Honolulu Beerworks: Opening a Brewery, Part Four

Honolulu Beerworks' owners Geoff and Charmayne Seideman

[This is the fourth installment in a series, following Honolulu Beerworks as it opens Oahu's only brewpub and outdoor beer garden.]

The electricity is on. Gas hooked up. Bathrooms and kitchen completed. The bar countertop is going in next week. Things are moving along at a rapid pace at Honolulu Beerworks as it preps to open in February, three months behind schedule.

The most important piece of the brewpub started this week … the brewing. On Monday, owner and brewer Geoff Seideman brewed the first batch of beer, a German Kolsch. Seideman says this will be a light and refreshing, pale-colored beer featuring well-rounded malt flavors and subtle, earthy hop notes. He expects the final beer to be around 5.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) and a go-to thirst quencher.

Part of the brewing process: the boil kettle at a full rolling boil.

Honolulu Beerworks’ first brew day started at 6 a.m. with the milling of the malt. About six hours later, after steeping (mashing), boiling, adding the first hops of the new brewery, the new beer was transferred to a fermentation vessel. It will take a few weeks of fermenting and conditioning before the beer is ready to drink: This will one of the first beers you taste when Honolulu Beerworks opens.

Seideman prepping the fermentation tank for the chilled wort (unfermented beer). Yeast was added to the tank and fermentation was let to do its thing.

Hundreds of pounds of hot spent grain is removed from the mash tuns to be sent off to local farms for livestock feed. On the food menu someday: malt-fed pork?

Seideman will be busy brewing more batches over the next two weeks; he hopes to have six styles ready for opening.

Up next: the menu and full slate of beers when Honolulu Beerworks opens … and hopefully a grand opening date!

Read the other entries in the series:
Part 1: Geoff Seideman of Honolulu Beerworks 
Part 2: Financing, plans and construction

Part 3: Clearing the junk

Timothy Golden is a homebrewer and beer lover. Find more of his writing on Hawaii’s beer scene at beerinhawaii.com