Kona Brewing Co.

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BEER AVG
3.72/5
Based on:
31 Beers
10,150 Ratings
Place Score: 91
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

75-5629 Kuakini Hwy
Kailua Kona, Hawaii, 96740-1664
United States
phone: (808) 334-2739

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @konabrewingco

Notes:
Kona Brewing Company bottled beer and mainland draft beer is produced on the US West Coast at Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland, OR, and on the East Coast at Redhook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of juicebox
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of jlenderman
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of RancidAggro
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of Henry_Stahl
5/5  rDev +22.2%

phenomenal brewery, signature taste in every beer ranging from their IPAs to their lagers

Photo of Spilly
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of SunnysideLilStore
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of dradair
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of BeerGuy09
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Vylo
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of timlyon
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of jasonmason
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Just got back from Kona a few weeks ago, and while there managed to spend more than my fair share of time over at Kona Brewing. What a great place in about as perfect of a location you could imagine!

The brewery itself is a much bigger facility that I had imagined, though it shouldn't be a surprise given that everything they keg and ship out around the islands goes out of there. I did figure they'd have a small bottling line for local markets, but it seems everything in bottles in contracted over in Portland. I did manage to see an oak barrel of 2005 Old Blowhole sitting back in the freezer, so with as good as the 2002 was, keep this one in mind for 2008 or so...

But I digress - the beer there was excellent. I was in time on subsequent days for the tapping of their new Paddler's Pilsner and the next day a firkin of Vanilla Bean Porter tapped for the start of American Beer Month! This along with their normal beers, which includes an excellent IPA, and other brews like the 2003 Old Blowhole and a Saison (who's not doing a saison this summer?!?).
Altogether there were about 10-12 taps on at any given time, no duplicates that I could see, and no crap on tap. They even had tall pilsner glasses for the pilsner the night they tapped it! Their Lilikoi Wheat is to be tried to, if nothing more than to taste how passionfruit can work in an American Wheat beer- it's a bit different and slightly perfumy, but it does work.

The brewers and restaurant crew were a friendly, open group that seems to really enjoy being there (seeing as they seemed to be around after work or even on days off), and the bar had a very local, though not hostile-local, feel about it; I spent a few afternoons just hanging out, talking story. There is definitely a strong local following of their beers - the aformentioned Vanilla Bean Porter was gone within an hour of being tapped! Their food menu lets pizza do the heavy lifting, with a number of gourmet-type combinations, along with sandwiches, salads, pasta, and the like.

Heading to Kona I was a bit concerned that this place would be catering to tourists and such, with BA's kinda out of the picture. I turned out to be was off, thankfully, and had a great time here.

Photo of eluvah
4.58/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Great beer selection. If you are on the Big Island and love craft beer, do yourself a favor and stop in, especially at happy hour. They have a great beer selection. The Coconut Brown Ale is my favorite, but I believe it is seasonal. Food was very good, but was not overpriced for Hawaii.

Photo of bradybeer
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Been waiting a long time to visit this BP. Located a shortish walk from downtown Kona behind a strip mall. Walking into the pub a growler/keg shack is located to the left of the host stand-this is where you can buy a growler of keg without going into the pub-great concept. Seating is located mostly outdoors under umbrellas with a few tables inside-but hey this is Kona why sit inside?

On tap were 12 beers or so-including the regular beers available on the mainland with several pub only seasonals, including a Saisson (organic), Barley Wine (in June!), and old ale.

Our car rental travel guide included a coupon for a free ap with purchase of sampler-no brainer. Our sampler consisted of two porters, two wheats, IPA, gold, and lager. Other folks who bought samplers only got 4-5 beers-lucky us.

We followed the sampler with pints of the IPA, Hefe, Wheat, Lava Rock Porter, then glasses of Saisson, and barley wine. All beers where outstanding especially the Barley Wine-nice to have in June. A second trip to KBC the night before our return home found the Barley Wine gone-but replaced with a Bourbon-Barrel Aged Old Ale-also excellent.

Food was excellent-pizza and salad.

Service was excellent. Don't know if we will ever get back-but if I do I am heading here straight off the plane.

There is KBC in Honolulu airport as well.

Be on the lookout for the mongoose-no you are not drunk if you see one-they live on the brewery grounds.

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of PastorMeat
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of CWVegas
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of BigB415
4.5/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

First time being here and first time bring in Hawaii in 15 years so I was really looking forward to this. Their menu all have things that sound great so it was hard to decide. The beer wasn't hard to decide though since I can get a few of their year round beers where I live in california. I got one of the draft only beers, the black sands porter and it was great. I did the tour which was also a lot of fun and I tasted the pipeline porter which is part of the tasting at the end. At the brewery you can taste the kona coffee but back home I can't really. If you're in kona go here it is a lot of fun and do the tour it's free!

