The Aloha State
Beer on the Hawaiian Islands began thanks to the introduction by Europeans. In the early 1850s the first brewery emerged, and produced the islands first successful Hawaiian beer, Primo Lager. Honolulu industrialist Alfred Hocking, formed the Honolulu Brewing and Malting Company, and launched the Primo Lager brand. Sadly, the early arrival of Prohibition in 1918 led to complications in the Hawaiian beer industry, and the labor strikes and WWII hindered beer production even further.
Eventually things reopened in 1933, and locals have since taken craft brewing into their own hands, developing great breweries and Hawaii craft beers. In 1994, Kona Brewing Company emerged and became a local favorite. They became known for their Longboard Island Lager, and have since been recognized as the largest brewery in Hawaii, owned by the Craft Brew Alliance since 2010.
In 2005, Maui Brewing Company and brewpub opened up. Honolulu Beerworks was the next significant brewery to open in 2010. It was started by Geoff Seideman after his wife gifted him an at home brewing kit. Waikiki Brewing Company is another craft brewery that opened in 2015.
With many great island ingredients, there are so many options for craft breweries in Hawaii to create and flavor their unique craft beers with. Large, micro, and craft Hawaii breweries across the islands celebrate the culture and flavors of the island through their beer. Some of the other great Hawaiian beer brands to try are: Big Island Brewhaus, Hawaii Nui Brewing, and Kauai Beer Company, along with all the ones listed above.
Each year the islands put on a Hawaii beer fest that features specialty independent craft beers made and produced 100% in Hawaii. A range of beer styles are featured from all different breweries across the islands, a few being: the Beer Lab Hawaii, Aloha Beer Company, Hana Koa Brewing Company, Hilo Brewing Company, Kohola Brewery, Ola Brew Company, Olomana Brewing Company, Paradise Ciders, and so many others that have been listed earlier.
We have yet to feature any Hawaiian craft beers in our Monthly Beer Club shipments, but hope to feature some of the best breweries in Hawaii in the near future. Until then if you see any of these beer brands in your local grocery or liquor store, don’t hesitate to give them a try, we promise you wont regret it! Cheers and Aloha!