When people think of Hawaii, they don’t typically think of beer. That doesn’t really fit with the idea of a tropical island getaway where US citizens don’t need a passport to go. However, even Kauai has a few breweries to check out for beer enthusiasts out there.
Kauai isn’t huge, so it makes sense that there aren’t many breweries to choose from. Thankfully, there are still plenty of places to get a nice beer regardless.
Just because Hawaii has become a tourist hotspot due to its stunning landscape, rich culture, and gorgeous beaches, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also have some good beers. Tropical drinks aren’t the only things they have on the islands, and Kauai is no exception. While there are only a few breweries on the island specifically, there are still a few good places to check out for a nice, cold beer. Keep reading to discover some of the best available!
Here are the breweries in Kauai, Hawaii.
Kauai Beer Company
Kauai Beer comes highly recommended on many platforms and is close to the Lihue airport. They also serve amazing food, so if nothing else, it’s a good place to check out and try something new. They have a good selection of brews and other drinks in their cozy establishment, with friendly staff and a calming vibe.
It’s hard to go wrong with any of their beers, but if nothing else, check out their Waimea Smash. It’s a dry-hopped ale that is made with just Rahr malt and New Zealand-Waimea hops for a nice citrus and pine aroma and a smooth feel. It’s a tasty reminder of the fact that Hawaii has to import its grains and hops, so they might as well go big!
Kauai Island Brewery & Grill
Kauai Island Brewery & Grill is a great place for delicious food and tasty beer. It’s a full-service restaurant, microbrewery, and brewpub that always has around 10 house drinks on tap. Located on the western side of the island, it’s the oldest brewery on Kauai so they know what they’re doing. They even have a pair of awards to prove it.
The Ele’ele Brown for example is a brew based on a recipe that obtained a Silver Certificate at the California State Fair and won second place at the West Coast Brewer’s Festival. It’s a mild roasted brown ale with a nice, smoky malt flavor. Check it out if it’s on the lineup!
Why Isn’t There a Bigger Beer Scene On Kauai?
Part of the issue for there not being a lot of beer on Kauai is that it’s not the Big Island.
It’s a small island, and therefore not a lot of tourism. They focus heavily on sustainability and preservation, so they really can’t just hack away space for breweries. There wouldn’t be enough room for everything else!
What they do have is fabulous though, and even collaborate with breweries on other islands. This helps keep things as diverse and eclectic as Kauai loves while also helping to preserve and sustain the lives of everyone and everything on their island home.
Not to mention, due to the climate, hops and most grains will not grow well, especially not in the capacity needed for brewing beer in marketable quantities. Due to this, Hawaii in general is one of the most expensive locations in the world to make beer in, as they have to import all of that! Therefore, it’s just not as feasible as it might be in the continental US or other parts of the world.
Where Else Can I Find Beer In Kauai, HI?
Just because there aren’t many breweries to crawl on the island, doesn’t mean that there isn’t still beer to find. It’s not like that because Hawaii is a set of gorgeous tropical islands which means they can’t make beer. Absolutely not! They are small islands though, so there’s just not a lot of space to preserve their land and culture while also shoving a lot of amenities in there.
So, while there might not be a ton of breweries, there are still some tasty restaurants and such to check out and get a beer. These include:
- Koloa Rum
- Taps and Hops Eatery
- Street Burger Kauai
- Duke’s Kauai
- Brennecke’s Beach Broiler
Additionally, most hotels have beers available for their guests to enjoy. This usually involves some brews from local establishments or even ones on other islands.
Be Sure to Check Out Tasting Kauai
Tasting Kauai is a food tour on the island that will take guests around to a bunch of local areas to get a diverse experience offered by the island. It is meant to be a collaborative effort to help support their local businesses and emphasizes sustainability and education for their rich food culture.
This means that guests will get to experience all sorts of tasty food, learn about them, and yes—grab a beer or two. Plus, it’s always good to know how an area, especially a small, enclosed island like Kauai, is working to ensure the sustainability of the food they produce. It’s already expensive to live in Hawaii with extremely limited space, so it’s important to keep these sorts of things in check.