Hawaii this is it. I mean it was a Vegas Lounge act for sure. And I say that in the highest compliment. But it was more than a show. It was an experience. We arrived at 5pm, greeted with Mai Tais (kids too no boozy) and taken onto the beach. There we found games for all of us,IMG_2460 tattoos, dancing, lei making, hat making, kayak riding, turtle watching. So much to do! Then about 6pm they started their preshow. It had a man climbing up a huge Palm tree and raining flowers down on us, coconut shucking, the infamous Pig being brought out of the ground, and a show with “volunteers” from the audience bringing in the “fish net” and doing their own show on the beach. Yes Mr. Beerman was a volunteer, I mean after 3 Mai Tai’s what wont he do if asked nicely? He was hilarious. I am forbidden to post pictures as hes in a skirt and no shirt. But safe to say it was a memory my children will IMG_2530treasure. At 7pm it was on to the real show. Complete with hula dancing (my older son 7 years got up on stage and danced), fire juggling, the whole luau experience. It was all complete by about 8:15 and I can’t speak highly of it enough!

The rest of our days were spent enjoying the resort and all it had to offer. We even ran into Samantha Brown out by the pool! Shes like the spokeslady for Aulani, but we have been fans of her forever! We have been travelling vicariously through her for years! What a treat. It was like running into Emeril eating gumbo in New Orleans, running into a Travel Channel Icon on vacation!!! (She was most gracious and asked my boys if they were loving Hawaii.) Days were spent by the pool sipping tropical cocktails, but I couldn’t shirk my Bierlady duties so we do go across the street to a place called The Monkey Pod http://www.monkeypodkitchen.com/ko-olina/happy-hour/ for their happy hour. I started with a Maui Blonde. IMG_0908Ive had it before but you know “when in Rome…” and Mr. Beerman got a Kona Firerock that was his favorite beer of the trip. He had one most everywhere we went. We both got two new beers to try. I got a Hawaii Nui Kauai Golden ale that I really enjoyed. Im going to have to go find these guys at Bev Mo. Mr Beerman got a Maui Brewing Coconut Porter. A smart robust porter with a definite toasted coconut flavor! http://mauibrewingco.com/

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I won’t lie I did drink more tropical rum drinks this trip than beer. But I tried. The last thing I did in fact was stop at the KONA BREWING at the Honolulu Airport to have one last Longboard on Draft. It really is THAT good.
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It was the experience of a lifetime. Maholo, Hawaii from our entire family!

*all pictures in the blog are from our camera! Even the fancy one of Aulani at night! Thank you Lets Make a Deal & Wayne Brady for the trip and our new fancy camera!

Kona (our Summer beer/12 months a year)…One last shout out to Summer since its 100 degrees out

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So I know I typically write about local places or CA brews. But you know from my posts that I’m a big fan of Kona. Kona Brewery is in Hawaii. I mean that right there its gotta be good right? What’s not to like about Hawaii? The beaches. The pineapple. The coffee. It’s just paradise. So why is it shocking that they produce some really delicious really drinkable beers?

If you want to check out what Kona Brewery looks like inside check this out. I caught at show on AMC that was great. Owners Manual did a show on Kona. Marcus and Ed are greeted by Ryan, the Head Brewer, who explains their primary challenge: To create a new craft beer (with a secret ingredient) from scratch, then complete the brewing process in eight hours. http://www.amctv.com/shows/owners-manual/episodes/season-1/brewery#episode-details-1052613

Before we embark on LA craft brew week which ironically starts 9/19 the day after my wedding anniversary 9/18 to Mr. Beerman I thought I would do a quick blog on our favorite outta state brewery.

Note those in LA: Don’t forget to go to Story Tavern www.storytavern.com this weekend for the Eagle Rock Brewery Tap Take over for the kick off to your Craft Beer week. “As part of LA Beer Week, Eagle Rock Brewery & Story Tavern are teaming up for a four day exploration of Beer!”

Ok back to the topic at hand…KONA!

Kona has a great selection of beers. This is one of the few that we love. Let’s start with Kona Longboard. It’s a lager. If you like beer you more than likely enjoy lagers. Straight from the interweb: Lager is a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. Pale lager is the most widely consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world. long
I like them cause they fit the bill as my favorite: “outside drinking beers”. But don’t be mistaken lighter doesn’t mean flavorless. Well in some cases it does but I won’t name names cause I have relatives who are employees in the beer industry in Wisconsin. I’ll stop there…. Back to lagers. They’re light but with a body and flavor. And this is hands down one if the best out there. My personal home tap has had more kegs of Longboard in it than any other beer. Partly because Mr Beerman and I love it but partly because so do most all our guests. It appeals to the masses, from the “sometimes” beer drinker who comes to our BBQs to my home brewing award winning friend Paul. And lets call this beer the “paul” of the 4pk.

