Kona Brewing Co.

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BEER AVG
3.76/5
Based on:
35 Beers
3,062 Reviews
Place Score: 91
Reviews: 38
Visits: 104
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:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.

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.
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Reviews: 38 | Visits: 104
Photo of Dogbrick
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

(Visited 12/2010): Visited Kona during a stop on the big island on our cruise vacation. We walked to the brewpub from one of the stops on a bus tour. Kona is located at the crossroads of Kuakini Highway and Palani Rd. Parking looked to be ample around the facility.

Kona's atmosphere both inside and out is about all you could want in a Hawaiian brewpub. From the gigantic tank in the outdoor waiting area, gift booth, patio, and restaurant inside it is all welcoming and beer-centric. They also offer regular tours as long as you sign up in time at the host stand. The tour is informative and ends with samples. The color scheme inside can best be described as mustard 'n' Tang and there are surfboards and fans.

The beer selection at Kona is solid, from standard offerings to brewpub-exclusive beers. Some of the brews on tap when we visited included Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Sand Porter, Da Grind Buzz Kona Coffee Imperial Stout, Small Kine Bitter, Big Island Ginger Beer and Old Blowhole Barley Wine. All of Kona's beers are well-made. They also sell bottles like the Oceanic Organic Ale.

Service all around, from the hostess to the gift shop guy to the tour guide to the servers is very good.

Food at Kona is good as well. My wife and I both enjoyed our dishes.

Overall I would highly recommend anyone visiting the Big Island to find a way to visit this brewpub. It is a paradise within a paradise. (1,409 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

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. Their 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. (2,470 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.05/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visited twice during my vacation to the Big Island and was happty both times. Plenty of outdoor seatings like every other place in Kona. We sat outside both occasions but were a little perturbed by some loud 20 somethings yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs on Sat afternoon.

Brewery is just off of Ali'i drive, back about two streets from Ali'i, but signage pointed the way. The signs could have been bigger and placed in a better area but I found the place okay.

Service was pretty good compared to other restaurants in the area. There were about eight beers on draft and most were delicious. Pipeline porter, Lilikoi wheat, Wailua wheat, Dukes lager, Longboard, Firerock Pale Ale, and one or two others.

The food was delicious. Veggie (greek) pizza was delicious, quesidillas and hamburgers were awesome as well. Beer were $4.56 per pint but the wheat beers were an extra 75 cents for a 22oz wheat glass.

Highly recommend this place if ever in Kona. Could have spent one more afternoon there but ran out of time. (1,042 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

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. (1,308 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.05/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A must visit while in Kona.

Busy brewery. Stopped by on a late afternoon for happy hour, and there was already a nice crowd milling about.

Beer quality is good. I tried 2, the Castaway IPA was excellent, and the ESB was tasty too. (and that's a style I often don't really care for)

Service was fairly prompt, and not overbearing.

Nice selection of brews, I believe they had 9. The beers tend to be on the lighter side of the beer and alcohol scale. (No stouts or barleywines here) But the styles fit well with the warm climate... Blonde Ale, Hefe, Wheat, Lager, etc... etc...

I had a pizza to eat, and it was excellent. Very good spent grain pizza. I think I'll have to get another one before I leave.

Prices are a bit high, but it's Hawaii. (748 characters)

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! (2,537 characters)

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. (1,444 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.05/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

A - Midwest wood style brew house with a nice, semi-tropical outdoor seating area. The location is in the middle of an industrial sector, but they do a great job of making it feel secluded.

Q - A mixed bag. Their Imperial Coffee Stout and Mauka Makai were stellar, but their Saison was flat and tasted a bit stale. Their glassware left a lot to be desired. They basically have american tumblers or tulips, and they almost never use their tulips.

Sr - Another mixed bag. I went there twice. The fist time was great, and the server brought over a specialty beer list of brewery-only releases that had a full page of information on 10 some-odd beers; everything form what inspired the beer to where the ingredients were sourced. But the second time the server couldn't seem to care less about us. I asked if she has the specialty list and she said, "oh, sorry we're out of a bunch of those" and then didn't elaborate on exactly what they did or didn't have. I had to order by memory, and it just so happened that they still had the two beers I was looking for.

Sl - An awesome selection of 8 year-rounds, 1 seasonal, and about 6 brewery-only releases.

F - Great food here. They're known for their pizza (think California Pizza Kitchen), but everything I've had on the menu has been top notch. Imho the food is what really puts this place over the top. If you're looking for good food and good beer, this is THE best place to go in the state.

