New craft beer bars open in Honolulu: Aloha Beer, Real a Gastropub, Pint and Jigger
Ale-loha!: We welcome two new gastropubs and a brew pub to Honolulu.
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Five years later, he’s executing that grad school business plan. “I believe that Hawaii is a brand in itself,” he says. He plans to leverage that brand to get Aloha Beer into global markets. To do so, Aloha Beer will license other breweries to brew its beer, the way Kirin in the United States is made by Budweiser and Budweiser in Japan is made by Kirin. “It’s all about licensing,” Sombrero says. “That’s how we’ll grow our markets all over the world.”
And yet, for all its world-domination plans, Aloha Beer prides itself on having a Hawaii born and raised brewmaster who “gets” Hawaii and its love of the green bottle: Heineken. One of Campbell’s beers, the Aloha Lager, mimics a Continental pilsner, the style in which Heinekens are made.
At the Aloha Beer brewpub, there are eight taps: five standards, including Aloha Blonde, Lager, Red, Dark and IPA, and three rotating handles “to get our creative freakness out,” says Campbell. Recent ones have included kiawe-honey porter and a steamship lager, similar to San Francisco’s Anchor Steam.
At 6,500 square feet, Aloha Beer’s newly built brewpub feels cavernous and as cozy as a warehouse. It’s half full, despite it being Friday pau hana hour. There are surfers coming in after a session, a smattering of Japanese tourists (who exit through the gift shop of Aloha Beer merchandise) and groups crowded around the “Aloha Tower,” 100 ounces of beer in what looks like a very tall bong. The food is forgettable: turkey leg, beef nachos, a small heap of kalbi for $15 that tastes like it comes from a May’s box. The owners of Aloha Beer have made clear that while it shares a kitchen with Breakfast, Lunch and Crab’s, the menu is completely separate. That much is certain; Sam Choy would not allow such small portions on his menu.
The best way to enjoy Aloha Beer? The Aloha Tower with some friends just to see the spectacle, or a growler to take home.
Real a Gastropub
1020 Auahi St., 596-2526.
“I’m not a beer entrepreneur,” says a guy at the bar. I think he means “connoisseur.” But he’s had a few.
His friend, clearly more a beer enthusiast, is egging him on to try some new beers.
“Do you like IPAs?” his friend asks.
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t want it.”
“What’s the best IPA to ease into?” his friend thinks aloud.
“I don’t want to ease into it.”