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Kona Brewing Co.

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Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

75-5629 Kuakini Hwy
Kailua Kona, Hawaii, 96740-1664
United States

(808) 334-2739 | map

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: 45 | Ratings: 125
Photo of Offa
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.75

We loved this place. It had a great vibe and feel with nice outdoor seating area plus nice indoor bar.

Beer quality is very good, actually I found the beer on tap here to be surprisingly better than when I've had it in the bottle or on tap back home in California. Perhaps it is just fresher here. For example,the Longboard Lager never impressed me much at home but here it was very good, with nice firm lager character. The porter, stout, and red ale we had also were very good.

Service was friendly, enthusiastic, and attentive, making us feel welcome and appreciated.

Beer selection was very good, with a strong range of beers - several types of porters and stouts, for example.

Food was the strongest point - it was simply outstanding. The sweet potato pie was fanatastic, nicely balanced and full of character. Pizzas we had were among the best pizzas we have ever had - not only unusual combinations and ingredients but well balanced and very well-made.

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Photo of dcgunman
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

I'm mainly doing this review because of the service we had at Kona Pub & Brewery today....July 18, 2016. We arrived there 15 minutes prior to opening (11am). The wife and I were like 10th or 12th person there. There was a large group that looked like they were in a tour of the brewery. At 11am the large group were brought into the indoor seating area. That did not bother us. It was the fact it was 1105 before the rest of us were told it was okay to go in. Most everybody headed inside for seats as we selected a seat outside. Once we sat down we were told that we needed to wait for someone in front to seat us outside. No problem. We and another small group of 4 went back out to the front when the girl told us that we had to wait till they opened at 11. Hello! It was already 1107 by then. When figured out it was already past 11 we got our seats. We didn't have any complaints about our server, Elli. He explained today's specials and the beers that were on tap. Brought our food in minutes after we ordered. Explained about how the drafts tasted different than the bottles sold at stores. Let me say right here that I was and am not a big fan of Kona beers. But I always enjoy visiting brewery's (good or bad) on our mini vacations. Elli explained about the Kona beers on draft that aren't available in bottles. Those were the ones I order with our meal. They were all good. Let me go back to before we were seated. I asked a couple of the workers questions about the Pub and brewery and none of them had the answers. A younger tall guy told me to go ask one of the other workers. Huh? I understand your living in Hawaii and your living the Hawaiian lifestyle which is kick back and don't give a crap. But come on man. I know my beers and what I don't like. But I'm sure most of the customers there visiting the Pub/Brewery are there for the subpar Kona beer thinking its a great beer. And some have questions about the beers and brewery. Not good customer service at Kona Brewery, with the exception of our server Elli. Very surprised on the quality of food there. And the 3 beers I had there. Some of the staff workers need to get a life. Care about your job and the customers. Even its only to get you through school or whatever. Will I go back on our next visit to the Big Island? Probably not. I would rather visit Big Island Brewhaus. Aloha.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

they have outdoor seating, but there was a long wait and we were hungry so sat inside so the vibe wasn't anything special. they have their flagship beers but also some limited release stuff available as well. we had one of their pizzas which was good. but service was slow, I had to flag down the waitress to get another beer.

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Photo of dbriesemeister
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

On the night we visited, they were out of Kupono Sodas, Root Beer, and Lemonade - our kids were very disappointed. Same laid back vibe as when we've been here before. Solid range of food options. Beer options were good, but they lacked the Lenongrass Luau. Service was OK, but didn't identify the missing options until we had already ordered them!

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Photo of QuakeAttack
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! I was expecting more of a tourist spot, but found it be more local with great food and of course, beer. Friendly, relaxed service. We had two of their limited releases (Da Grind Stout and a barlyewine). Both were awesome! Had mostly pu pu's . All of the food was excellent!

We will be back.

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Photo of smcolw
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

First, be aware that this place is tricky to get to, one must drive around the block to enter through the back door, so to speak. The complex is intricate: there are growlers to go; brewery tours and the brew pub restaurant. This review is about the latter.

Once you find the place, there's an extensive patio seating area, and given the constant pleasant weather, it's an obvious winner.