O - The only problem with this place is that it's incredibly popular, and they're bound to have a 3-4 styles kicked at any given time. Also expect 1-2 hour waits Fri-Sun during prime hours. (1,634 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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. (579 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
3.68/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

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. (508 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

As soon as I got my rental car, I headed straight for the brewery. It is slightly hidden but they do have signs that lead the way. The only help I needed was getting close enough to find the signs. I arrived hungry and thirsty and they met my needs very nicely. They have seating both inside and outside and we chose to sit outside. Aside from the excessive amount of flies around, which I am told is rare, the place was great. All of the waitresses were very friendly and quick. Both my girlfriend and myself ordered beer samplers and we shared a greek pizza. The beers came immediately and the pizza shortly after. The pizza was very good and I found out later that they use their spend grain from the brewery in the dough. We had a brownie with ice cream for dessert and it was excellent. They have a small shop inside with glassware, shirts, posters, and other branded stuff. They also have a shop outside where growlers can be purchased. Apparently they have some weird laws in Hawaii though, because some beers were only available on tap and some where only available as growlers. I put the value as inexpensive, but that is only compared to the rest of Hawaii. As someone from the mainland, the prices for food were a bit high. The beer prices were really cheap though. In conclusion, I highly recommend the place. (1,321 characters)

Photo of atigerlife
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I've been to this place a few times over the years. Just got back from another trip to Kona and figured I'd finally write a review. Visited the brewpub twice in my long weekend. Happy to say, this place keeps getting better.

Major changes in parking...you now have to drive around the block and park in the back [off Paiwi] of the brewpub.

They have about 20 tables outside and another 10 inside [approx]. Outside is the place to be. Nice large umbrellas shield the sun. Keep a sharp eye out for the geckos climbing on the plants...very cool looking.

About 9 beers on tap. Nothing seasonal [besides the barleywine] this time. Usual stuff. Decent quality. Enjoyed the IPA with the food. Sampler of 4 6oz were $7, 12 oz $3.84 and pint is $4.56.

Speaking of which, food was quite good. Pupus are 4-$10 [nachos, quesadilla, garlic twists, etc.], salads $7-$12 [side & dinner sizes], pizza's $10-$24 [10", 12" & 14"], sandwhiches $10-$12 and desserts are $5-$6. All reasonably priced. Quite a good value.

We had pizza [I had the Honaunau, which was good] and sandwhiches on our trip. While they seem to be known for the pizza, it was their sandwhiches that really made me go "wow". Big Wave Shrimp melt was good, Porterhouse Dip was very good and the Imu Pork sandwhich was excellent. Make sure to get the chips with the sandwhich, these are kettle chips that are excellent!

So, if you're in Kona, this is a great place to go. It is not really a "touristy" place but a place for locals and tourists to mingle. If you are lucky, as we were, you can catch some excellent live music for free. (1,604 characters)

Photo of pwoody11
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Just returned from the Big Island from my honeymoon and stopped here 3 times in 7 day stay. Ate two the trips. Our first day on the island we decided to take a tour of the brewery at 1030am and then hang around for lunch afterwards.

There were about 8 people on the tour. The tour guide referred to himself as brewery manager I believe. He seemed to be very knowledgeable about brewing. From what I gathered, he grew up NY and homebrewed and was able to land the job there with only his HB experience, which was cool. The only knock I had was he spoke really fast and the pace of the tour was a little quick. There was a few Japanese people with us, and I'm pretty sure they had no clue what was going on. They spoke English, but it was so fast, I don't think they fully understood.

I was somewhat surprised to find out the Kona beer I buy at home is actually brewed in Portsmouth, and if you're on the west coast, it comes from Portland. The tour guide said Kona was in the top 10 largest craft breweries in the U.S. and most in the top 10 don't brew their beer at a single location. Not sure to the validity of that statement.

Long story short..lol... the tour ended with a flight of beer. Free tour and Free Flight, can't really knock that.

Food was good. Many of the items on the menu are made using spent grain. The pizza is the big draw, but I never tried it. The waiter was ok. He had no clue what was on tap, so I had to walk over to the chalkboard for the tap list to order my beer. Which ended up not being up to date and they were out of three of the beers on the board.

They have a growler station outside the the brewpub which was convenient. I hit that up one night.

Most of the seating is outside, which is where I would assume most would want to sit in the beautiful weather anyway.

One night we went they had a cool band playing covers Hawaiian style. Good Times.

Must do if you're on the big island! (1,926 characters)

Photo of irishevans
2.54/5  rDev -37.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

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. (1,431 characters)

Photo of Beer21
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

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. (978 characters)

Photo of coachdonovan
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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. (1,228 characters)

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. (991 characters)

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! (629 characters)

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

First of all, let me express my disappointment in not making it in time to do the tour. That was on my "absolutely must-do" list while on the Big Island and I missed my chance by about 5 minutes.

In regard to the restaurant which I visited a few times during my stay I would have to say I was very happy. The atmosphere is inviting inside. Feels like a great pub anywhere in the world. Outside is just as nice in the beautiful climate (vog notwithstanding) of Kailua-Kona.

The food was great. I love that they used spent grains in the pizza dough. Slick move. The apps are also great especially the roasted garlic/gorgonzola app. Clever and delicious.

