Drink Local: Hawaii gets a new Microbrewery in a LEED neighborhood

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Beer. As kids we were told it tastes “icky” and that it’s only for adults. As adults, we use it to tell the time with phrases like “Beer-thirty”. No major American holiday, sporting event or backyard BBQ is complete without it, and thanks to the explosion of microbreweries, brewpubs, craft brewers and home brewers it would seem that there is an endless amount of beer to tempt your tastebuds. In fact, according to the Brewers Association there were 2,822 breweries of various types and sizes operating in the United States at the end of 2013. That’s a lot of beer, and needless to say with that many breweries in operation it can be difficult to standout from the crowd. However, a new microbrewery in Honolulu, Hawaii called *Honolulu BeerWorks has figured out a way to do just that.

The Setting – Kaka’ako

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Location, location, location. When it comes to real estate nothing is more important than location, and luckily for *Honolulu BeerWorks they’re in the perfect spot. HBW is located in the up and coming neighborhood of Kaka’ako, and when it’s all said and done it will be one of the centerpieces for a neighborhood unlike any other in the state or country. Thanks to the efforts of The Howard Hughes Corporation the Kaka’ako neighborhood is the first one in the state of Hawaii to receive LEED-ND Platinum certification, and it will be the largest one of it’s kind in the country. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and needless to say if a 60-acre construction project can earn a LEED Platinum Certification, the developer must be doing something right (like using ocean water to power all the A/C systems in the project).

The Brewery

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The brewery itself could be described as a do-it-yourself enthusiasts wet dream. Geoff Seideman, the owner and head brewer at HBW, and his team basically built the brewery from the ground up. Literally. Geoff has a background in construction and when he set out to fulfill his dream of opening a brewery the spot he picked probably wasn’t what most people expected – a run down boarded up warehouse. Over the course of 9 months Geoff removed over 50 tons of material from the old warehouse, and in it’s place he installed a seven-barrel brewing system, grain room, walk-in cooler and bar space. Oh, and most of the materials used throughout the bar have been salvaged and re-purposed from prior demolition projects around Oahu.

The Beer

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Finally, the part you’ve all been reading for – the beer. Well, what is there to say outside of the fact that HBW is Oahu’s premier craft brewery. They have anywhere from 10-12 different beers on tap at a given time and they’re constantly experimenting and coming up with new flavors to try. Even heavier beers like stouts and porters can be found on tap. Curious what’s currently on tap? Just check out the their online menu. Oh, and when you order a pint of beer you actually get a full 16oz of beer. Something I think we can all raise a glass to.

The Grindz

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For those of you not up to date on the vernacular used here in the islands – grindz is another way of saying food, and the best way to describe the grindz at HBW is delicious. Seriously, I’ve had just about everything on the menu and I haven’t come across something I didn’t like. Bavarian pretzels, smokin ahi dip, pork sliders, salads, beermade mac&cheese and the list just goes on. You can check out their full lunch and dinner menus here.

If you add it all up, I think it’s safe to say that HBW has definitely succeeded in standing out from the crowd. Whether it’s the location, the beer or the food they’re truly doing something unlike anyone else. So if you consider yourself a beer enthusiast, lover, connoisseur, fan or whatever, do yourself a favor and check out HBW the next time you’re in town. I assure you it will be worth you while.

Photos are courtesy of Honolulu BeerWorks, who generously sponsored this post as part of an ad package

About the Author

graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it's what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.