Sometimes simple really satisfies
A Review of Longboard Island Lager by Kona Brewing Co.
As a lover of craft beer, we sometimes get lost in the complex. We look for multiple layering, distinguishing characteristics, stand out flavors, and so on. At times we can really lose sight of the main goal of craft beer: a tasty brew. Sure, a beer with a lot of personality can be enjoyable and delicious, but what about those who are direct and to the point? Do they not deserve the same respect as their complex counterparts? They have a purpose in our better beer world just as those of the mind bending masterpieces do. To me, summertime provides the perfect setting for those beers who make a more direct route to, and in our glasses, and one such offering that fits that bill is Longboard Island Lager from Kona Brewing Company.
In the glass it has a crystal clear pale straw coloration and a bright white and fluffy head perches on top for quite some time. I should provide a note of caution when going in for the first smell, as to me there was a split second of ''Oh crap, this smells like a Heineken'' that crossed my mind. No worries though. Give it a minute or two, and the peppered maltiness starts to become a little more clear, and along with it a few hints of biscuits, lemon zest, and grass. As with most lagers, you don't want a lot going on in the nose, due to the fact that most of the time it just causes confusion where this style is concerned.
When you go in for the firs taste, the mouthfeel is what catches you initially. Contrary to its somewhat thin appearance, there is actually a light, but creamy body to it that is both unexpected and enjoyable. The lively carbonation provides plenty of transportation for the light malty and bready backbone highlighted by more peppery lemon bite, as well as cleans things up nicely for a remarkably light and refreshing finish. I don't know that Longboard Island Lager will win any awards for overall performance, but as far as mouthfeel and finish goes, the big corporate garbage makers should really take some notes here.
Maybe its the island life. Maybe its the laid back culture. Maybe it is attention to detail that some seem to forget. No matter what the case may be, the people at Kona Brewing Company seem to be on to something. The Longboard Island Lager is one of those beers that is perfect for a day at the beach, an afternoon on your back deck, or an all day affair with friends on a patio somewhere. Some people want their lagers as ''no-thinker drinkers'', while others want a bit of character with little fuss. To both camps I say try this one on for size. This chameleon of a beverage might not impress all from either camp, but I guarantee that it will satisfy many from both.