Drink Good Beers for Good Causes at Grace in Growlers
Craft brews at this Kailua taproom bankroll a community service.
Photos: DT Thompson
Holly and Tim Veling believe they were put on this earth to help others. They also love beer. At Grace in Growlers, their serve-yourself taproom in Kailua, the couple has found a way to leverage their passion for craft brews to bankroll their community service.
But apart from the name—Grace in Growlers—there are few hints that quaffing a pint here serves a higher purpose (we’ll come back to that). More to the point are the 15 taps calling for your attention.
Here’s how it works: You open a tab at the host station, swipe the wristband you’ve been issued to activate a tap, then fill a 5-, 10- or 16-ounce glass with whatever you like. Once you’ve poured 36 ounces, the system cuts you off. But you can always fill a growler to go.
The taps flow with a mix of craft beers from Hawai‘i and beyond. The Velings order just one keg of any particular beer at a time, so when that keg runs out something new appears. Pricing is per ounce. When I dropped by, an ounce ranged from 42 cents for a Talk Story American pale ale to a $1.57 for a Brewers’ Bridge saison. Most beer ranged around 50 cents an ounce, or about $8 a pint.
The taproom is kid friendly, with communal seating and board games to borrow. There’s no kitchen, but there are plenty of restaurants in the neighborhood, and bringing takeout is encouraged.
Grace in Growlers opened in 2016 and expanded last year into the neighboring retail space. This gave the business street frontage, an outdoor lānai and enough room for a bottle shop. Done up with rose-themed wallpaper and upholstery, the bottle shop has been dubbed “grandma’s house,” and unlike the taproom, it’s 21 and older there.
Grandma’s house offers a loophole: Once you’ve reached your 36-ounce draft beer limit in the taproom, you can always switch to the beer in grandma’s fridge (which is stocked with wine and soda, too).
As for the higher purpose, the Velings put Grace in Growlers’ profits toward helping homeless people in Kāneohe use a laundromat free of charge, and they sponsor six children through the Christian charity Compassion International.
“Our motivation is our Christianity, and the idea that as human beings we’re supposed to be there for each other,” says Holly. “But that’s not part of the business. Our patrons are coming in to drink some tasty beverages.”
143 Hekili St., #110, Kailua; open Monday through Thursday noon to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 10 p.m., Sunday noon to 8 p.m.; (808) 975-9317; oneninetynine.org/graceingrowlers