The somewhat lacklustre photo you see is of the tag attached to a growler of the Illawarra Brewing Company’s latest beer – Hawaiian Cookie Golden Ale. At least I think it’s the latest – they released the 2013 iteration of the Smashing Rumpkin pumpkin beer around the same time and I’m not totally sure which one came first. So let’s stick with the cookie beer.
It seems that a Hawaiian Cookie is a real thing, by the way. It is some sort of cookie but more detail I cannot supply as Google is being more than a little recalcitrant on that score. This beer is the second collab between the Illawarra Brewing Company and the Local Taphouse (ahh, I’d love for some brewer to ask me to make a collab beer with them. Would be another thing to cross off my beer bucket list. HINT, HINT). The first IBC-Taphouse collab was the Chuck Norris American Red Ale.
Apparently no actual Hawaiian Cookies were harmed in the making of this beer. Rather, the brewers used biscuit malt and some oats (at least I think it was oats) to give a biscuity flavour. Then there are also lots of hops – Galaxy, Amarillo, Citra and Wai-iti. Though to be honest, I don’t get much in the way of flavours that resemble the first three. But I do get some distinct notes from the Wai-iti, an NZ hop that throws kiwi fruit and a bit of mango. And that’s the flavour profile for mine.
The Hawaiian Cookie reminds me a bit of Mountain Goat’s new Summer Ale – but better. Which should come as a relief to the IBC brewers as I recently told them I was heaps underwhelmed by the Goat beer. For my tastes the difference is that the Cookie beer, while light like the Summer Ale, has a bit more flavour. It strikes the balance between being light enough to drink easily but also present you with enough flavour to keep things intriguing. I found myself “chasing the flavour” – noticing slight hints of fruit notes that would skitter away before I could figure them out. That led me to drink some more to chase that flavour.
If you get a chance to try this beer – especially on a warm afternoon – I suggest you do exactly that.