Kona Brewing Co.

BEER AVG
3.7/5
Kona Brewing Co.Kona Brewing Co.
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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

(808) 334-2739 | map
konabrewingco.com

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.
BEER STATS
Beers:
27
Ratings:
13,470
Reviews:
3,527
PLACE STATS
Score:
90
Ratings:
132
Reviews:
48
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
5.71%
 
 
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Ratings: 132 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of macpatel10
1/5  rDev -75.2%

Photo of Friskykipper
2.5/5  rDev -38%

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.

 1,431 characters

Photo of SaveWaterDrinkBeers
2.8/5  rDev -30.5%
vibe: 1 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of BKotch
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of HaoleToYouToo
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

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.

 938 characters

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.

 2,356 characters

Photo of Vogt52
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of aoampm
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of kamikazeokami
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Burry
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of mks0913
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Mlake24574
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%

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.

 330 characters

Photo of weizendoc
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

 1,009 characters

Photo of dshansen1184
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

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!

 347 characters

Photo of JISurfer
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
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 NickH44
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

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.

 1,168 characters

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.

 2,470 characters

Photo of jstevep00
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Ugadawg
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Sabtos
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This place is a rare establishment in all of Hawaii. They maintain a massive crowd any time of day (I think cruise ships drop off nearby as well), and they can handle it like the pros many of us are used to at the best and busiest bars on the mainland. Kona has a nicely designed, beachfront-esque outdoor patio (despite the fact that the beach is quite a ways off), where the geckos actually do roam around, making you do a double take at the brewery logo. They also have a more cozy, casual indoor pub feel centered around a small but ultra-efficient bar.

I was surprised to find they had a relatively large tap list, featuring a large number of brews I didn't know they made, running the gamut of styles. All were nicely fresh and tasted far better than any of the bottled brews I'd had on the mainland. Service was professional, prompt, and knowledgeable. And food was location appropriate, and relatively tasty...and then came the hefty purple sweet potato pie, which was just a gut bomb, but a delicious one! Maybe if you're feeling hungry, just order that, and that alone, and share it with 4 people--you'll still fill up!

We had 6 beers while we were here, and would be back regularly for the fresh brews and pork tacos if we were locals.

 1,248 characters

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Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua Kona, HI
3.7 out of 5 based on 13,470 ratings.
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