Honolulu Hawaii Field Notes covering Kona Brewing, Duke's, Maui Brewing

Honolulu, Hawaii Brewtrip

Michael Fraser

Publisher/Contributor

Pints, Forks & Friends Field Notes

It’s funny, the first time I noticed Kona Brewing, it was at a local gas station beer cave in Ohio. It was Longboard Island Lager to be exact, so I bought it on impulse. As I was consuming this delicious beverage I remember staring at the label and feeling that Hawaiian vibe coming off of it. Fast forward until now, building the Pints, Forks & Friends content community we scheduled a Honolulu #drinklocal trip featuring some of their local breweries. To capture our journey, we used the Photofy App to create the easiest/coolest photos and demonstrated to the different places we visited. #photofymyday.

We were staying in the North Shore area of the island, which is a very local community, unlike the commercialized area of Waikiki. Using Google Maps we set up the next few days of traveling around the island. We picked Duke’s Waikiki, Kona Brewing, and Maui Brewing to explore more in depth. Duke’s is located right on Waikiki Beach, which is a lot smaller than I pictured, but it was very scenic. The restaurant has an indoor/outdoor setting with open sight lines with Diamond Head in the background. It did have a little restaurant-chain feel, but probably because it was surrounded by the mall which we walked through to get there. The bar manager shared a story of how Duke Kahanamoku rode a wave for over a mile at Waikiki, which should probably be in the Guinness Book of World Records. We ate lunch there, had a simple Hawaiian burger, and a few sides like coconut shrimp. Everything was outstanding. After Duke’s we walked over a few blocks over to Maui Brewing Co. #MBCWaikiki. It sits up a few stories, we took the steps which was a little workout. We took a seat at the bar and sampled a few pints, met a bunch of great people visiting the area. One gentlemen in particular named Paul was from Australia. He is a craft beer enthusiast and saw me taking photos of my beer using the Photofy App. He said that looked different, so I showed him how I use the Pints, Forks & Friends #PFFStamp to map all the locations I visit. He pulled out his phone to check it out as well. The restaurant-bar was pretty big and open, great views of the Waikiki commerce area, which makes it fun to people watch.

The Kona Brewing location we visited was off of Kalanianole Highway tucked back into a shopping complex, but sat right on this beautiful inlet of water called Kuapa Pond, It was indoor/outdoor seating and had exceptional service. I had their wings, which paired great with their Big Wave Golden Ale.

I highly recommend checking out all these places, great food, very personalized service and phenomenal selections of craft beer.

Side Notes

  • Fun stuff – Live webcams from Waikiki
  • I went with the Bikini Blonde Lager at Maui Brewing, but here is their full list
  • Maui Brewing is the largest craft brewer in Hawaii producing more than 53,000 barrels of beer annually
  • Kona Brewing has been in existence since 1994, and currently uses solar energy to help power its brewery
  • Kona Brewing is headquartered in Kailuaa-Kona – Hawaii’s Big Island 
  • Kona’s Pipeline Porter is brewed with 100% Kona coffee

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