This week's blog will have both a very sad, and very happy tone.
Very happy because this may be one of the top stops I made on my recent trip to Hawai'i.
Very sad because it was one of the last stops I made in Hawai'i.
But what better place to visit to wrap up our trip there than to stop at Kona Brewing Company on The Big Island. Visiting the brewery and pub was one of my top destinations while we were visiting the state. I'm a huge fan of their beer and wanted to be able to taste some more limited options that are only available on tap at the brewery itself.
The beer, as usual was delicious, and made me wish that the brewery bottled some of these other limited options sometime soon. Duke's Blonde Ale was a fantastically refreshing. I was happy to see that six-packs of their delicious Castaway IPA are now in bottles for the season. Definitely pick that up if you see it and enjoy refreshing IPAs.
But enough of their fantastic beer, let's discuss the sandwich.
The menu has so many delicious sounding options that it did take quite a bit for me to settle on one. Most of them also use their beers as an ingredient. Wanting to stick with the success of the seafood based sandwich from my post two weeks ago, I ordered the Big Wave Shrimp Melt.
A significant amount of tender shrimp are braised in Big Wave Golden Ale (a fantastic beer) and garlic with house made avocado aioli, parmesan and provolone cheeses, roasted garlic, fresh spinach and locally grown tomato thrown on top. Stack this deliciousness between tow halves a hearty roll and you have a great sandwich.
The shrimp were tender but still had a bit of pop to them when you took a bite with plenty of delicious flavor. The parmesan and provolone cheese combined for an incredibly savory, powerful flavor that was very present, but not overpowering of the more mild shrimp flavor.
The fresh spinach and tomato added a contrast of fresh crunch and flavor. The tomato was not mealy in the least and was an excellent contrast to the savory sandwich. The roasted garlic added a great flavor that complemented the cheeses and mild seafood.
Plus, anything with roasted garlic gets a big thumbs up from me.
Stack all of this between the sides of a hearty roll that held it all together until the end of the sandwich, and you have an excellent example and one of the best sandwiches I had during out stay in the 50th state.
If you happen to be in Kona and stop by KBC, definitely take the tour as well. I find it's always great to see the inner workings of a place like this before or after you enjoy their delicious beer. You get to see the process at work and may even get a better understand and appreciation of the craft of beer.
An excellent way to wrap up our stay in the islands for a week and definitely left me wanting to return very soon. Hawai'i is not only a fantastic place to visit, but it's obvious that it is a place where the people understand what makes a good sandwich.
Until next week, Readers...
Big Wave Shrimp Melt
**** 1/2 Stars
Kona Brewing Company
75-5629 Kuakini Highway
Kailua Kona, HI 96740