Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Hawaiian Craft Brewers Guild & Tap Takeover Event!

 For any fan of locally produced beer, it's important to know how difficult an industry it is. Craft brewers are constantly competing with large entrenched macro breweries, many of which own controlling shares in distributors, which makes it hard or impossible to find shelf space at retail or access to quality ingredients.  To combat the 'big guy,' many small breweries band together in associations to the benefit of all.

Guilds started in the Middle Ages in Europe as a formal association of artists or craftsman to oversee the quality and function of a particular skill or product. With the explosion of local Hawai'i beer in 2005, the now-defunct Aloha Brewers Guild was formed to link these new breweries. It wasn't successful, but stood as a start.

In 2014, the Hawaiian Craft Brewers Guild was formed to further organize to make it easier for local breweries to produce quality beer and serve their communities without interference.  In recent months, the Guild has been submitting testimony to the state legislature for increased sales limits, and the ability to be family-friendly, among other initiatives. The Guild represents breweries based in Hawai'i that produce 100% of their beer in the state. As reported by Lanikai Brewing Company's owner Steve Haumschild, only 5% of beer consumed in the state is produced here!  Beyond lobbying, the Guild stands to educate and promote drinking local.

To that end, the Hawaiian Craft Brewers Guild will be hosting a Tap Takeover event at Square Barrels in downtown Honolulu on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 starting at 6pm! Brewery owners and representatives will be present from all members to talk story and raise support for the organization. Come down and meet:  Honolulu Beerworks - Geoff Seideman; Kauai Beer Company – Justin Guerber; Kauai Island Brewing Company – Dave Curry; Lanikai Brewing Company – Steve Haumschild; Maui Brewing Company – Garrett Marrero; Stewbum & Stonewall – Darren Garvey; and Waikiki Brewing Company – Joe P. Lorenzen.  In addition to the people, Square Barrels always has fantastic food. Each brewery is, of course, bringing beer! It's a great opportunity to try outer island breweries that aren't always available in Honolulu.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Stone SALT Pub Crawl & POW! WOW! Hawaii 2018

For anyone who frequents or just visits the area, it's easy to see that Kaka'ako is flat hot land perfect for warehouses. Decades ago it was salt reclamation land, hence the moniker of the SALT complex.  These drab warehouses dominate the architecture of the area, so something had to be done. Instead of boring concrete or unsightly graffiti, colorful artwork adorns every empty wall in the neighborhood.  Every few years POW! WOW! comes to Kaka'ako, bringing artists both local and from around the world, to paint over what had come before and create something new. Like life, these works of art are fleeting; they are to be enjoyed, but only for a year or two.  As a frequent explorer of the neighborhood, I feel like I was always seeing something new, as you can find these murals down alleys and behind buildings where people usually don't drive.  POW! WOW! 2018 is going on now; it's a great time to explore and watch the artists at work. It's okay to take pictures and talk to them about who they are and what they're creating.  You never know, you may discover a new favorite artist!

This Saturday is the perfect excuse to explore. Walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon, then head to SALT for their monthly pub crawl. This month is featuring one of my current top-5 favorite breweries, STONE out of San Diego.  The tap list is killer; most are at Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room, with a few at Moku Kitchen. The Boiling Crab and Pitch Sports Bar will also feature drink specials, but not of the featured brewery.  The Hawaii Blood Bank will also be taking sign ups for donation (doing so before or during drinking isn't encouraged for obvious reasons).  STONE only recently made it to Oahu after only having been distributed on Maui due to their partnership with Maui Brewing Company. It's great Oahu gets to share in the great beer!
Village Draft Line Up - (As taken from Village's event page)
Stone IPA
Stone Delicious IPA
Stone Ripper Pale Ale
Stone Ruination DIPA
Stone Go To IPA
Stone Vengeful Spirit
Stone Arrogant Bastard
Stone 2016 Double Bastard
Stone Bourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard
Stone Barrel Aged Imperial Saison with Peach
Stone Wussie Pilsner
Stone 2016 Imperial Russian Stout
Stone 2015 Old Guardian Barleywine
Stone Merc Machine DIPA
Hop Concept Dank & Sticky IPA
Great Divide Strawberry Rhubarb Sour

Moku Kitchen will be featuring
Stone Tangerine Express IPA
Great Divide NITRO Yeti Imperial Stout
Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale

As an exciting side note: Village now has a nitro tap! Hope to see you there!