Photo of Mariojaekel
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Ctrauty
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of ronnie-emily
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of jamex
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

April 2012

Made a point to stopping here during my stay on the Big Island.

Signed up for a tour and while I waited had some Roasted Garlic and bread (good) and the Pawai Pepperoni rolls (friggin' amazing - thought about them the whole trip). Great pizza crust (made from their spent grain). Everyone else was very happy with their food. They luckily had their Bourbon Barrel Aged Da Grind Buzz Kona Coffee Imperial Stout on tap so I grabbed one. Awesome beer.

The tour was quick and nothing was said out of the ordinary. Afterwards we got to sample some Kona beers and surprisingly they were all draft only beers (very happy about this since all trip I was drinking their standard fare). No real standouts; the lemongrass beer was interesting. Afterwards, filled in the gaps of what I haven't already had - the barleywine was meh and the red ale was just okay.

Service was great and was met with smiles the whole time. Location was easy to get to - but it's not close to the water, in fact the surrounding area isn't really "tropical" - more "small city-like."

Overall, a must stop for any serious beer drinker. Also stopped by Big Island Brewhaus - search for my review there.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in here with my family on our last night on the Big Island. I'm so, so happy we did! We ended up taking the 3:00pm tour and staying for drinks and dinner afterward.

Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua-Kona is a very small operation. According to our tour guide, Jesse, they only brew 11,000 barrels each year, and they only bottle (by hand) one of those beers: Oceanic Organic. All of the Kona available on the mainland is contract brewed by Widmer Brother Brewing Company in Portland, OR and Redhook Ales Brewery in Portsmouth, NH. I learned these little tidbits along with loads of other interesting facts during the brewery tour, which I highly recommend!

After enjoying our complimentary beer samples (handed out at the end of the tour), we picked out a table on the outdoor patio and ordered a round. As luck would have it, they were pouring an experimental batch of their imperial stout: Bourbon Barrel Aged Da Grind Buzz Kona Coffee Imperial Stout with Vanilla Bean, served on nitro-tap. I couldn't believe it! (I wouldn't have known either, if it weren't for our wonderful server - I believe his name was Shane.) Sitting out on the patio was very relaxing, especially when it began to sprinkle. Our large table was shielded by an even larger umbrella, so none of us got wet. Kona Brewing Co.'s interior felt a bit cramped, but the patio was spaced out very nicely.

Our server was very nice and informative, and not too bothersome or slow. All or our beers were beautifully poured, and arrived in either (non-chilled) pint glasses or tulips, depending on the style.

I was quite impressed by Kona Brewing Co.'s beer selection, which included at least fifteen different ales and lagers, including some real specialties like '09 Old Blowhole and the aforementioned Bourbon Barrel Aged Da Grind Buzz with Vanilla Bean. According to our tour guide, Jesse, all of Kona's stouts are served on nitro-tap, and cask versions of select ales are offered several times a month.

We ended up ordering a couple of pizzas, some salads, and cheese bread, all of which were decent. Pizza, burgers, and sandwiches made up the bulk of the menu - pretty standard pub grub.

The tour, the beer, and the service made this an excellent visit, but the low prices made things even better. $5.28 for a 12oz. tulip of BA Da Grind Buzz, '09 Old Blowhole, and Oceanic Organic; $4.80 for most other pints; $3.60 for the special of the night: Coco Loco Brown Ale. This is a fantastic brewpub, and a must for anyone spending significant time on the Big Island!

Photo of slyke
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: The brewpub has nice tropical vibe without being campy. Plenty of outdoor seating under cover in case of the occasional shower and a some seating inside around the bar area.

Quality: The beers here are excellent. In my visits I have tried the Fire Rock Pale Ale, Lavaman Red Ale, Castaway IPA, Black Sand Porter, and their seasonal Steamvent. All were very tasty and I wish they were all available at home (their bottled offerings aren't distributed in my state yet).

Service: Excellent. During each visit my server has been very attentive and knowledgeable about the beers.

Selection: Mostly the Kona brews available, but there are nine or ten different styles available at a time.

Food: Pizza is their food speciality. It is the best on the Big Island. Sandwiches and salads are also very good here.

A good value, I would recommend a stop at the Kona Brewing Company when you get to Hawaii's Big Island. I make several visits each time I vacation on the island.

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Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua Kona, HI
91 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.