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General Category => Commercial Beer Reviews => Topic started by: RC on August 21, 2018, 12:39:43 AM

Title: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: RC on August 21, 2018, 12:39:43 AM
Historically, I've been fan of Kona Brewing. Kona beer from the bottle (brewed, I believe, in Ft. Collins, CO) has always been awful. But at the brewery in Kona, Hawaii, it was sublime, at least their Longboard and Lavaman Red (IMHO). I just got back from Kauai, and I tried Kona beers on draft, which presumably are from the brewery in Kona and not from the mainland. They were god-awful. Kona has definitely changed recipes and/or processes. Undrinkable. Really a shame. In my area (Sacramento, CA), a major, long-established brewery (Rubicon Brewing), underwent a similar, negative transformation, and went out of business soon thereafter. So what are we homebrewers to think when a brewery that used to make great beer starts making s*** beer?
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: tommymorris on August 21, 2018, 12:59:23 AM
Historically, I've been fan of Kona Brewing. Kona beer from the bottle (brewed, I believe, in Ft. Collins, CO) has always been awful. But at the brewery in Kona, Hawaii, it was sublime, at least their Longboard and Lavaman Red (IMHO). I just got back from Kauai, and I tried Kona beers on draft, which presumably are from the brewery in Kona and not from the mainland. They were god-awful. Kona has definitely changed recipes and/or processes. Undrinkable. Really a shame. In my area (Sacramento, CA), a major, long-established brewery (Rubicon Brewing), underwent a similar, negative transformation, and went out of business soon thereafter. So what are we homebrewers to think when a brewery that used to make great beer starts making s*** beer?
Make the good stuff ourselves.


- formerly alestateyall.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: KellerBrauer on August 21, 2018, 11:08:30 AM
I cannot say I’ve tried the Kona brewed in Colorado, but I have had plenty of Kona brewed in Hawaii and I must say, I have never had a Kona I didn’t like.  Now if you say the Kona brewed in Colorado is not the same and undrinkable, there is obviously either a process difference or an ingredient difference.  My guess is it’s the ingredients.  More specifically, the water.  Just a guess.  Perhaps you can write to Kona and ask?
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: BrewBama on August 22, 2018, 12:43:05 AM
I’ve had great Kona sitting on a deck on the North Shore. I have a recipe for a Big Wave - like Golden Ale. I call it North Shore but have yet to brew it.  So many beers, so little time.


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Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: reverseapachemaster on August 23, 2018, 03:51:08 PM
I believe on the mainland their beers are brewed at Widmer and Redhook locations because they are part of Craft Brewers Alliance with those two and a couple other breweries.

The Kona beers in Hawai'i are definitely better than what floats around here.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on August 23, 2018, 08:14:13 PM
I believe on the mainland their beers are brewed at Widmer and Redhook locations because they are part of Craft Brewers Alliance with those two and a couple other breweries.

The Kona beers in Hawai'i are definitely better than what floats around here.

I have noticed the bottles I get say brewed and bottled in Ft Collins.

"We began working more closely with Anheuser-Busch (“AB”) to advance several key aspects of the new and enhanced agreements we announced with AB in the third quarter. As part of the new brewing agreement, we made significant progress in qualifying several CBA beers for production in AB’s Fort Collins, Colo. brewery, beginning spring 2017. On the commercial side, Kona was featured in a special craft beer holiday variety pack, alongside Widmer Brothers, Redhook and other brands from AB’s High End division, and we developed multiple assets for AB’s annual sales and marketing conference. Finally, we continued to explore potential international distribution opportunities that leverage AB’s strong footprint around the world. These efforts demonstrate tangible progress in advancing this key relationship and harnessing AB’s immense global capabilities."
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: BrewBama on August 25, 2018, 09:59:38 PM
Look what I found. Tastes pretty good.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180825/4b501f81a0f8d08be8189966c69de836.jpg)


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Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: reverseapachemaster on August 27, 2018, 03:07:08 PM
I believe on the mainland their beers are brewed at Widmer and Redhook locations because they are part of Craft Brewers Alliance with those two and a couple other breweries.

The Kona beers in Hawai'i are definitely better than what floats around here.

