The craft beer scene in Hawaii is at an all-time high, with several breweries located throughout the islands pumping out some great brews. When I found out my husband was working in Hawaii, I booked a pretty last-minute trip to check out the islands and the local brews.
Traveling solo to Honolulu while my husband was quarantined on Kauai gave me plenty of time to explore the Waikiki area and a few of the breweries and beer bars located in the area to check out this emerging scene. The bars were open and because they were adhering to the Covid restrictions put in place by the Governor, I was very comfortable checking things out.
My first brewery stop was Waikiki Brewing Company. This brewery has a few locations throughout the state, and I was able to walk to the location in Waikiki just a few blocks from my hotel.
I checked in at the desk and after giving my contact info for tracing purposes, was led to a spot at the bar that was socially distanced with plastic partitions in between me and the next person.
Because there were so many options I wanted to try, it was an easy decision to try a taster, smaller draft pours of 4 beers. The bartender gave me a couple of suggestions based on my likes and we went from there.
I tried 4 completely different styles and loved the fact that each one was so different. For a brewery that’s only been open since 2015, it was nice to see the various options available.
Luckily, there was great food as well and I was not going to pass up pork belly in Hawai’i. What a great dish to pair with my beers.
I ended my time at this brewery with a porter, one of my favorite styles of beer. It was a great way to end my first brewery stop in Honolulu.
After walking off what I ate and drank, I decided to pop into Yard House, a craft beer bar that has over 100 brews on tap. I’ve been to a couple of the other locations and knew that the bar offers a lot of local options based on the location.
I grabbed a dark brew from Maui Brewing Company and a fantastic ahi tuna stack. I was also able to try a brown ale from Kona Brewing, which is located on Hawaii’s Big Island.
The next day, after a long walk, I made my way to the Waikiki Beach location of Maui Brewing Company. The bar is huge and there is so much seating here that I felt completely comfortable and distanced from the others checking out the place.
I started my evening with one of the best and most unique beers I’ve had in a long time, a White Russian Golden Imperial Porter. I am a huge fan of darker beers but this was golden, as the description says, and filled with flavor. I don’t normally advocate for a single beer because I truly believe everyone has different tastes, but this is one I’d recommend to everyone. It was that good!
My next decision was whether to order another full beer or get a taster of 4 separate brews. The taster won out as I sampled some of the brewery’s other great options.
The next day was my last full one in Honolulu, so I decided to try a brewery closer to the arts district. Who can pass up Aloha Beer Company when in Hawaii?
I made my way to the bar and through two tastings since they had so many options! I made a point of asking the bartenders what their favorites were and tried those. I was pleasantly surprised at a few of the beers that I liked since those styles aren’t my traditional “go to’s”.
The brewery had some great food options, but I didn’t try them on this trip since I was so full from the beer!
Hitting up the local breweries is a great way to explore a city. I always get fantastic food and sightseeing options from the bartenders and I really enjoy learning about the styles of beer that are popular in that region. As a solo traveler, it’s also a fantastic way to meet new people.
I was unable to make it to all of the breweries I was interested in trying, which is a great way to say, “I’ll be back.”
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