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New in our portfolio of cool brands: Kona, the fresh, local craft beer from Hawaii
Posted on 15/04/2017 by Eileen Schuch
Kona Brewing Company was started by father and son team Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa. The pair had a dream to create fresh, local island brews made with spirit, passion and quality. Their love of Hawaii, and a desire to protect its pristine environment, brought them to the Big Island to fulfill their vision. Kona Brewing continues to be headquartered right where it began, in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island. Kona ales and lagers are handcrafted with some of the best ingredients the islands have to offer. The result: complex, full tasting beers with a relaxed style and a charm that is typical for Hawaii.
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1995, the year brewing returned to Hawaii
The first Kona ales, Fire Rock Pale Ale and Pacific Golden Ale, were introduced to Hawaii on February 14, 1995. The Pacific Golden is now called Big Wave Golden Ale, and still as delicious. Three years later, the Longboard Island Lager was added. A further 10 styles of beer are brewed regularly and served at Kona Brewing Company’s own pubs. A select few are being served at some finer restaurants. Kona brews range from very blonde to black; from tangy to roasty and are widely distributed throughout Hawaii and the United States. Swiss fans of Kona and those wanting to discover this fine craft beer from Hawaii can rejoice: now, the island brew is also available in Switzerland! You can find it at Coop and in selected bars, restaurants and pubs.
Kona Pub & Brewery: a pint and a slice
Speaking of pubs… Kona Brewing Company has its own Kailua-Kona Pub on Hawaii’s Big Island. It was first opened in November 1998 and features an enormous mahogany log that washed ashore in Kailua Bay and that was used to adorn the masterpiece Koa wood bar. But that is not all! The showcase restaurant was built entirely using local materials: for example, ohia wood posts from South Kona are used on the lanai and rusty corrugated tin from an old Holualoa okolehao (liquor distilled from ti root) distillery is used to provide a shade roof over the outdoor lanai. The materials used are much in line with Kona Brewing Company’s philosophy of protecting the environment and stimulating the local economy. That is also true for the food it provides: local organic salads, hand spun pizzas, fresh beers on draft… If you are lucky enough to spend some time on Big Island, head over to Kailua-Kona Pub on Sunday evening, there are always local musicians who play live.
Koko Marina Pub: the gathering place
Following the success of its first pub, Kona Brewing Company opened its second restaurant in December, 2003. It is located at Koko Marina Center in Hawaii Kai in East Oahu, right at the docks of Koko Marina. Sitting there on the terrace you can enjoy unparalleled views of the marina and the lush green Ko’olau Mountain Range that form Hawaii Kai’s backdrop. What’s on the menu? Well, luscious appetizers, fresh fish incredible pizzas and, of course, fresh beer from one of the 24 taps at the bar. Live entertainment is provided by local musicians every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening and all tastes are catered for: from traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music to blues and jazz.
The Aloha Spirit: integrity, good will and sustainability
The future of our planet depends very much on how we, as individuals and companies, treat the Earth. Kona Brewing Company shows its commitment to sustainability in many ways. For example, by employing a Sustainability Coordinator within its company or by giving most of the Kailua-Kona brewery’s spent grain to a cattle rancher and using the remaining amount as an ingredient in the pubs’ pizza dough and breads. Kona champions recycling, is careful with its waste and supports groups that strive to protect the environment. Kona Brewing Company also strives to support its community: via fundraising campaigns, organizing the Kona Brewers Festival, sponsoring sporting events, such as the Molokai World Championships canoe and surfski race and the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.