The beers here are fantastic. And they keep a good variety in rotation. I have plenty of their product out and about around the island and I like it so much I jammed a bunch into my suitcase to bring home and share with my MN beer geeks. On thing I really liked about this place was that I could get any beer I wanted as part of my sampler, even the one offs and high ABV offerings. It was great to be able to have a new barley wine and the aged version side by side. And the double IPA was definitely worth going back for. Koko Brown is good and Big Wave is easily the most unsuspecting star of that line up. A really great golden ale that is like Hawaii in a bottle.

If you find yourself in Kona, HI take a moment to thank God for that blessing and then head straight to Kona Brewing for another... (1,456 characters)

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. (287 characters)

Photo of RECiPE
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

My wife and I escaped the cruise ship and walked to Kona Brewing. We had just been snorkeling off of Cook Point, so we were in swimming attire, dragging our junk with us. The place is just a few blocks from where the ship tender dumps everyone.

Food: I had the pork sandwich, my wife had the porterhouse steak sandwich. Both were exceptional. The pork was lean, tender and very tasty. The beef in the porterhouse steak sandwich was tender and also very tasty. Both sandwiches were on toasted buns that appeared to be higher quality than the average food service grade bread. I'm guessing that they were made on site, but I don't know for sure.

Beers: we like IPAs. The Castaway IPA was very tasty. So tasty, that I wanted to smuggle a growler back on the ship (but I didn't).

Price: sure it's more expensive than on the mainland, but when you are on vacation and away from tasty beers (even though the beers on the ship have improved GREATLY lately), it's very refreshing to have a yummy beer, and some good food. Worth the price.

Had the ship been docked here longer, we would have returned. Possibly the best food and definitely the best beer on our week long visit to the islands. (1,188 characters)

Photo of Duffman929
4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went on a Friday night and it was pretty packed. Luckily, hit a patch where the wait was just 5 mins for a table. Looked about 15 mins later and the place was swamped.

The outdoor setting is nice and the tables aren't so close that it is uncomfortable. There is an outdoor and indoor bar. Inside has TV's and music playing.

Ordered a flight of beers to try and then the specialty Friday cask release. Was very excited to taste Da Grind Buzz, but wasn't lucky enough to have a specialty batch in the bourbon barrel. Our waiter said that normally he isn't a huge fan of this beer, but the current batch they were serving was the best he'd tasted.

The food was quite good. At least I am trying to use my non-intoxicated glasses. I was hungry to begin with and then drinking a few beers before actual food can do that.

The service wasn't super, but it wasn't poor. I enjoyed the food more than most of the brewpubs I have been to, but I was a bit disappointed by the blandness of the outside area. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't memorable.

The nice part is that they have a stand outside set up to fill growlers, which I bumped up the "selection" area for. Overall, the prices were reasonable for what the island charges to eat. (1,249 characters)

Photo of birddogg66
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I live here in Kona and visit the Brewpub at least once a week. I am a bartender here and crazy beer lover. Here in Hawai'i we are a little deprived in beer selection. There for thank goodness for the KBC.
Always a decent selection of beers. Not great but decent. It seems to me that the seasonals don't change enough. The Lilikoi wheat is a good seasonal, and the Pipeline Porter, with Kona Coffee, is out of this world. For full time offerings the IPA is very tasty, and the Lava Man Red Ale is nice as well. Not as hoppy or as heavy as the IPA, but the Red Ale is a lot easier to drink before work. I have found that the KBC will make an IRA which is a tan and tan, i guess, with half IPA and half Red Ale. So, we have the best of both worlds. The hop finish of the IPA and the lighter abv of the Red.
I have a hard time reviewing their Hula Hefeweizen. I am definately not a fan of Hefe. Any of the true German hefes don't do it for me, and any U.S. micro hefes, which have won awards, don't really fit my palate. For some reason the Hula Hefe, is pretty good for me. So either its a really good beer or not true to style. I hope the previous is true.
I put that the value is a bit pricey, but we're in Hawai'i. To give a kama'aina (local) secret, if you go to the KBC on Tuesday and wear their gear. Happy hour prices all day long.
Happy drinking. Aloha (1,362 characters)

Photo of fltmedic
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

If I had made it there in time for a tour, it would have been the most outstanding brewery visit of all time. What is not to love about Kona? The atmosphere, the food, the beer and service are all wonderful. My table server had plenty of knowledge to share about the beers in the sampler I ordered and made the time to do so without seeming rushed despite the big dinner crowd. The bar and dinner seating areas are a little tight, but once you settle in, you won't mind joining in the chatter with the table next to you. Maybe it's just the happy-go-lucky locals mingling with the cheery vacationers, but the whole crowd seems to be having a good time here. Dinner was excellent and the flavors are all complimentary to the full of taste beers you will find at Kona. (and it's all just a stone's throw from the gorgeous ocean!) (827 characters)

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

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. (458 characters)

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Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua Kona, HI
91 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.