Partnership Highlight: We thank Kona Brewing Co. for their partnership with Trevor Crabb. The perfect fit for this chill Hawaiian. Liquid gold, an organic partnership with natural harmony and relations that mean a lot to us. Article below examples the significance of the KONA impact to the sport of beach volleyball. Mahalo!
If anyone were to take stock of the individuals populating the rosters of the United States volleyball teams, both indoors and on the beach – even those who know and follow the sport with an ardent passion – the result would be inevitable: A small dose of shock, an immediate double-take.
Was that one Hawai’ian, two Hawai’ians, three Hawai’ans, four? If you were to expand it outside of Tokyo and to those playing at the highest level on the beach, it would sound like a children’s rhyme: five Hawia’ians, six Hawia’ians, seven Hawia’ians, more!
In Tokyo, competing for the men, was Erik and Kawika Shoji, natives of O’ahu, virtually raised at the Outrigger Canoe Club. Their good friend, the one annually dubbed the best setter in the world, Micah Christensen, grew up right down the street. Get out of the gym and onto the sand, you’d see Tevor's partner Tri Bourne, another Outrigger rugrat, leading the entire Olympic beach volleyball field in hitting percentage.
Six players who rightfully qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games, all from an island of just 1 million residents. It’s a sensationally gifted generation that called for a sensationally good beer to jump on board with them: Kona Brew.
They’re an intensely proud crew, those Hawai’ians, as loyal to their home state as they are talented in their crafts. It is by no accident that the Crabbs’ fridge is filled to the brim with Big Waves, Longboards, Light Blondes, Gold Cliffs, and Mai Times, (to go along with a shelf of fine whiskey), just as it is not incidental that more than half of the episodes Bourne has recorded of his eponymous podcast, SANDCAST, have featured a bottle or three of Kona's being cracked and clinked with the guests.
It’s just a damn good beer for a damn good generation of volleyball players.
Beer isn’t new to the sport of beach volleyball, of course. Miller and Bud and Coors have all jumped on board at various points in the sport’s alcohol-filled history. But there’s a distinct difference to note: Those light beers are all, shall we say, the party type, the kind you’ll buy in mass quantities, a cheap beer for a cheaply good time, one that goes down quickly and in high volumes and typically results in the type of raucous night you might find on, say, a college campus.
It brings an island vibe – laid back, smooth, fun yet intimate – to the sport that’s quickly being dominated by island players. It’s a barbeque beer, something to share and sip while swapping stories over a bonfire, or a splendid sunset, a refreshing cool-down liquid carb to chill with after a scorcher of a match in Texas or Florida or California or wherever the AVP happens to be stopping that week.
It is, in a way, a more professional look for a sport that’s growing increasingly professional.
And Trevor Crabb is, to be sure, treating this sport like a professional. Twice, he’s won the biggest tournament on the AVP schedule: The famed Manhattan Beach Open. Twice – at least – he’ll have his named engraved on a plaque and placed into the Manhattan Beach Pier. He’s won medals by the drove on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour. For these achievements, he’s been hoisted on shoulders and carried into bars. He’s been offered shots and drinks of all types and sizes.
Yet when it comes down to it, there’s only one beer the 32-year-old – and all of those Hawai’ians – is going to pick up from his fridge to celebrate a win, to watch the NBA playoffs or the PGA Championship: That’s a Kona.
The preposterously good beer for a preposterously talented generation.