Spend your vacation days in Hawaii beach hopping by day and unwinding in the evening with a cold, locally made brew. For an island that is relatively small in size, Oahu boasts a surprising number of local breweries. From small batch brews to more well-known labels, Oahu has something for every beer fan. Be sure to add these top five local only Oahu breweries to the itinerary for a true taste of the islands!
Hana Koa Brewing Company
Located in the Kaka’ako area of Honolulu, this brewery is easily accessible when spending a day exploring downtown. Owned by a young couple who combined their passion for beer and brewing into what has now become the Hana Koa Brewing Company, this lesser-known brewery in Oahu is well worth a stop. Hana Koa Brewing Company boasts a dozen brews on tap, many with tropical inspiration such as Beach Bum, Chill Vibes Only, and Feels Like Summer. A more recent unique brew is the Cookie Monster, which combines cookie dough, sandwich cookies, and pastry chef gel to add a mystical blue hue to this 9% alcohol brew. Taste test your way through Hana Koa with a flight of the week, which features 5 oz pours of four of their brews, or create your own flight ala carte. Hana Koa Brewing Company also offers wine, cocktails, and a full dining menu featuring shared plates, burgers, items from the land and sea, and daily specials.
Waikiki Brewing Company
As the third largest craft beer producer in the state of Hawaii, Waikiki Brewing Company is well-loved for good reason. It has earned national accolades at various beer festivals and has established itself in the Oahu community as a company who sources locally. Now with multiple locations, their flagship site is in the heart of Waikiki, still owning the title of the sole brewery in the district. Waikiki Brewing Company offers around a dozen beers on tap, with nine being their core brews and the others a rotation of limited releases. They also offer cocktails, spirits, and a full dining menu. The black strap molasses porter and skinny jeans IPA are two core favorites. And if hunger strikes, their dining menu includes a variety of pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, local plates, and meat from the smoker.
Inu Island Ales
Off the beaten tourist paths of Honolulu and Waikiki, Inu Island Ales is located in the town of Kaneohe. This under-the-radar Oahu brewery is a local favorite for its unique brews and island style. The Hawaiian word Inu (pronounced Ē-nu) means drink, and it’s here you’ll find the perfect drink to kick off your afternoon or to end your evening. Be sure to plan your visit Wednesday through Sunday, as they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. In true local style, you’ll find a scattering of stools and white board menus on the interior of Inu Island Ales. Unique brews line the menu, such as the plum jelly belly sandwich, which includes plums, marshmallow, and peanuts.
Aloha Beer Company
Serving up craft brews in a festive aloha glass with a pineapple icon, Aloha Beer Company is a local favorite. You’ll find two locations in Honolulu – one downtown and the other in the Kaka’ako area. The Kaka’ako brewery boasts and outdoor beer garden and about ten beers on tap. Order a flight for a taste of several of their top brews or pick your favorite and go with a half pint or pint. Their Waimanalo farmhouse ale and hop lei IPA are two favorites. Aloha Beer Company also offers a variety of cocktails and wine, as well as a full dining menu. Their menu features a variety of pizzas, salads, wings, and fries. The Japanese curry fries are a local favorite, topped with Japanese curry, homemade kimchi, and scallions, and pair perfectly with an ice-cold brew.
Beer Lab Hawaii
This brewery in Oahu has three locations on the island and focuses on small batch brews. What began as a home brewing hobby between three friends has quickly become a local favorite brewery on Oahu. Their brewery and tasting room is located in Waipio, with additional taprooms in Moi’ilili and Pearlridge. Located in an industrial area, Beer Lab Hawaii’s Waipio brewery is off the beaten path, making it a great hidden gem. The taproom boasts up to 15 rotating beers in a 4oz taster, half pint, or pint. Crowlers and growlers (32oz and 64oz) are also available to go. Be sure to get a crowler of kombucha to be enjoyed the following morning!
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