Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Best Damn Hawaiian Beers and Grinds

It's our last day here, and about time too: I've exhausted the local beer supply. Well, not exhausted precisely, but I've been power-levelling in Untappd like a WOW nerd on an IV drip.

But before winging my way home in a metal sausage, crammed cheek-by-jowl with what Nietzsche would call, "the botched and the bungled," it's time to sum up my trip with the best of the best, le creme de la creme, el supremo nacho grande, the proverbial big kahuna.

If you are possessed of a pair of legs, git yo' ass down to 4Kings for ono local grinds. Seriously, we hit this place twice in three days, and I forget why we didn't go three times. Probably because we were doing something boring like climbing a mountain.
If/when you're in Honolulu, hit the place up and order yourself something called "the not your normal loco." It's a fresh mahi-mahi patty topped by two eggs and smothered in shiitake mushroom gravy, brown rice and salad on the side. You can see it in the background on Katie's plate, but I didn't get a shot from the time I went because the food disappeared down my throat like my last name was Dyson. I think I ate part of the plate.

But you're not in Hawaii now. You're in Vancouver, or Surrey, or (God have mercy on your soul) Chilliwack. If so, you could care less about a hole-in-the-wall that's four thousand kilometres away. But that's just because you haven't eaten there. Yet.

I've got more bad news. Since coming here, I figure I've sampled near two dozen local brews. I've checked, and you can't get any of them here. Yet.

There were wheatbeers and hoppy IPAs and coffee-infused porters; ice-cold lager after a hot day's hike, a cascadia-hopped ale on a breezy marina. But of all the deliciousness that eased many a long afternoon, there's only one clear winner.

This is Maui Brewing Company's Coconut Porter, and the tagline at the bottom of the can reads " hot chicks on the beach," by which I assumed they mean, "thing that you've developed perfect 20/20 peripheral vision for." So that's a little confusing, but I'll run with it.

Coffee is a natural pairing for the dark roasted malts of stouts and porters. Coconut, toasted coconut in particular, is a little more subtle, but it adds length to the taste and hint of exotica to the nose. Now here's the good news: head south of the border as far as Seattle, WA, and you'll find these little four-pack jewels hidden in cold beer and wine stores. It's far and away the best the Islands have to offer.

Now, I'm headed back to local beers and rain rain rain. First stop, Cook St. Liquor Store!

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