Craft brew fever is taking over the nation, and while Hawai‘i isn’t necessarily known as a brewery hub, there are some places for beer fans to sip some local flavor, enjoy a pub experience and even find out what’s distilling on the island.
Beer fans probably already know about MAUI BREWING CO. (located at Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger, or at 573 Kailua Road), known for its Big Swell IPA and Kona Brewing Co. (located at Koko Marina) known for its Longboard Island Lager. Both of these big guys have pubs with full menus to accompany their famous brews.
In Kaka‘ako, you’ll find newer craft breweries like HONOLULU BEERWORKS, ALOHA BEER CO. (its newest location is in Downtown Honolulu’s Central Pacific Bank main branch) and WAIKIKI BREWING COMPANY (there’s another location in Waikiki).
If you’re heading out to Kailua, check out LANIKAI BREWING. The Tap and Barrel tasting room is open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
LIKO’S TAP & TABLE, located waterfront in Hawai‘i Kai serves up 30 beers on tap, including 14 local brews, along with craft cocktails and a full menu. Head here to watch the big game or chill with some live entertainment.
There’s a lot more brewing, so to speak, on the island. O‘ahu distilleries really stepped up to the plate when the state was first impacted by COVID-19 by producing FDA-grade hand sanitizers-even giving the lionshare away to first responders and healthcare workers. Many have re-opened their tour and tasting experiences, with health and safety protocols in place. Call ahead for availability and house rules. ISLAND DISTILLERS produces limited-run Hawaiian liquors.
On the other side of the island, check out KO HANA DISTILLERS Distillers in Kunia. Its tour demonstrates how heirloom Native Hawaiian sugarcane is grown and hand-harvested and press into juice to create its handcrafted Hawaiian Agricole Ko Hana Rum. In Kailua, you’ll find veteran-owned KO‘OLAU DISTILLERY, where Old Pali Road Whiskey is made.
LIKO’S TAP & TABLE (808) 394-LIKO (5456)