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Kona Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

84 Ratings
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 14%
Active Beers: 34
Beer Ratings: 9,067
Beer Avg: 3.76
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
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: 84 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of macpatel10
1/5  rDev -75.4%

macpatel10, Saturday at 07:26 PM
Photo of Friskykipper
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

Friskykipper, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of irishevans
2.54/5  rDev -37.6%

A- Laid back, easy to find a seat, not too loud. mind you this was like an hour and a half from closing. Locals weren't overly friendly, but not rude either, kept to themselves. a very relaxed place to have a pint.

Q-the beer isn't great. they do have one or two decent brews on tap at any one time, but the majority are fat from the best. not so horrible as to not be able to finish though.

S-the bartender was super nice, and let us taste our whole way through the tap menu until we found something at no charge. but as soon as the clock was within 25-30 minuets away from closing time, he made VERY sure everyone there to drink was aware it was time to get ready to move. fakeness never wins me over, but i'll accept it where it benefits me.

S- not a very vast beer menu for a brew pub, and of what's there two or three are just minor tweaks to the year round recipes. like i said above though, if your patient, or lucky there are one or two there that will be good, but you have to look.

V-A bit over priced for the beer, can't speak for the food. but what do you expect from the only brewpub on that side of the big island, and in the middle of the major tourist town of the big island also.

worth a stop if your in Kailua , it at least has a nice mellow atmosphere, and the food sounded good (had to peak at the menu). to sum it all up it is to hawaii, what the Moose's tooth is to Alaska, but the beer isn't as good.

irishevans, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of BKotch
3/5  rDev -26.3%

BKotch, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of Vogt52
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Vogt52, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of aoampm
3.5/5  rDev -14%

aoampm, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of Burry
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Burry, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of mks0913
3.5/5  rDev -14%

mks0913, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of Mlake24574
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%

Mlake24574, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of weizendoc
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

Visited this place twice on a Thanksgiving golf trip with a buddy. We had high expectations given how popular Kona's brew is here in SoCal. It was pretty difficult to find. Down a side street then down another between some industrial buildings. NO SIGNAGE.
The bar area is wayyy too small, but we got lucky and found seats pretty quick.

Once inside, it was apparent that everyone working the bar area was pretty baked. I mostly drank their Hefeweizen which was the 'beer of the week'-going out for like $3.25 a pint. It's pretty damn good, esp. at that price! (The lilikoi wheat beer is just too perfumy).

They F'ed up our Pizza order...no problem, they gave us the first to keep then made another to take back to the condo.

Overall, the food is pretty good and same with the beer. It still absolutely confounds me that this place...a.)has no signage to direct folks in, and, b.)doesn't open a location in a happenin' part of Kona-where they could expand and get plenty of walk by/drive by traffic.

weizendoc, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of JISurfer
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%

I got to check this place out during my honeymoon. I had heard their pizza was good and I had already had a couple of the thier beers, so why not. The pizza was outstanding, some of the best I've ever had. Just a bit too much though on the price side, but then again, it is Hawaii. The beer was stellar, especially the Pipeline Porter off draught. Damn fine coffee porter IMHO. Service was a little slow, but nothing too bad. If I get the chance to go back to the Big Island, I'll definately hit it up again.

JISurfer, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of NickH44
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%

I married my wife on the Big Island, and have returned since. We're from Washington State and some of their beers are available here. The ones that are are ok. nothing to write home about really, but what you get at the brewery is a different story. We've had a deliciously sweet and refreshing organic saison, and a Belgian strong ale that could hold its own with Duvel.

Seems to be another example of a brewery that has some bill-paying easily accessible ales for the masses that provide them the opportunity to brew high quality big-concept beers for the rest of us.

The food is ok. Good enough, but not good. The pizzas were the best of what we had.

The atmosphere is 50/50. You're outdoors, in Hawaii and it's in the mid-eighties which, as a Washingtonian, is really nice. But there's no view and you're kinda boxed in by plants and fences.

Overall, it's kinda the foremost beer spot on the island, and probably in all of Hawaii. Any beer lover will enjoy sampling their brews. The Big Island is a bit of a secret beer lover's paradise, with three breweries and an up and coming brew pub (The Tako Taco) up north that features the other islands' breweries.

NickH44, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of John_M
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%

Located no more than a mile from the pier in Kona, as it so happened, this pub was located right next to our car rental pick-up as well. Talk about convenient!

Like Maui BP, Kona BP has a decided beach side, surfs up atmosphere and vibe to it. There is a very large outdoor dining area, with a good size indoor dining room area as well. Add to that a sizeable wrap around bar, and you would think it would be no problem finding a spot to perch on a warm, Wednesday afternoon. Well think again... even at 1:30, this place was packed, with a 10 to 15 minute wait to get a table (the bar area was completely packed).

As for the beer, i've never been a huge fan of the core line-up, and those beers (big wave, the fire rock pale ale, castaway IPA, longboard lager, etc.) were no better at the "source." Yet on the other hand, Kona had a number of limited release, and/or seasonals that were quite good, and completely surprised me. There version of a CDA (black sand lager I think), was qjute good, and they had on a pale ale (name began with a D) that was dry, hoppy, and flat out delicious. The hefeweizen was also quite good, and they also had an special IPA that was quite good (might have been the Ohi). So my quality score is based on those beers (I was so unhappy with the glass of Castaway i got on our cruise ship, that I dumped it, even after paying $10 for a 22 ounce glass).

Food was also OK. We got the crab cakes and an artichoke dip that were both pretty tasty. Prices were on the high side, but again, given that this is Hawaii, and that a lot of the ingredients served at the pub aren't readily available on the islands, I didn't think they were outrageous.

