Hawaii is known for drinking Mai Tais on the beach, but has an ever expanding network of breweries and distilleries as well. From rum to craft brewing, Hawaii puts their own unique spin on these Aloha spirits. Hawaii actually has ideal conditions for producing alcohol: pure spring water, rich volcanic soil, and a variety of tropical fruit and plants grown on Kauai, Maui, and Oahu.
Large brands like Kona Brewing and Maui Brewing produce a wide range of great products, but there are also plenty of micro-brewing, craft-brewing, and gastro pubs to get excited about.
Here are just a few of our favorite Breweries & Distilleries worth checking out:
Koloa Rum Company
Koloa Rum Company is the spirit of Hawaii, and Kauai’s first and only licensed distillery. Rum has been made on Kauai since the time first sugar cane was harvested in 1837, but Koloa Rum Company keeps that tradition alive. Koloa Rum Company has a tasting room and shop for the single-batch rums ranging from White, Gold, Dark, Spiced, and Coconut.
Kona Brewing Company
Kona Brewing Company is a brewery on the Big Island in Kailua-Kona that produces 220,000 barrels of beer per year. Kona Brewing was started in 1994 and is sold in all 50 states. They’re best known for their top-selling flagship beers Big Wave Golden Ale and Longboard Island lager as well as fun beers like “Fire Rock Pale Ale” and “Pipeline Porter”. They offer brewery tours as well as a Brewpub.
Honolulu Beerworks is neighborhood craft microbrewery with ales & stouts, and island-style pub grub. They offer 14 brews on tap ranging from their rich South Shore stout to their a Belgian-style Pia Mahi ‘Ai Honey Citrus saison. They use unique imported ingredients combined with local sourced products in a barrel-aging process.
Island Distillers gained fame with their sugarcane and coconut vodkas. Island Distillers takes advantage of their surroundings with by using spring water and a lava rock filtration process. They offer a full tasting room, to sample their trademark vodkas: coconut, hibiscus and Hawaiian chili pepper. Island Distillers is also a bit of a hidden gem, located behind Koko Head Crater on Oahu.
Maui Brewing Company
Maui Brewing Company is the largest craft brewery in Hawaii with a flagship indoor/outdoor tasting room located in Kihei, This restaurant has a huge, open-air space perfect for large groups and families. They offer daily brewery tours of the brewhouse, cellar, and packaging line. They also created Kupu Spirits cocktails… the first ready-to-drink canned cocktail in Hawaii.
Kauai Beer Company
Kauai Beer Company is a neighborhood microbrewery in Lihue. It’s a family-owned and operated brewpub with small plates, pub fare, and comfort eats. Their best known beers are the Lihue lager and the light-bodied Black Limousine, which was the first beer ever brewed by Kauai Beer Company.
Enjoy checking out some of the best Breweries & Distilleries in Hawaii, and remember to drive safe. You can reserve shuttles and car services across Hawaii with SpeediShuttle or Arthur’s Limousine. There are also a number of Island tours available with IMI Tours.