I have noticed the bottles I get say brewed and bottled in Ft Collins.

"We began working more closely with Anheuser-Busch (“AB”) to advance several key aspects of the new and enhanced agreements we announced with AB in the third quarter. As part of the new brewing agreement, we made significant progress in qualifying several CBA beers for production in AB’s Fort Collins, Colo. brewery, beginning spring 2017. On the commercial side, Kona was featured in a special craft beer holiday variety pack, alongside Widmer Brothers, Redhook and other brands from AB’s High End division, and we developed multiple assets for AB’s annual sales and marketing conference. Finally, we continued to explore potential international distribution opportunities that leverage AB’s strong footprint around the world. These efforts demonstrate tangible progress in advancing this key relationship and harnessing AB’s immense global capabilities."


Clearly I am wrong on this one. I didn't realize AB was playing a larger role with BREW.

When I drive up to Fort Collins I know I've driven one exit too far on the interstate if I see the giant AB plant.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: ethinson on October 19, 2018, 07:56:07 PM
I believe on the mainland their beers are brewed at Widmer and Redhook locations because they are part of Craft Brewers Alliance with those two and a couple other breweries.

The Kona beers in Hawai'i are definitely better than what floats around here.

I have noticed the bottles I get say brewed and bottled in Ft Collins.

"We began working more closely with Anheuser-Busch (“AB”) to advance several key aspects of the new and enhanced agreements we announced with AB in the third quarter. As part of the new brewing agreement, we made significant progress in qualifying several CBA beers for production in AB’s Fort Collins, Colo. brewery, beginning spring 2017. On the commercial side, Kona was featured in a special craft beer holiday variety pack, alongside Widmer Brothers, Redhook and other brands from AB’s High End division, and we developed multiple assets for AB’s annual sales and marketing conference. Finally, we continued to explore potential international distribution opportunities that leverage AB’s strong footprint around the world. These efforts demonstrate tangible progress in advancing this key relationship and harnessing AB’s immense global capabilities."


Clearly I am wrong on this one. I didn't realize AB was playing a larger role with BREW.

When I drive up to Fort Collins I know I've driven one exit too far on the interstate if I see the giant AB plant.

The rumors here in Portland are that it won't be very long at all before CBA gets swallowed whole by ABI.  That 30% deal they have is sweet compared to all the other ABI owned houses.  Sooner or later ABI is going to want their full slice.  I don't remember the exact date, but there's a fall 2019 (September?) date built into their deal that ABI can exercise a stock option or something of that nature (I'm fuzzy on the details but read about it on the local beer blogs).  Kurt is already retired and when Rob steps away AB will swoop in without a doubt.

I'm also not shocked that AB would be pushing all in on Kona.  What I've heard from people who work at Widmer is that 90% (or some sufficently large percentage, could be exaggerated) of their tank volume is Kona.  Redhook is essentially dead and Widmer is hanging on by a thread.. Kona seems to be the one making moves.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: tommymorris on October 19, 2018, 11:43:10 PM
I believe on the mainland their beers are brewed at Widmer and Redhook locations because they are part of Craft Brewers Alliance with those two and a couple other breweries.

The Kona beers in Hawai'i are definitely better than what floats around here.

I have noticed the bottles I get say brewed and bottled in Ft Collins.

"We began working more closely with Anheuser-Busch (“AB”) to advance several key aspects of the new and enhanced agreements we announced with AB in the third quarter. As part of the new brewing agreement, we made significant progress in qualifying several CBA beers for production in AB’s Fort Collins, Colo. brewery, beginning spring 2017. On the commercial side, Kona was featured in a special craft beer holiday variety pack, alongside Widmer Brothers, Redhook and other brands from AB’s High End division, and we developed multiple assets for AB’s annual sales and marketing conference. Finally, we continued to explore potential international distribution opportunities that leverage AB’s strong footprint around the world. These efforts demonstrate tangible progress in advancing this key relationship and harnessing AB’s immense global capabilities."


Clearly I am wrong on this one. I didn't realize AB was playing a larger role with BREW.

When I drive up to Fort Collins I know I've driven one exit too far on the interstate if I see the giant AB plant.

