The word “vacation” usually stirs up images of beaches, palm trees, gentle music in the distance and an icy cold one in your hand. Though Hawaii is famous for their world-class pineapple crop, the Kona coffee, innumerable exotic fruits, unique farms and the historic sugar industry, the Aloha State also boasts of numerous Hawaiian breweries across the islands. Those that want to enjoy some tropical blends can peruse the highlights below to discover some of Hawaii’s finest breweries.
Aloha Beer Company – A more recent addition to the Hawaiian brewing scene, the Aloha Beer Company came to Honolulu in 1997. The brand aims to bring the laid-back, hospitable vibe of the Hawaiian people and the Aloha spirit to their brews. They make fresh batches of draft beer every day, mixing Hawaiian water, malted barley and hops. Their factory outlet in the Hilo Hattie store in Honolulu sells everything from beer paraphernalia to bottles of their draft beer. For a delicious treat, sample the Kiawe Honey Porter mix, which savors of sweet honey and smoky tobacco flavors with a hint of chocolate. This is a great local brewery where groups can try a Hawaiian beer on their vacation in Oahu.
Big Island Brewhaus – If you are looking for an exciting evening out, then you should experience the Big Island Brewhaus where locals and tourists gather for live music and craft cuisine. Here visitors can sip beer at “Hawaii’s Highest Brewpub” nearly 3,000 feet above sea level accompanied by live music on Friday evenings. This establishment offers a variety of lagers, stouts, porters, crème ales, pale ales and more. Their White Mountain Porter has a distinct tropical flavor, mixed with toasted coconut and rich Hawaiian coffee. This beer also comes in sizeable 22 ounce bottles–perfect for sharing with friends.
Hawaii Nui Brewing Company – Though this new company arrived in Hilo in 2007, they are not newcomers to the art of brewing. The Hawaii Nui Brewing Company focuses on craft beer, producing small batches of lagers and ales made from high quality wheat, barley malt, hopes and yeast. They have an assortment of beers for any preference, including their Kauai Golden Ale, Sunset Amber Ale, Hapa Brown Ale, and a Belgian Red Ale. The Hapa Brown Ale is a popular choice, having a distinct flavor of toffee and caramel savor with strong hops. They hold tasting hours where guests can come by and sample the delicious beers from noon to the early evening hours daily as well as get advice on beer and food pairings with their brand. This company also produces the iconic Primo Beer on the island of Kauai for its partner, Pabst, which now owns this historic brand. Primo beer was Hawaii’s first locally produced beer dating back to 1898.
Kona Brewing Company – This company, originally a father and son team, began brewing in Kona as an environmentally aware company, wasting no ingredient and recycling wherever possible. Several of their staple brews are now widely distributed across the islands as well as in 36 states and 9 countries. The Kona Brewing Company’s blends range from heavy dark beers to the palest of blonde ales, which are highlighted at a number of their brew pubs throughout Hawaii. They recently served their 3 millionth pint at their Kailua-Kona headquarters. The Kona Brewing Company is famous for their Big Wave Ale, Castaway IPA, Fire Rock Pale Ale and Wailua Wheat golden ale. The Hula Hefeweizen, a light beer with flavors of banana and clove, is a perfect treat during a humid afternoon.
Maui Brewing Company – The Maui Brewing Company is devoted to using the most natural ingredients in their beers, as well as in the sauces they serve at their pub. The chefs also use their beer in many of the food recipes, offering patrons an opportunity to experience the flavors of their brews. The Maui Brewing Company is famous for the Bikini Blonde Lager, Coconut Porter and malty Big Swell IPA. Environmentally aware, the company also donates their used grains to local farmers for compost in their fields and packages their beers only in eco-friendly materials. They also offer a daily happy hour, tasting rooms and brewery tours for those who want a better look at how the beers are made.
Browse our activity list to see what sports and adventures that would go nicely with a beer at the end of the day. After battling the hefty Hawaiian waves or a long day of sightseeing, there is no better way for tourists and locals alike to kick back with a brew that will soothe the hours away.