Couple of other things to mention. One thing I appreciated, is that they had a small growler shack out front of the pub (sort of like the DFH store in Rehoboth Beach). I also got a cap here (at $25 a pop), and unlike most places, the cap I got was not adjustable. I have a fairly large head, and so the 6 and 7/8 to 7 and a quarter size hat barrely fit me. Something to keep in mind if you decide to do the same (as the caps are kind of cool). Be sure to verify that they have your cap size before buying one.

All and all, I enjoyed our stop here. Not sure I quite understand the massive crowd (unlike most breweries in Hawaii, Kona beers are generally pretty easy to find around the islands), but regardless. The speciality beers were pretty good, and the food was decent. I'd likely go back.

John_M, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of jstevep00
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

jstevep00, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

ColForbinBC, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of Ugadawg
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%

Ugadawg, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of Beer21
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%

I visited Kona Brewing Company on the big island of Hawaii for the second time. We did the tour prior to lunch. The tour was ok but nothing special. Our tour guide was very entertaining but you don't get to see too much of the brewery itself. Basically they take you into the brewing/fermenting room and then into the cold storage building. The fermenters were bubbling away and they were actively brewing...so that was great to see.

The atmosphere of the brewpub is very touristy. Not too many locals. They have a big outside seating area with a small shop. We had lunch and a flight of beers. The service was pretty good, but average for a restaurant...nothing special. The selection of beers is excellent with not too many brewpub only brews.

The food is above average. Overall I would recommend visiting here if you are in the Kona area. Personally I like the atmosphere of Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea better, but there food isn't as good. The beer is as good or better.

Beer21, May 09, 2014
Photo of yemenmocha
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Visited 3 times in 4 days on my vacation to the Big Island in Hawaii.

On the whole, I like this palce - great beer selection, a few of them are excellent, and the food is above average. Their non-bottled offerings are far better than the bottled ones, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Atmosphere is atrocious on the busier nights of the week - it feels like a fraternity party with the noisey people, loud music, and employees (including cooks) singing aloud to the music. There's no room to sit, or even to order a pint at the pub while standing, and the wait commonly exceeds an hour.

During quieter times I found the service to be about average, and the other features tend to stick out - this place is hard to find on your first visit, especially with regard to the parking. Once you figure out the warehouse-like back road entry it isn't too bad, but it gives off a very "locals only" feel from the start.

Given the paucity of beer selection in Hawaii this place is a must, but in any other context I can't see it doing well with the location & atmosphere. It doesn't help that their better beers are the rotating seasonals that aren't bottled. Their chocolate stout and oceanic organic wheat simply eclipse their pale ale, but yet they bottle the pale ale and it doesn't seem to do so well.

yemenmocha, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of rgrholmes168
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Hit this place on my vacation to the Big Island. We went three times and ate two of those times.
The food menu was pretty limited in my opinion, if you are a meal lover, you will be very disappointed. The pork sandwich was outstanding, but I ordered a calzone the next time which was very disappointing. I should have known better.
The beer is great. If you don't like the Kona beers, good luck finding anything to drink on Kona. The Castaway IPA was by far our favorite and I would highly recommend it. We also took home growlers of the wheat.
While you are there, you can get on a tour of the brewery and I did have a good time, but you didn't see much. The guide was pretty informative and will answer all of your questions. I did not know that the original owners were a father-son team that began the brewery out of a home brewing kit, five gallons at a time. It gives all of us home brewers hope!

rgrholmes168, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Located in Koko Marina. Not a huge place, but seemed to by cozy. One side has a nice waterfront view. Large bar area in the middle. This place does seem to give off a bit of the island feel.

The standard beers in the lineup were on tap, with the Castaway IPA, Hula Hefeweizen, Lavaman Red, and Pipeline Porter in addition. Our party found the beers to be above average, and fresh.

Service was pretty good, given that we had a large party. Food was pretty good, with the shrimp melt seeming to be a hit, along with the fish tacos.

Overall, a must stop if you are on the island.

Bierguy5, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of coachdonovan
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Man, this place is hard to find. Even when you know where it is, the location isn't all that easy to spot from either Kuakini or Palani. We walked there from "downtown" Kailua and had to ask for directions twice even though it was just a half mile.

There is seating outside and inside, and we opted for inside since there was no wait. Atmosphere is fine but nothing unique. I started with the sampler, for which you can pick your four beers. I went with the Castaway IPA, Lavaman Red Ale and the two porters, Black Sand and Pipeline, since many of the other Kona beers are easy to find at bars around the island. As the bartender said it would be, the Black Sand was definitely the best of the four.

The place is known for its pizza, so my wife and I ordered the pizza of the week. The waitress even confirmed with us that we wanted the pizza with the habaneros. "Sure, we can handle it." Holy smokes that pizza was hot. The wife gave up after one slice and ordered two slices of regular pepperoni. I soldiered on but couldn't get much further.

We had a great time despite our overly aggressive ordering, and although the location of the pub isn't all that scenic, it was nice to get away from the main drag of tourist spots.

coachdonovan, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Here on a vacation with the whole family.

Relaxed atmosphere with fairly knowledgeable servers. Too early for the tour 10:30 and 3:00). Easy to find with plenty if parking.

BBQ pulled pork tacos were pretty good, but a but pricey. Pints weren't too bad at $6 each; flights were a bit expensive at $9, especially considering that there weren't any high gravity offerings.

Still pleased with beers. Was able to get some stuff not available on the mainland.

jerefreakinmiah, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of Keith_R
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Keith_R, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of RochefortChris
4/5  rDev -1.7%

RochefortChris, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of Ege
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Ege, Jul 09, 2014
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Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua Kona, HI
91 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.