Honolulu Welcomes a New Wave of Craft Brewers
Building off the success of Neighbor Island breweries and local beer-focused restaurants, a new generation is brewing plans to turn O‘ahu into a beer destination.
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Lanikai Brewing Co.
Lanikai Brewing Co.’s warehouse borders Hāmākua Marsh in Kailua.
PHOTOS: STEVE CZERNIAK
Steve Haumschild, co-owner of Lanikai Brewing Co., which opened in March of this year, studied the business climate for local beer carefully before committing to his own brewery. A self-described serial entrepreneur with experience in real estate and adventure tourism, Haumschild had been brewing beer at home since 2004 (two of his three business partners are former brewing partners). “If you’re a home brewer, it’s always a dream to start a brewery, but it’s hard to turn that into a reality,” he says.
While attending the executive program at the Shidler College of Business in 2009, he and a classmate drew up the business plan for what would eventually become Lanikai Brewing. Instead of building a brewpub as many on O‘ahu have done before, Haumschild wanted to focus on bottling beer in oversize, 22-ounce bottles, like the craft beers from Mainland breweries he enjoyed at home with friends.
Lanikai began producing beer from a small warehouse in Kailua, making two styles: the 808 Imperial IPA, accented with local pīkake, and Pillbox Porter, which uses Hawaiian vanilla. A small tasting room is open to the public, but all the inventory is sold either through restaurants or retailers. Haumschild, 39, plans to add more styles in the future (“We have all the recipes ready to go,” he says), but wants to grow slowly to make sure he honors his commitment to his sales accounts while keeping the quality consistently high.
175-C Hāmākua Drive, Kailua, lanikaibrewing.com