Aloha Craft Beer! Visiting The Breweries On The Hawaiian Island Of Kauai

When packing for my vacation to Kauai, the second oldest Hawaiian island, I didn’t think I would be drinking a lot of craft beer but as soon as we settled, I learned Hawaii is home to some excellent local craft breweries.

There are three breweries on the island of Kauai and if you visit a local liquor shop or grocery store, you’ll have lots of other options from breweries scattered across the other islands. Beer prices were high (usually around $9 pints at restaurants) but six pack prices at shops were around $12, which is in line with pricing on the mainland.

Kauai Beer Company

The first I visited was after a long flight and slightly jet lagged (and forgetting to take good photos) was to Kauai Beer Company, a brewpub less than 10 minutes from the airport in Lihue. I tried samples of both their helles and rice lager and enjoyed them both but the star for me was the oat pale ale, an amber, bitter, American style pale ale that was delicious. This was my favorite brewery on the island and definitely worth a stop for the homey bar, friendly staff and breezy outdoor patio.

Napali Brewing Co.

On the East coast of the island is Napali Brewing in the town of Kapaʻa. The brewery is on the main road and features food options of the pub grub variety. The brewery has only been around for three months and the spot sports a list of only lager beers at the moment (they had sold out of their IPA). The beers could be dialed in a bit more since they are so new – it’s always wise to give a brewery at least a year to figure out their equipment, materials, etc. The space is inviting and their guest list of taps was the only time I saw Guinness on draft on the island if you need a dark beer fix.

Kauai Island Brewing Company

Kauai Island Brewing Company has two outposts, one in the adorable town of Koloa and the other in Port Allen, which makes it the most westernmost brewery in America.

The large patio in Koloa had plenty of room to stretch out and was in a newly built plaza full of tourist friendly shops and restaurants. The beers were pleasant and their burger was ample.

Other Hawaiian Breweries Worth Your Time

Other Hawaiian breweries had caught my attention too. The PGB Extra Pale Ale by Honolulu Beerworks was a perfect accompaniment to freshly caught coconut crusted marlin with purple sweet potato mash.

Kona Brewing Company is ubiquitous and the quality is high. Their session IPA named Hanalei was lovely as was their Castaway IPA, a classic American IPA that was clear, bitter, piney and citrusy. They also make an excellent Belgian single. I also really enjoyed the IPA from Ola Brew, another classic American IPA. If you wish hazy IPAs didn’t exist in such high concentration, perhaps Hawaii is where you should be visiting.

If you are visiting the Big Island, Big Island Brewhaus is worth a visit or if you can’t make it to their physical location, most bars/restaurants have their beers on draft. I had their fantastically weird red sea of cocao, an imperial red ale made with pink peppercorns, sea salt and local cocao nibs at the delicious Hilo Bay Cafe, with sweeping bay views and convenient location to the Hilo airport. I also loved the Big Island Brewhaus’ overboard IPA — an American IPA with lots of bitterness to boot.

Maui Brewing is also everywhere and again, the quality is high. Their bikini blonde lager is delicious and tastes great after a long day on the beach but it’s their hard seltzer that shines. The flavor is fresh and not fake and it doesn’t taste sticky or sickly sweet like some hard seltzers can. The dragonfruit flavor was particularly enjoyable.

One of the best beers I had while visiting Hawaii was talk story pale ale by Kohola Brewery, whose brewery was lost in the Lahaina wildfire. It felt surreal and sad to drink a beer from a brewery that had lost everything, knowing the beer couldn’t be brewed again for a while. If you want to help the Kohola team, here is more info.

An incredibly excellent beer trip awaits you in Hawaii, in addition to all the beautiful views, delicious food and more. Hawaii tourism brings in billions in revenue for the state and while vacationing there, there some great choices for local beers. We are in a golden age of good brews and Hawaii is no exception.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top