High on Big Island Brews
At 2,764 feet above the sea, Big Island Brewhaus is Hawaii’s highest brewery, tucked away off Mamalahoa highway where the view of Mauna Kea is epic and the chilly winds reign.
In otherwise quaint and quiet Kamuela, this joint is hoppin’. Literally. Perhaps it’s the beers brewed on site that keep people coming back, or the homestyle Mexican cooking, or live music. But for many, it’s the hops. In a poll of regular customers, the brew that bought ‘em back was the Overboard IPA.
One fellow at the bar said, “It just gives me the perfect buzz. A crispy, smooth, and hop-filled flavor that puts me in a positive mood no matter what kind of day I’ve had.” Overboardʻs fame extends past the town borders: It took a gold medal at the recent National Beer championships.
Brewmaster Thomas Kerns, formerly of Maui Brewing Co., which garnered many accolades during his stint there, is behind many of the award-winning beers at the Brewhaus, including the Red Giant Ale and the White Mountain Porter.
Yet it’s not just the beer that keeps the Brewhaus hoppin’. They also have an extensive menu that boasts Baja fish tacos, house chili rellenos, steak fajitas and a green chile-and-chicken stew. The food is tasty, filling and fresh. Most importantly, the food and beer complement one another in a way that raises the bar for what it means to eat and drink well on the Big Island. This microbrewery also makes a point to use as many local ingredients as possible, in both the food and beer. That means that the guacamole and tomatillo-pineapple salsa are always fresh, and when a fruit is in season you can count on sipping a beer that highlights it.