We waited ten minutes for a waitress. Once she came by, she was fine but not very knowledgable about the beers. The food was quite good: I recommend the pepperoni bite (or is it, popper) appetizers. On this day, they were part of happy hour at $3.95 for three of them.

There were about twelve beers. Five or six of their regulars and then the rest rotational. It seemed to be a hopping place at 5 p.m. The beer prices were decent but the food prices, like the rest of the island, were high. If you are in Kailua Kona, I'd make a stop.

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Photo of sphmiel
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

The big one on the Big Island. Finding the parking lot entrance is a challenge (hint – it is off what looks like an industrial drive), but once there, nice outdoor and indoor seating. All of their year round beers, as well as number of the seasonals, were on draught. Solid picks were the Lemongrass Lu’au (golden ale with a touch of ginger), the Kua IPA, and the Paddleboard Saison. Food was very good, with a wonderful shrimp-artichoke-spinach flatbread appetizer, and then a solid pizza. Service was great, although no mixed drinks and limited wine selection may discourage the non-beer drinkers.

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Photo of Boughner33
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Great place to have lunch and a fight of beers. It is walking distance from the dock, but it is an uphill climb and no sidewalks in some areas so you need to cut through a parking lot. Good ambience and good food. The souvenirs are expensive.

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Photo of Donco
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

If you have the chance to visit the Big Island, make a stop at Kona Brewing's brewery/restaurant. Excellent outdoor seating among palm trees. Nighttime sitting outdoors with a brew and one of their pizzas or other goodies, while sipping one of their fresh ales is paradise!

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Photo of mooseisloose
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Missed the brewery tour the one day I stopped in. Just ate so didn't eat in the ajacent restaurant. Did drink a few pints at the beer garden. Very well set up. Pints were tasty and conveniently got a growler to go.

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Photo of John_M
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.95/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Beer21
3.83/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of Danimal1101
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Was on vacation with the family for a week in Maui and then hopped over to the big island. My younger brother is only 16 and the parents are not beer drinkers at all. They knew I wanted to go, so we had to stop before we left back for NY. While we waited for our table we signed up for the tour and tasting which I had to do. Only took us about a 5 minute wait before we were sat inside. I had a few samplers and tried everything that you could not get outside the brewery. Food was exceptional and everyone in my family enjoyed their meals. After we ate, we went on the tour and taste which we all enjoyed even though nobody else in the family enjoyed beer. Service and tour guide were very friendly and knowledgeable. Overall we had a great experience and would easily go here again.

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Photo of eluvah
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.15/5  rDev +3%
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...

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Photo of jamex
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of Duffman929
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of fltmedic
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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!)

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Photo of Preismj
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped here on my Honeymoon back in July. Very fun place and a great selection of brews. I went for a sampler. They brought out a place-mat with a little circle for each of their brews and a trail leading from one to the next.

As the sampler came out, they placed them where each belonged. I took down about half of the different beers they had. Each was very good, but my favorite was the Pipeline Porter...by far. I love that flavor of coffee, especially anything with Kona beans.

The music was great...I portly fellow with an acoustic guitar that sounded like a cross with a ukulele. He was doing mash-ups of pop songs from the 'mainland' and it was quite entertaining.

Food was great, place was great, and the company was great. Highly recommend this brew-pub if you're in Oahu.

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Photo of PDXHops
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped here for lunch and a couple of pints. A little on the 'smooth and polished' side for my tastes, but a friendly place in general that seems to appeal to tourists and locals alike.

The Kona standards we see on the shelves are available, plus a decent variety of draft-only options. Sadly the Castaway IPA wasn't available, but I had a Lavaman Red (pretty tasty) as a consolation prize, and followed up with a Big Wave Golden Ale (shockingly good for the style).

We sat at an outdoor table, where service was friendly and efficient. It was during the lunch rush, so not a lot of time for beery chitchat with the server. Food (sandwiches/fries) was tasty and arrived quickly. Pricing is high by mainland standards but in line with what we saw elsewhere on the Big Island during our trips.

Worth a stop as you're passing through town.

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Photo of BigB415
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

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Photo of irishevans
2.54/5  rDev -37%
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.

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Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua Kona, HI
3.72 out of 5 based on 12,872 ratings.
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