Wednesday, October 17, 2012

“Pāhoehoe?” More like “Pā-OH-NO”! Review of Two Brothers Brewing Company’s Pāhoehoe Coconut Ale

Brewery: Two Brothers Brewing Company
Locale: Warrenville, Illinois (30 miles west of Chicago, IL)
Craft Circa:  1997 
Style:  Ale (artisanal variety w/coconut)
ABV:  7.1%
IBU: 16.1
Notables: Limited 15th anniversary retro release #10 of 15 (that’s 1 beer per year).

Label: Great label.  Volcano peaks erupting with what looks to be “coconut” lava.  As the label states, Two Brothers was inspired to brew Pāhoehoe after a trip to Hawaii to participate in the 2011 Kona Beer Festival on the Big Island (Hawaii).  The beer is named after a type of lava flow found at the Kilauea volcano. 

Overall: Meh.  Yes, that’s right: “meh.”  I was very intrigued, excited, and disturbed by the prospect of trying this beer.  Yinzer gave me the heads up and, lo and behold, it appeared before me as I browsed the beer aisles of a local retailer of all things alcohol.  I had to buy it.  Showtime.  I was disappointed.  The beer barely sustained a semblance of a head.  And the coconut?  The label says they used coconut water, coconut milk, and toasted coconut meat.  So you would expect some coconut flavor, right?  WRONG.  It’s almost like they forgot to put the coconut into this batch.  I mean, I wasn’t looking for a “beer-colada,” but I was looking for SOME coconut flavored notes.  The beer started off slightly sweet on the front, a bit of bite on the tongue, then nothing special going down.  There was a weird sort of “nutty” aftertaste but minus the “coco”.  Maybe I had higher expectations; should’ve gone in with low expectations.  But it’s Two Brothers!  They brew some quality beers.  I don’t know what all the fuss is about.  I mean, feature this as an anniversary beer?  Maybe we should steer clear of these Two Brothers anniversary brews.

I bet you were wondering how pāhoehoe is pronounced?  I’m going with the second one.  Kind of rhymes with this man’s phone greeting:

Acquisition:  22oz. -(Actually $8, I’m not sure you can pay with coconuts.)

Windfall: Pāhoehoe is a Hawaiian term meaning “smooth, unbroken lava.”  It is basaltic lava that has a smooth, billowy, undulating, or ropy surface.  Pāhoehoe lava flows are quite common at the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.  The term “Pāhoehoe” was first introduced as a technical term in geology by Clarence Dutton. (Wikipedia)   



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