The rumors here in Portland are that it won't be very long at all before CBA gets swallowed whole by ABI.  That 30% deal they have is sweet compared to all the other ABI owned houses.  Sooner or later ABI is going to want their full slice.  I don't remember the exact date, but there's a fall 2019 (September?) date built into their deal that ABI can exercise a stock option or something of that nature (I'm fuzzy on the details but read about it on the local beer blogs).  Kurt is already retired and when Rob steps away AB will swoop in without a doubt.

I'm also not shocked that AB would be pushing all in on Kona.  What I've heard from people who work at Widmer is that 90% (or some sufficently large percentage, could be exaggerated) of their tank volume is Kona.  Redhook is essentially dead and Widmer is hanging on by a thread.. Kona seems to be the one making moves.
Speaking completely without data:
Maybe Hawaii sells. The Kona brand seems very marketable. The beers are pretty good (on par with Redhook and Widmer) but new and fresh to parts of ‘merica.

PS. I haven’t seen a Redhook beer in ages.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: Robert on October 20, 2018, 01:07:10 AM
^^^^
My local outlets seem to always have a sixer of Redhook IPA on the shelf.  Maybe the same one for years.  Widmer?  Nowhere. Kona has had a good chunk of shelf space for several years and looks not to have peaked yet at all.  BTW it just says "brewed and canned by Kona Brewing Co., Wherever, Hawaii" or whatever.  Wonder where the stuff here is really made?  No indication of actual production site.  (Most brands seem to list the headquarters and various other sites.)
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: BrewBama on October 20, 2018, 01:20:41 AM
Wonder where the stuff here is really made?  No indication of actual production site.  (Most brands seem to list the headquarters and various other sites.)

https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/makers-of-kona-beer-sued-because-its-not-brewed-in-hawaii


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Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: Wilbur on October 20, 2018, 05:19:07 AM
^^^^
My local outlets seem to always have a sixer of Redhook IPA on the shelf.  Maybe the same one for years.  Widmer?  Nowhere. Kona has had a good chunk of shelf space for several years and looks not to have peaked yet at all.  BTW it just says "brewed and canned by Kona Brewing Co., Wherever, Hawaii" or whatever.  Wonder where the stuff here is really made?  No indication of actual production site.  (Most brands seem to list the headquarters and various other sites.)
Well, according to this they can brew 300k barrels at any of the 12 AB breweries. So... I've narrowed it down a little.

https://www.brewbound.com/news/new-cba-agreements-indicate-potential-b-inbev-buyout

I also haven't seen Widmer or Redhook for a while. I haven't been in a Buffalo wild wings in a while, but I think they formed some partnership with the BA recently. They used to have at least 3-4 CBA beers.  They mentioned something about trading out more national brands and allowing regional managers to pick more of the draft list. Sounds like they're a chance they'll have more than 3 beers to choose from (Counting only crafty beers like Stone and Lagunita's).

https://www.brewbound.com/news/buffalo-wild-wings-partnership-with-the-brewers-association-to-extend-beyond-gabf

"Although the company will still mandate 23 tap handles, Murphy said it will “drastically decrease” the number of national mandates and instead move to a state-by-state model that incorporates more local and regional offerings on a spring-to-spring schedule, with the opportunity for a fall reset...breweries will also have the opportunity to rotate styles seasonally."

Sounds like a bad scrum for big beer. On another note: BWW came out with pumpkin spice wings. Gross.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: brwrsboo on November 27, 2018, 08:19:31 PM
I agree with those who say Kona is good in Hawaii, but NOT on the mainland.  And the last time I had a Redhook offering, I was drinking Black Hook in Olympia in 1984, and it was VERY good.  Why are the giants so scared of craft beer?
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: santoch on April 22, 2019, 02:21:24 AM
They closed down the Redhook facility in Woodinville, WA a few years ago.  They used to brew Redhook, Kona, and Widmer there.  Last I heard, it was being brewed in OR, but that may be wrong.
Craft Brew Alliance is not ABI.  Yes, there is some ownership, but it is not majority.  It trades as a public company, I think.

