Kona Brewing Company has announced it will begin distributing its entire beer portfolio in Minnesota starting this January. With the expanded distribution to Minnesota and 4 other midwest states, Kona beers will now be available in 35 states.
“This is a bit of uncharted territory for us but we are genuinely stoked to be bringing Liquid Aloha to the many craft beer lovers in our country’s interior,” said Kona Brewing company president Mattson Davis. “We appreciate the love for ohana (family) that Midwesterners have. In Hawaii we have similar values of family and friendship and we look forward to finally sharing some warmth and a taste of Hawaii with more of our fans, especially during these cold winter months in the Midwest.”
Regular offerings from Kona include the Flagship Longboard Island Lager, Fire Rock Pale Ale, and my favorite Big Wave Golden Ale. The seasonal Aloha Series includes Koko Brown Ale (made with toasted coconuts for that subtle nutty flavor), Wailua Wheat made with passion fruit, and a coffee infused Pipeline Porter.
Kona beer is brewed in several locations across the country so that the beer is already close to market. The market proximity means the product is fresh when it reaches customers. The water at each brewing location is treated for impurities and then minerals are added to mimic the water in Hawaii. And actually, the water in Kona is treated too. The municipal water in Kona has changed over time and become too brackish.
Kona has a bit of a cult following. Last week, during our happy hour, we thought Koko Brown was going to be on tap, but a different keg showed up. Boy, did I ever hear about it! Several people (including one very upset young lady named Katie) gave me grief for the mix up. Everyone that gave me a hard time had either heard great reviews of Kona, or had already tasted it previously and were anxious to have it again. I’d say all the boos and hisses I had to endure is a good indication of how good Kona beer is, even if I was nearly tarred & feathered.