Kona Brewing Company had a little party last night at Big Kahuna’s in Pacific Beach to unveil their newest beer coming to San Diego, Koko Brown, a brown ale made with coconuts. Kona Brewing Company president Mattson Davis was on hand chatting with folks and talked with us a bit about the beer. He said they use 100lbs of coconuts per batch (25 barrels if I heard correctly). They use toasted coconut chips in the mash and add coconut flavor in the bright tank. Koko Brown will be a late winter/early spring seasonal, it should show up in San Diego in a few weeks and will be around through April.
So how is Koko Brown? Pretty good, it smells and tastes strongly of coconut, the initial flavor may be a bit too sweet, probably a result of the coconut flavoring, but I imagine it would be extremely difficult and costly to get enough coconut flavor using only actual coconuts and not flavoring. It finishes dry enough that the sweetness isn’t a huge problem, but that first sip did catch me off guard. It’s a bit nutty like many other brown ales, but the coconut is what really comes through. Davis says it pairs well with Thai food and especially caramelized onions which I isn’t hard to believe.
Koko Brown isn’t a beer I could drink all night, but it’s not hard to drink one or two.