I do enjoy a fine pale ale. Due to my affinity for this style of brew, I occasionally subscribe to Hofer's alliterative quest: "the pursuit for the perfect pale"*. Thus, over break, I picked up a six pack of Kona's version on the pale beer, because, well, I had simply had never tried it before.
Probably because this is a Hawaiian beer and the climate on the big island is very tropical, the packaging purports that the ale will be refreshing. (Maybe in an attempt to arouse memories of your lovely tropical island vacation). But I thought refreshing was an odd description for any pale. Now, Kona's flagship beer, the Longboard Lager, has been rightfully touted by many as incredibly refreshing (including our own Matthew Lightner - who promised to post on it). And that I can understand; as lagers are lighter than ales.
However, Firerock, is a surprising refreshing pale. It has basically no head (see right) and relatively few hops to match. Thus it is a pretty mild pale with some grassy flavors and hints of malts. It almost reminds me more of an amber ale than a pale in that respect. Now Kona's third beer on the shelf was a porter. I didn't examine its description, but if that beer is equally refreshing as the lager and paler ale, this company has figured it out.
Hang Loose & Cheers
*Note: I changed Hofer's use of "search" from his second post to "pursuit" because it added another 'P' and stylistically sounded better. But I'm sure he's not offended to that sort of editing from his tenure on The Santa Clara staff.