The team over at Kona Brewing have been busy whipping up some pretty unique beers that feature some pretty fun locally sourced ingredients. Over the past year, they’ve actively worked with local farmers to harvest ingredients to create some playful and delicious pub only beers. The brewers actually get out onto the farms to help collect the ingredients that they then take back to the brewery. They’ve collected everything from koa blossom honey to fresh lychee. For their latest release, Jab-Oat-icaba Cinnamon Oatmeal Stout, the team found a cinnamon farm just a few miles away from the brewery and made the trek up the hill to cut down some trees.
Brewery Operations Manager, Sandi Shriver, provides the full story on this unique new beer and the local ingredients they used:
The Kona Brewing Company Brew Staff is incredibly proud to release Jab-OAT-icaba Cinnamon Oatmeal Stout! This smooth, ruby-hued stout is complimented by 33 pounds of fresh picked jaboticaba fruit added directly to the whirlpool stage of the brewing process, adding both a fruity sweetness and a mild tartness. While developing this recipe, we found that the jaboticaba fruit was at peak harvest and had to jump on the opportunity to use it. If you have never seen a jaboticaba tree in person, it’s an incredibly strange looking tree. I remember when a friend first told me about her tree in her back yard I honestly didn’t believe her that a tree like that could ever produce fruit. The tree is unassuming most of the year, until it starts to bloom white cottony-like flowers that cover the trunk like spider webs. Then, before you know it, it looks as though the fruit is crawling up the trunk and onto the limbs. The little black berries almost resemble a grape; they are plump, juicy, and sweet, and became the perfect accompaniment to this creamy, roasty brew.
An addition of seven pounds of freshly harvested Big Island Cinnamon to the bright tank contributes a subtle warming and a spicy aroma and flavor to round out this complex beer. During our quest to make the perfect oatmeal stout with the freshest local ingredients, we stumbled upon a farm just miles away from the brewery that crops this fragrant spice. After visiting the farm and helping Tane at Oceanfire Cinnamon with the harvest, we found out that not all cinnamon is created equal. Ceylon cinnamon has antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory health benefits, whereas the common cinnamon you see most often in stores can actually be detrimental to the liver and kidneys at high intakes. The cinnamon at Oceanfire is not only organic, but it is the Ceylon species. And to think, we only had to travel 30 minutes to get this exotic spice fresh at harvest!
Jab-Oat-icaba Cinnamon Oatmeal Stout will be available at both the Kona and Hawaii Kai pubs.