Beer in Hawaii

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by woemad, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. FrogOut69

    FrogOut69 Devotee (458) Sep 24, 2013 California

    Echoing the above (also stayed at Hilton Waikoloa the last few trips), the Lava Lava Beach Club is a must visit. Gorgeous location with solid food options and a decent beer list (plus good cocktails).

    Tropics Ale House usually has a few local beers on and some other decent taps, and the staff is very kind. Definitely more of a sports bar feel, so this is better if you're looking to watch a game or get out of the heat.
    AndyBrewsBeer likes this.
  2. metter98

    metter98 Poo-Bah (13,191) Aug 29, 2006 New York
    Moderator Society

    I will be traveling to Hawaii for a vacation in mid-March and will be staying on Kauai for eight nights—one in Kapaa (on the east shore) and the rest of the week in Poipu (on the south shore). I’ll have a car while I am there and plan on driving around the island for different hiking and sightseeing trips each day. I looked at all of the Kauai place listings on BA—which seem to encompass the towns/villages of Hanalei and Princeville on the north shore, Kapaa and Lihue on the east shore, and Eleele and Koloa on the south shore—and there aren’t that many listings or recent place ratings/reviews. Besides this thread, the most recent BA forum I found mentioning Kauai was last updated in 2018. If someone else has been to Kauai in the past year or so, I am looking to get some recommendations of craft beer places to visit on the island—especially those that have good selections from local breweries.

    While I am there, I definitely plan on going to the island’s two breweries (Kauai Beer Company and the Kauai Island Brewery) but I also want to try beers from a variety of other Hawaiian breweries. To date, the only beers I have had from Hawaii are ones from Kona Brewing and Maui Brewing, which are both distributed to my state.

    I did some initial web-based research and it looks like the there is a really good selection of beers from local breweries at the Taps & Hops Eatery in Kapaa. It seems that this venue just opened last year so I added the place to BA and plan to check it out during my trip since it’s near the hotel where I will be staying at for one night. According to their current menu, they have a total of 18 beers on-tap, including selections from: Big Island Brewhaus, Honolulu Beerworks, Kona Brewing, Maui Brewing, Ola Brew, and Waikiki Brewing. Based on what I’m seeing in recent beer ratings/check-ins on Kauai, it looks like some other venues around the island seem to be serving beers from Aloha Beer, Kohola Brewery, and Lanikai Brewing. Are there any bars/eateries that you would recommend that I should check out? Avalon Gastropub and Street Burger, which are also both located in Kapaa, were recommended earlier in this thread. Ideally, I would like to find some places where I could stop for lunch after doing a hike in the morning before the others traveling in my group want to return to the hotel to relax at the beach and pool.

    The other thing I am looking for is good beer stores on Kauai where I can pick up some local beers to bring back to my hotel (to drink in the afternoon/evening) and to the East Coast to share with my friends. It would be an added bonus if a store sells singles instead of having to purchase an entire 4-pack or 6-pack of the same beer. Based on my initial web-based research, it looks like the best beer stores might the Hanalei Liquor Store and the Princeville Wine Market on the north shore of the island. I think one of those might even carry Hinano Beer from Tahiti, which would be a new country for me. Are there any other beer stores that you would recommend that I should check out where I can get beers from local breweries or possibly other countries in the Oceania region?
    MonkeyBread and dbrauneis like this.
  3. dcgunman

    dcgunman Champion (856) Jul 1, 2009 California

    Do yourself a favor and bring some Other Half cans with you. I always bring cans with me wherever I travel too. I haven't been to Kauai in 4+ years now. I'm sure a few here will chime in on whats the latest on the island of Kauai. Regardless I like to bring some of my local SoCal offerings with me to mix it up with the island local offerings. Also a good idea to bring to brewery's and pubs to share with the locals. Highway 56 leading from Lihue to Princeville can be as bad as some of the freeways here on the mainland as far as rush hour traffic. But your on holiday on the islands so that local Hawaiian style traffic.
    metter98 likes this.
  4. ScottWoerner

