Category Archives: Beer

Kona Longboard Island Lager

Kona Longboard Island LagerI will start off by saying that I am definitely not a beer connoisseur nor do I claim to know more about beer than the next guy. I am just another guy that likes drinking beer and decided that while I was here in Hawaii I would try and find some local brews to try. One of the local brews that I found at many restaurants and also in local stores was the Kona Longboard Island Lager made by the Kona Brewing Company .

The first thing I noticed about the Kona Longboard lager was the great aroma it presented. The smell was grainy with a hint of fruit. I found Longboard to be quite smooth tasting with a slight sweet and spicy taste. Overall, I really enjoyed the Kona Longboard lager and would recommend it to others. I purchased it from a local store for about $9 for a six-pack.

My only wish would be more time so I could try some of the other Kona Brewing Company brews.

Another great thing I enjoyed about the beer was that under every bottle cap was a Hawaiian saying with an English translation. It is a gimmick that I really think is fun and interesting. So, go out and grab some Kona Longboard Lager if you get the chance.

Sapporo Lion Beer Hall

Our last night in Tokyo we decided to check out a place I found while doing my recent photowalk in Ginza. The place I speak of is a pretty popular and famous destination that goes by the name of Sapporo Lion Beer Hall.

The Sapporo Lion Beer Hall located in Ginza is Japans first and oldest beer hall, built in 1899. Even more surprising is how this beer hall has managed to stay standing after the massive air raids by allied bombers during WWII. The fact that this place still exists is enough for me to check it out.

We arrived around 7 p.m. and it appeared that every table had someone occupying it. It was busy but we got right in and seated. The bottom floor has very tall vaulted ceilings and an Beer Hallalmost Gothic styling that I enjoyed. Towards the back of this massive room was a mural that covered nearly half of the wall. I thought the mural really added a lot to the atmosphere and brought the restaurant together nicely.

Upstairs was a little less crowded but it still had crowds of  excited people enjoying a cold beer. After speaking with a waiter, the difference in the floors is the menu. Supposedly, the first and second floors have somewhat different menus. I didn’t get a chance to check out the bottom floor menu but I will take the waiters word for it.

As far as the food went, I had the beef stew and thought that is was surprisingly good. It could have been the two large boots of beer that accompanied my stew though. My wife had some fondue, but I don’t think someone can really mess up fondue.

Another great bonus was every boot of beer I ordered came with a little ticket that I had to open to reveal a prize. Apparently, I won both times and received four ¥500 off tickets which I gave to the party of people sitting next to us. It was our last night and we knew we wouldn’t be back , so I figured the nice people next to us would really appreciate a couple free beers on the gaijin couple.

As far as last nights go, we are pretty happy we stumbled upon the l. The atmosphere, food, and especially the beer were all worth while.

Fursty Ferret Ale

I just bought an iPhone and wanted to test how well the WordPress app worked. It’s nice being able to post an update no matter where I am. I thought it would be fitting to make my first mobile post a beer one.

Mr. Beer West Coast Pale Ale

It has been roughly three months since I started brewing my first beer with the Mr. Beer home brew kit. My last bottle of West Coast Pale Ale was finished last night and to be honest, it couldn’t have been any easier to make.

After finishing my first beer I must say that Mr. Beer offers a very easy way for new beer brewers to get an idea of how to properly brew beer. Overall I thought that the West Coast Pale Ale was a decent beer but lacked something I couldnt quite put my finger on. It didnt stop me from drinking all of it though…haha.

I went with two weeks in the fermenter, two weeks carbonating, and roughly three weeks conditioning before I had my last two or three bottles. I think the first beer I had was only after one week of conditioning and it definitely got better as time went by.

It wasn’t bad for a first batch. I am excited about the Whispering Wheat Weizenbier that I have had carbing for the last two weeks. Hopefully in two or three weeks I will have another review.


This was my second beer of the night for our make your own sushi night and it brought back a lot of great memories from the three years that we spent in Japan.

