Tonight I’m at Bruegala , our one and only beer tasting festival in the Bloomington-Normal, Illinois area. I’m working our Abnormal Brewers booth, and helping out Fred, our former president, and current head brewer for Destihl. I covered his booth for an hour or so, and got a chance to have a few of their beers. During a slow time, I thought I’d go ahead and review their Hawaii Five-Ale. This beer came to be as they were trying to save a wheat beer which had gone sour. Fred suggested they try throwing fruit in it, and thus, their Hawaii Five-Ale was born.
Location: Enjoyed a 3oz sample, in a sampling glass, at Bruegala in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 5% ABV, ~ 135 Calories
Ingredients: Wheat beer base with tropical fruits added, including pineapple, grapefruit, strawberries, etc.
Appearance & Aroma: It was extremely hazy and had a sort of pinkish orange color. There was a thin head, which fell fairly quickly. The aroma was a bit grapefruity with hints of pineapple and other tropical fruits.
Taste & Feel: It had a light body and a very crispy mouthfeel. The flavors up front were very sweet, like tropical fruits, followed by more sweetness and a bit of tartness in the middle and finish. The finish was light, tart, and very effervescent.
Food Pairing: I can’t think of anything this would go with except something like mixed fruits, or maybe a pineapple upside down cake. The cake might be good to help cut through the sweetness and tartness a bit, yet it would be crisp and light enough to help wash down the cake.
Overall Impression: This is truly a beer unlike any I’ve ever tried before. It’s fruitiness and tartness make it a “girly beer.” Yet the tartness has a slight sour quality to it that sour beer fans might enjoy. It’s effervescence and flavor reminds me a bit of those Arbor Mist fruity wines. Overall, it’s a good change of pace, but not one I could drink a lot of.