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Sun, Sand and… Beer!

We here at The Malted Meeple are passionate about board games. We’re passionate about milkshakes. And we’re passionate about craft beer. We don’t talk about that last one all that often, but that’s something we’re going to fix. Later this year we plan to have some great beer tasting style events. In the meantime, watch for the occasional article about a special beer that catches our eye… or taste buds as it were. If you’re as passionate about craft beer as we are, these Featured Beers are ones that you won’t want to miss!

It’s January in Northeast Ohio, which means the mercury is falling, and the snow isn’t far behind. As any good Ohioan knows, that makes it a perfect time to turn our thoughts to sun, sand, and… beer!

This summer I was lucky enough to take a family vacation to Hawaii. Any time I travel I make an effort to sample the local craft breweries, and this trip was no different. We visited several brew houses and a brewery or two, but far and away our favorite beer related stop was at the Kona Pub & Brewery on the big island. The family absolutely loved the hand tossed pizzas. Seriously, if you’re ever on the island do yourself a favor.

Best. Pizza. Ever.

Pizza aside, I fell in love with several of the beers in the Kona Brewing lineup. I enjoyed a tasting flight or two, fully expecting that these tastes of the island would be limited to my short time in Hawaii. Imagine my delight when the manager of the Pub informed me that a few of their beers are actually distributed to the mainland!

Immediately upon returning, I shared my discovery with Head Game Master Karington, and we set off on a search for a local distributor. My two favorite Kona offerings are distributed seasonally, so once we found the distributor we were in for a bit of a wait. This last week we received the word we’d been awaiting – the first of the Kona’s were in season!

Kona describes Koko Brown  as follows:

Is there anything more iconic of the lush tropics than the coconut? The delicious heart of this island treasure has a nutty, toffee flavor and aroma that sends you straight to the beaches of Paradise. Kick back with a Koko Brown, brewed with real toasted coconut, and savor the mahogany color and smooth, roasty malt taste.

I describe Koko Brown as a great tasting brown ale with just a splash of coconut. I’m typically not wild about coconut (or brown ales to be honest!), but Kona adds just the perfect touch to Koko Brown, setting it aside from the more traditional entries in the category.

As I write this, I’m enjoying my first drink of Koko Brown since returning to the mainland.  I admit to being somewhat concerned that the brew would suffer from what I call the Lonz Effect (ask me about the story behind that sometime), and wouldn’t taste as good without palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze. Far from being disappointed however, I found that the Koko Brown tastes exactly as I remember, and immediately transported me back to the big island.

So head on over to the Meeple and enjoy a taste of Hawaii. Just be sure to button up, it’s going to be cold out there!

Profile - Jim Reed

Jim Reed is a lifelong gamer who started with the original red box Dungeons & Dragons. After spending 20 years in the corporate world, he decided it was high time that work be fun and struck out on his own. Jim now owns and operates Ravenwood Castle and The Malted Meeple, and spends his days ensuring his guests have as much fun as he does.