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Sunday, November 17, 2019
Hana Koa Brewing Co. opened its doors this weekend to a series of private events for friends, family, industry, and others who shared in Josh Kopp and Chrissie Pinney’s adventure into building a community brewery. The grand opening will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, and will be open six days a week 11am to 11pm (closed Tuesdays) thereafter. Huge mahalo to the husband and wife team for the invitation to preview the food, beer, and atmosphere that await Honolulu.
Hana Koa is located in Kaka’ako off of Ward Avenue on Kawaiaha’o Street, close to Blaisdell Center and Whole Foods. They have a dedicated free parking lot of a dozen stalls, otherwise street parking or a ride is necessary. The space was an old Coca-Cola bottling plant, so it was the perfect location to brew beer. They transformed the old warehouse into a gleaming comfortable living space. Inside the doors is a lounge area with half barrel tables and leather furniture, the perfect place to enjoy a few beers and maybe a pupu or two. For the full menu, see the host stand inside to be seated in a half booth, traditional table, or high top; all the seating is comfortable for a long stay. The bar is the best seat in the house if you’re looking to try one of their beers. For the soft opening, they had four styles on: a Blonde (my personal favorite), Pale Ale, IPA, and a Coffee Stout. There will be many mores styles coming starting Wednesday, with small batch, barrels, and blends coming in the future. The goal is to have up to thirty Hana Koa beers on tap at once!
Upstairs is a loft bar with less handles but a better view. Natural skylights add to the bright and open feel here. As Chrissie tells it, it’s all about a spirit of adventure: the lounge area is the sandy beach, the restaurant is the nourishing earth, and the loft is the sky. This is all summed up in their slogan “Brewed for Adventure.”
The menu is already well developed. We tried a number of small plates and main dishes: the steak fries, panko crushed tofu, smoked marlin on toast, tonkotsu ramen, boneless short ribs brisket, house burger, and spaghetti. There’s truly something for everyone with a fusion of all the styles that make the Hawaii culinary scene an exciting place for the palate. Prices are reasonable, this isn’t a place to break the bank while going out to eat. It’s also family friendly with a kids menu and dessert.
If you stop by, be sure to ask for a tour. The production facility is easy to see through windows behind the bar. Also check out their store with t-shirts, bandanas, crowlers, and other goodies to take home. I already can’t recommend Hana Koa enough; I’m sure you’ll find me here often!
Friday, November 8, 2019
|Best of Show|
HIP Fermenters threw their third annual Brew Oahu Homebrew Competition and the newly dubbed Brew Camp in time for Learn to Homebrew Day. The judging was AHA/BJCP sanctioned again this year, with judges coming from around the islands. October 24 and 25 we all met at Homebrew in Paradise in Kalihi to taste almost 100 entries. It was two full days of beer, with delicious meals donated by Waikiki Brewing Company and Square Barrels.
On the two judging days, we judged lots of standouts, with delicious quality beer, cider, and mead. You can see the full list of winners here: WINNERS LIST. Justin & Jenn Rivera’s Ilio IPA took home Best of Show.
In conjunction with Learn to Homebrew Day, the club also had a BREW CAMP complete with brewing demonstrations, a chili cook-off, and the awards ceremony. Another great event, I'm looking forward to next year!