I simply refuse to buy Elysian, 10 Barrel, Goose Island, and all of the other ABI brands that dominate the shelves.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: Robert on April 22, 2019, 02:37:19 AM


They closed down the Redhook facility in Woodinville, WA a few years ago.  They used to brew Redhook, Kona, and Widmer there.  Last I heard, it was being brewed in OR, but that may be wrong.
Craft Brew Alliance is not ABI.  Yes, there is some ownership, but it is not majority.  It trades as a public company, I think.

I simply refuse to buy Elysian, 10 Barrel, Goose Island, and all of the other ABI brands that dominate the shelves.

Thought I read that ABI had completed full takeover of CBA, and that this had led to further facilities closures.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: Robert on April 26, 2019, 02:39:29 AM
Wonder where the stuff here is really made?  No indication of actual production site.  (Most brands seem to list the headquarters and various other sites.)

https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/makers-of-kona-beer-sued-because-its-not-brewed-in-hawaii


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https://www.brewbound.com/news/craft-brew-alliance-agrees-to-settle-kona-labeling-dispute
Title: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: BrewBama on April 26, 2019, 12:00:02 PM
Reminds me of Bourbon. Very few distilleries but SO many labels. Hmmmm. Come to find out one distillery in Indiana distills most of them from a menu of grain bills. Much like these "Potemkin distilleries" I believe we have “Potemkin breweries”.


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Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: ethinson on May 04, 2019, 11:49:40 PM
^^^^
My local outlets seem to always have a sixer of Redhook IPA on the shelf.  Maybe the same one for years.  Widmer?  Nowhere. Kona has had a good chunk of shelf space for several years and looks not to have peaked yet at all.  BTW it just says "brewed and canned by Kona Brewing Co., Wherever, Hawaii" or whatever.  Wonder where the stuff here is really made?  No indication of actual production site.  (Most brands seem to list the headquarters and various other sites.)

I recently picked up a mixed 12 pack of Redhook that was an IPA pack (shock..) it included their two stand-bys, Longhammer and Big Ballard (an Imperial) and then two "pilot" brews from the BrewLab in Seattle (a small bar/pilot brewery so Redhook stays anchored in Seattle) Peaches for Me, a fruit IPA and Bicoastal IPA (billed as a West Coast version of a New England IPA).  It happened to be pretty fresh and in my opinion was all very good. Kinda sad that they are barely hanging on.

Back in March, Jeff Alworth posted on his blog the break down of CBA beers for 2018. Redhook is about 10% of total volume, Widmer about 15%.. the other 75% is Kona.

https://www.beervanablog.com/beervana/2019/3/7/widmer-brothers-slow-descent?fbclid=IwAR2UI6g556NxJ-TLQg3cMGDmWJZZzFexm6bo0SkUQtYTwQmRuJPa2D12-zA (https://www.beervanablog.com/beervana/2019/3/7/widmer-brothers-slow-descent?fbclid=IwAR2UI6g556NxJ-TLQg3cMGDmWJZZzFexm6bo0SkUQtYTwQmRuJPa2D12-zA)
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: MNWayne on May 25, 2019, 03:34:24 PM
I didn't know Goose Island is ABI. Won't be buying that one any more.
Title: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: BrewBama on May 25, 2019, 07:30:05 PM
I didn't know Goose Island is ABI. Won't be buying that one any more.

You might be surprised at who owns who. Even this graphic is dated with new mergers and acquisitions happening routinely.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190525/92d9278bf00ef5864d66f10f0de9410c.jpg)


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Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: Robert on May 25, 2019, 08:08:56 PM
I didn't know Goose Island is ABI. Won't be buying that one any more.

You might be surprised at who owns who. Even this graphic is dated with new mergers and acquisitions happening routinely.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190525/92d9278bf00ef5864d66f10f0de9410c.jpg)


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Just remembered this, I don't know how up to date it is either.  But if you religiously object to buying beer of impure provenance,  you can wander the beer aisle with this on your phone.

https://www.craftorcrafty.com/

Or not.  Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Kona Brewing from a bottle...
Post by: denny on May 25, 2019, 08:59:16 PM
And IMO some of theose partnerships/ownerships are more onerous than others.  For instance, I have no problem with Duvel/Moortgat ownership.