Cover Story continued

Growlers in the new keg room of the Hawaiian Islands Brewing Co.
Image: James cave

Isle Ales

A different kind of sea foam

Next time you want to get together and blow some foam off a beer or two, consider the following:

Four-month old Hawaiian Islands Brewing Co., in the old Brew Moon spot with Vice Nightclub and Inferno Pizza, is the lovechild of microbrewers Frank Wenzl and Greg Yount (former Head Brewer at Brew Moon) and features house-made beers on tap in flavors like Diamond Head Gold and Lei ‘O Mano IPA. They’re always experimenting, too, so check back for a rotating selection of new brews. I’m especially excited about the Mac Nut Brown Ale, which Wenzl says should be ready in a few weeks (I’m holding you to it, Frank!). For now, I’ll take the Akamai Amber Ale–as long as it’s poured by bartender Uilani, who just might be the tallest glass of water you could ever drink up.

The brewmaster at Aloha Beer Company, Dave Campbell, started brewing when he was still a senior at Punahou, and some (well, whoever wrote his website) even consider the guy Hawaii’s “Pioneer of Beer”. At his brewery and restaurant on Nimitz Highway, find suds that are all variations of the Aloha Spirit theme: Aloha Blonde, Aloha Lager, Alohas Dark and Light, and an Aloha IPA. With beers ranging on a bitterness units scale from 17 to 50, they’re sure to have a flavor that will refresh every mouth’s parched desert.

Finally, you know we can’t list a group of local breweries without mentioning Kona Brewing Company, but are they still local? Wow, we ask that question a lot. But look at their bottle: “Kona Brewing Co., Portsmouth, New Hampshire”?! But just because they brew, keg and bottle their most popular flavors in NH, Oregon and Washington, they haven’t sold out to Milwaukee, yet. Try their Lemongrass Blonde Ale, Pacifier IPA and Vanilla Thrilla Stout, 3 out of 10-14 different beers on tap brewed locally at the Koko Marina pub.

Hawaiian Islands Brewing Company, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., 2nd floor, Tue.–Sun., 11am–9pm, and when Vice Nightclub is open, [hibrewco.com] Aloha Beer Company, 580 N. Nimitz Hwy., Sun.–Thu., 3–10pm, Fri. & Sat., 3–11pm, 545-5959, [alohabeer.com] Kona Brewing Company Koko Marina Pub, 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy., Hawaii Kai, open daily 11am–10pm, 396-5662, [konabrewingco.com]