    ScottWoerner Initiate (74) Jan 5, 2017 California

    Second this. I was there in late December, most beer on the shelves was well over 2 months old regardless of the store. I took a chance on a few IPA's that were made locally, not my style. Too malty, possibly too old. I would stick with local made beer that is not an IPA, had a few lagers from Maui that were tasty. More so when you are sitting on a beach.
  5. metter98

    metter98 Poo-Bah (13,191) Aug 29, 2006 New York
    Moderator Society

    Thanks for the advice! Among the group that I'll be traveling with, I'm the only beer geek, but two of the other people only really like darker beers like stouts and porters, so I probably can't go wrong with those styles if they have been on the sitting on the shelves for a couple of weeks. Since there are so many IPAs available these days, personally I try to avoid drinking them when there are other choices available and normally will opt for lagers and other less common beer styles.
    ScottWoerner likes this.
  6. ryno09

    ryno09 Aspirant (211) May 1, 2010 California

    Pretty much my plan every time I head over to the islands is to bring IPA and maybe barrel aged beers and drink local non-IPAs. It's a good time to appreciate easy drinking non-hoppy beers.
    metter98 likes this.
  7. dcgunman

    dcgunman Champion (856) Jul 1, 2009 California

    When your on any of the islands of Hawaii remember to go to the source if you want the freshest (ipa). I prefer KBC over KIB. When I visit the Big Island I go to BIB & Ola for my to go cans/bottles. KBC for pizza. All with my SoCal stash I bring with me. Aloha.
    metter98 and Black_Rider like this.
  8. piggy_rulz

    piggy_rulz Initiate (27) Dec 4, 2019 Missouri

    We also do a lot of hiking (& snorkeling) all over Kauai and sometimes we just want a decent brew & food wherever we may be. All of the below places should have something for you to drink.

    Going north & hiking to Kauapea, the Secret Beach? Highly recommended. Go to Happy Talk Lounge in Princeville. 15 minutes. (maybe also go to the Zuckerberg beach, Larsen's Beach) (Wai Koa Loop Trail also a great hike)

    Hanalei? We've been to Kalypso many a time with muddy shins after hiking Kalalau Valley. (check road closures near Hanalei. Bad flooding 2 years ago.) (Tahiti Nui is also worth a stop just because they filmed the Descendants there)

    Waimea? Hiking in Waimea Canyon? Going to Kalalau Valley lookout? Stop at Waimea Plantation Cottages for pretty darn good BBQ at Chicken in a Barrel BBQ.

    Kapaa also has some great hiking up in the hills. Streetburger has a great tap list but the burger is average. The place to go is right on the beach: Lava Lava Beach Club. Really a great spot. Your whole group will love it.

    Poipu. Keoki's Paradise will surprise you. Some curation going on. Even some sours. Also, Merriman's Fish House had BIB bottles. (hike the Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail. The best.)

    All I got for now...

    metter98 likes this.
  9. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,072) May 23, 2011 Washington

    All the Merrimans locations on Kauai and Maui tend to have some nicer bottles, but still only what's available based on local distribution. Each island has different distribution from the others. Oauhu gets the largest selection, even stuff from Shelton Brothers. You won't see any of that on Maui or Kauai.

    Kauai Ono is the best restaurant on the island. I've been twice and enjoyed de Garde, Ale Apothecary, Holy Mountain, Floodland and Hill Farmstead bottles that we brought to go with the meals. Definitely bring a fancy bottle or two with you.
    #49 distantmantra, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    Yabu likes this.
  10. dcgunman

    dcgunman Champion (856) Jul 1, 2009 California

    Any recs for bottle shops in Kona. Have to admit as many times as we’ve been to the Big Island I don’t know much in Kona besides Kona Brew and Ola Brew. I am bringing my own stash to mix in with the locals. Short trip this trip. In-n-n-Out.
  11. ryno09

    ryno09 Aspirant (211) May 1, 2010 California

    Kona Wine Market, near Home Depot and Costco. I probably wouldn't buy anything hoppy there though.
  12. dcgunman

    dcgunman Champion (856) Jul 1, 2009 California

    That’s what I figured. I’ll go hit up Ola and BIB for cans and bottles.
  13. ISaidDankNotDrank

    ISaidDankNotDrank Initiate (21) Oct 23, 2016 California

    Checking in after a long weekend in Honolulu on MLK weekend.

    Had a good time at Beer Lab on University Avenue, tried several tasters and the overall quality good although not outstanding. Bought a crowler of white IPA to take back to the hotel.

    Also bought some bombers of Lanikai imperial IPA and dry saison from the Kahala Whole Foods which were decent.

    But actually my favorite beer of the weekend was the Malasada Porter at the Waikiki branch of Maui Brewing, and their other limited edition taps were good too

    Overall nice to see Honolulu now having a decent enough beer scene so I don't have to drink blue hawaiians and mai tais the whole time
    MonkeyBread likes this.