Kane Brewing (Revisited) - Ocean, NJ
I won't lie - I visit Kane Brewing regularly. I've also made it no secret that it's in my personal top 2 of breweries in New Jersey. With a 5+ year record of beer excellence, there's not much on the ever growing catalog that could disappoint me. I had already planned to visit this past Saturday, so upon hearing that special beers were being released, I tried to speed up just a bit more. At first I thought they were only releasing a stout, Port Omna, and thought there wouldn't be much of a crowd. After being told that Waimea Punch, an IPA collaboration with Aslin Beer Company, was being released as well... I knew it'd be packed. I was not wrong.
I chose a hell of a day to revisit Kane Brewing for the sole purpose of writing some words in the vast sea of internet blogs.
As soon as I entered the taproom, there was a long line wrapping all the way from the back room to the brewing area. It took a good 20 - 30 minutes to finally reach the end, but when I did, I had my bounty of choices to pick from. It wasn't just Port Omna and Waimea Punch, but it was also 3 variants of Port Omna: Creamsicle, Coconut, and Irish Potato Candy. For the sake of this review, we'll be looking at three of these beers: Port Omna (base), Port Omna Coconut, and Waimea Punch.
By the time I had picked up my cans, I had a glass of Port Omna just waiting for me. Port Omna is a 6.6% American Stout that I've loved to enjoy during the winter time. The brew is made to be a bit on the thinner side. You really can tell the difference if you ever had the pleasure and privilege of trying Christian Patrick. The lower ABV usually means it's going to not be as a rich, without compromising on a chocolaty taste. The notes of cocoa and malts prevail prevail above all else. It's an enjoyable stout - despite being "thinner" than Christian Patrick, it retains flavor very nicely. I'm very happy to say that I enjoy this as much now as I did back in 2012.
As much as I enjoyed the base for Port Omna, I have to say, I absolutely loved the variant with coconut that much more. As soon as you open the can, the tropical aromas of coconut just completely overtake your nostrils. It's not subtle either, and I love it. I love coconut in beers, so I'm on that end of the spectrum. Something about the coconut variant seemed much richer and decadent than the regular version. Most of the times, craft beer will get better as it warms up since the flavors enhance throughout that process. But for Port Omna Coconut, I loved this beer from beginning to finish. It really does taste like a candy bar in a glass. Well done, Kane.
This collaboration between Kane Brewing and Aslin Beer Company was expected for those following the social media accounts for both breweries. In fact, some people expected it sooner - so it was a pleasant surprise to me to choose this day to randomly visit Kane. I have to say, this beer surpassed my expectations, but it was not what I was expecting. I expected something more along the profile of Head High or Party Wave. I completely underestimated the "Punch" portion of this beer's name. It's completely tropical with a sweet start turning into a tart finish. It's definitely a punch to your palate as far as citrusy fruits are concerned. The experience got better as the temperature of the beer warmed up. It also made me miss summer and the beach. Waimea Punch, you are a summer tease.
During my time waiting in line and afterwards, I was very happy with the experience, as always. Being able to try beers like Head High, Christian Patrick, Port Omna, and Sneakbox while I waited was an absolute joy. Ever since the canning has begun, I'm always eagerly anticipating the next release, even when its Head High or Overhead. It's hard not to get excited about anything Kane drops. Past releases like Evening Bell and Sunday Brunch as well as Party Wave and Third Reef have all been met with rave reviews. The news that Solitude would be consistently released throughout the year is a fantastic step forward. The past year has been one of heavy evolution for Kane Brewing and last weekend's release was a positive sign of success to come. I'll definitely be enjoying many more cans/bottles at home and many more flights at the brewery and hopefully so will you! Salud!