There’s a common myth that says, the hotter the climate, the wimpier the beer…
Our biggest seller in the brewpub is Castaway IPA, 7 percent alcohol, 65 IBUs. People are seeking out more flavorful beers. The ocean front restaurants definitely serve a lot of the lighter beers, but restaurants and evening establishments tend to sell more full-flavored beers.
What is Hawaiian beer culture like?
It’s interesting. It’s a little behind the mainland—it’s not Portland or Denver or Seattle by any means, but we’re getting there. There are a lot of mainland transplants who are used to full-flavored beer and are demanding that. There are several breweries in Hawaii. And the chefs at the hotels and resort restaurants are on the cutting-edge with culinary techniques, so the beers are a natural combination.
What are the challenges in brewing thousands of miles away from anywhere?
Where should I start? Everything except the water has to be imported. You’re looking at roughly 45 percent higher costs to produce beer, than on the mainland. It means weeks of lead time and a lot of careful planning and inventory management.
Is your beer available outside Hawaii?
We have a partnership with Widmer in Portland to brew and bottle our beer for the mainland, which has allowed us to expand there. Think about what we’d have to charge for a six-pack of beer in California, if we had to ship all the raw materials here to Hawaii then ship it back to the mainland…that’s not very environmentally responsible.
What music do you play in the brewhouse?
(Laughs) What don’t we play? Everything from classic rock to hip hop