The next Kona I want to discuss because it’s the newest keg to be found in our home..but for you can be found with the Longboard in the Variety pack or on its own in a 6pk it’s their Golden Ale: Big Wave. big waveRemember a few blogs ago I explained a Pale Ale vs Lager but to remind you (again thank you Wikipedia) “Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm-fermentation with a strain of brewers’ yeast. The yeast will ferment the beer quickly, giving it a sweet, full bodied and fruity taste. Most ales contain hops, which help preserve the beer and impart a bitter herbal flavor that balances the sweetness of the malt.”
Ok so…Golden Ales were developed in hope of getting folks away from drinking lager and moving them more toward cask ales. Its similar to pale ale yet there are some notable differences- it is paler, brewed with lager or low temperature ale malts and they are served in colder temperatures. The ABV varies from 3.5% to 5.3%.

I could give you the Beer advocate talk about aroma and color but that’s not what I do. I explain it like this. It’s stronger tasting than a lager but seriously tastes like Hawaii. Not like some IPAs out there who are brewed with so much stuff you’re drinking a pine forest. This beer’s flavor meets its promise of a tropical hop flavor. Its my “john” a tiny bit more depth than the very popular and equally as good just more for the masses “paul”.

Wailua is the current seasonal brew in the Variety 4 pack of Kona. This one surprised me. Its really refreshing. Also an ale this one is super citrus and tropical tasting but not like a wine cooler citrus this is a beer but its light and perfect for by the pool, or beach if you have one. “George” sometimes forgotten but just as talented..err I mean delicious as the other three. w

Firerock is the final beer in the Variety Pack. Lets call it our Ringo. Its their Pale Ale. Not a Golden Ale but a Pale Ale. I mentioned in a prior blog that Pales Ales are the gateway beer to IPAs. A Pale Ale is an amber colored ale brewed with pale malts; similar to bitter but drier and lighter. fire Both the Pale Ale and the IPA were created by British Brewers and both are known for the liberal use of Hops! As the Pale Ale evolved in the late 18th century, it became necessary for an ale to be brewed that could survive the long trip from the UK to India. So a batch of Pale Ale was brewed a little but stronger more hops. And thus the India Pale Ale or IPA was created.

Pale Ales have a slightly less hop profile, the IPA is full blown Hoppy hop hop …Pale Ales typically contain 3.8-6.2% ABV the IPA is more aggressive 4.5-12% or I assume even higher! Im not a huge fan of the IPA. Im not a hoppy hop hop girl and I like my beer in the lower ABV range so this Firerock is great. Pale Ales are the way to go if you want to slowly get your hop on.

I do have to do a quick shout out to the Koko Brown which is avail in the Variety Pack in Spring and winter. This is another great beer its an America Brown think Newcastle, Sam Adams type but its brewed with real toasted coconut. We’ll discuss more in the winter months.3

Hold on to your hats..new beer coming out Pipeline Porter brewed with kona coffee. Are you KIDDING ME? Beer and Coffee from Hawaii…good gawd bring it on…

A recent press release from Kona tells us that:
Kona Brewing Company’s Pipeline Porter is making its way to the Midwestern states of Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Minnesota for the first time this September. Part of Kona Brewing’s Aloha Series, this American Porter is brewed with freshly roasted Kona coffee from the Cornwell Estate Coffee plantation neighboring Kona Brewing on the Big Island.
Inspired by Banzai Pipeline’s pounding winter waves on the North Shore of Oahu, Pipeline Porter will be available on grocer’s shelves and on draught across the U.S. mainland and Hawaii from mid-September through December 2013. A highly anticipated beer in the Midwest, Pipeline Porter has received many recent accolades including top three finishes at the Great American Beer Festival, the Great International Beer and Cider Competition, and the Australian International Beer Awards.
This is our longest-running Aloha Series seasonal, and we are thrilled to bring it to the Midwest for the first time this year,” said Kona Brewing Company president Mattson Davis. “Pipeline Porter uses Kona coffee beans, which are among the best in the world and help round out the rich porter’s flavor. This brew is great in any weather, but Kona beer lovers on the mainland know that the best time to drink a Pipeline Porter is when craving a little warmth to cut through the chill of a brisk night.”
Served year-round in Hawaii, Pipeline Porter has 5.3% ABV and an IBU of 23.

I have a friend who’s getting me some so I will review this one as soon as I finish my first one. Which will be about 4 min after I get it!

Mr Beerman and I will be taking a trip to http://konabrewingco.com/pubs/koko-marina-pub/ in 8 weeks and 6 days but who’s counting. I plan to try everything they have x 2 and bring you a full report back from Oahu!! Stay tuned!