I had quite a few of these back in Japan so I wanted to post a picture for my personal online beer collection.

So, here goes…


Serving Type: 650 ml Can

ABV  (Alcohol By Volume): 5.0%

Asahi Super Dry

I was wandering around a local Asian food store and just happened to luckily find the beer section. To my surprise they had Sapporo and Asahi Super Dry, so I quickly grabbed a couple bottles of each and headed for the register.

After living in Japan for three years I would say that I consumed a fair amount of Japanese beer. Asahi was one of the beers I drank on the regular and it was good to get my hands on it again.

It is nothing spectacular but when I went out on the town I really got into drinking a lot of Asahi. It was sushi night at our house so I cracked open a bottle of this stuff to be reminded of the “good ole days” back in Japan.

Serving Type: 500 ml bottle

ABV  (Alcohol By Volume): 5.0%

McEwan’s No.1 Champion

This was my first shot at tasting Scottish beer and I thought McEwan’s No.1 Champion was pretty good. Overall I found this Scottish ale to be pretty good but nothing spectacular.

It poured a deep ruby color and that led to a very rich and dark tasting beer that I thought was very pleasant overall. At 7.3% ABV this had a pretty good kick behind it.


Serving Type: 500 ml bottle

ABV  (Alcohol By Volume): 7.3%


DuvelA stubby looking brown bottle with a white, red, and gold label just happened to catch my eye the other day so I thought it was time to give it a taste. The beer in question was Duvel, a Belgian strong golden ale that I can never recall ever seeing before. I have been really liking Belgian style brews so I thought this would fit right in with out a problem.

I was absolutely right. This small 330ml bottle of Duvel sure packs a punch at 8.5% ABV. I thought it was light and crisp on the mouth with a distinct sweet slightly carbonated taste. I thought it almost resembled the taste of a champagne but only better. This has to be one of the better beers I have come into contact with thus far. I think I have finally come to the realization of what good beer is suppose to taste like.

Do not let this tiny bottle fool you! At 8.5% ABV it will knock you on your ass. I know that I was surprised at how strong this tasty little guy ended up being. It almost makes me sad that I only bought one and I will have to hunt some more down before I can have it again.

According to the Duvel website:

With its subtly bitter bite and delicate aroma, Duvel holds a unique position within the rich Belgian beer tradition. After bottling, the beer continues to ferment for a fortnight after bottling in the warm cellars of the brewery. Finally, the beer is chilled for 6 weeks in the cold cellars. This extra long maturing process is unique and contributes to the exquisite flavour and pure aroma of Duvel.

Like I stated earlier, this one heads to the top of the list of my favorite beers.


Meantime Wheat


I bought this beer because I have really been digging the wheat beers I have had recently. Not to mention that I thought the shape of the bottle was kind of interesting.

Here is a description of the beer according to the Meantime Brewing website:

A cloudy, golden-orange beer with a moderately dense white head displaying a mixed combination of banana, fruit, bubblegum, spice and zesty aromas and flavours, all created, in true Bavarian wheat beer style, by the use of a unique yeast strain that brings out the true character of the wheat malt used in the brew.

I thought the spice aroma was evident but I had troubles finding the banana and vanilla scents. It had a fruity aroma,  I found it to be more of a peach aroma rather than banana. I really enjoy the style, but I thought this was a little watery for my taste. Being brewed here in the United Kingdom I must say that they did a good job, just not as good as some of my favorite German style brews.



Serving Type: 330 ml bottle

ABV  (Alcohol By Volume): 5.0%

Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier

Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier is another wheat beer that I ended up really enjoying. Apparently it is brewed in the worlds oldest brewery, Brauerei Weihenstephan. I figured that simple fact is enough to warrant a taste test.

The aroma is spicy with strong hints of clove and nutmeg. I thought it tasted spicy with a slight hint of banana and stronger nutmeg and clove notes. As I stated in the first sentence, I really enjoyed this beer and could drink a few of these with no problem.



Serving Type: 500 ml bottle

ABV  (Alcohol By Volume): 5.4%