Just past the produce and the latest in Korean aunty fashion, Ke‘eaumoku’s En Hakkore Café serves up a loaded mountain of shave ice with an espresso shot.
Honolulu’s Newest Brewery Opens May 1 in the Old Precision Radio Building
Saturday’s opening day lineup at Lōkahi Brewing Co. includes Positive Vibes Lager, Honey Macadamia Nut Brown and Honolulu Haze.
More than a decade in the making, Lōkahi Brewing Co. is finally opening its doors to the public this Saturday, May 1. Co-owners and managers Dan Coronado and Rick Best have transformed the old Precision Radio building on King Street with a sea glass floor entryway, detailed painting and tiling work and a custom walk-in chiller. A newly raised ceiling allows for two levels of tanks and a loft. And it is impossible to miss the gleaming stainless steel brewing equipment, which is lit up on full display.
Coronado and Best are longtime homebrewers who connected over a home construction project. They develop Lōkahi’s recipes together, and Best does most of the brewing. They plan to pour five core beers with three rotating taps and will feature other local breweries from time to time. Lagers, IPAs, porters and brown ales will all be available, but since Coronado particularly enjoys Hazy IPAs, expect to enjoy those, too. “We want to bring something to the Hawai‘i beer community—great beer, great service and great environment,” he says. And “it has to be date night approved.”
The opening weekend’s tap list includes Positive Vibes Lager ABV 4.9%, Honey Macadamia Nut Brown ABV 5.7%, and Honolulu Haze ABV 6.3% with a Hefeweizen on deck. Proper glassware to showcase the aromas and colors of each style is waiting to be filled. Selections from Broken Boundary Brewery and Waikiki Brewing Co. fill out the lineup for now. Local Paradise Ciders cans are available, as well as bottled wine.
The current five-barrel system will limit the amount of beer Lōkahi can produce at one time, especially with the longer process of lagering. For now, beer in the taproom comes in 16-ounce or 5-ounce pours. Filled-on-demand 16-ounce cans to go are the same price as draft pours, which range from $7 to $8 depending on the strength and style. Coronado and Best plan to partner with local restaurants and food trucks (Tin Hut BBQ and Unmissteakable will be there on Saturday) and eventually will have their own permanent menu. While COVID restrictions limit seating to less than 50 people inside, outdoor picnic tables are coming soon. The entire space will have full table service.
The word lōkahi means a sense of unity, which Best says “ties in with beer because the ingredients like grain and hops come together in harmony and balance—a unified end product.” For Coronado, “If someone’s had a bad day, they can come in and have a better one. Everyone is welcome. Lōkahi to us means balance in life.”
The pair liked the building’s history and location and signed a lease in early 2019. But the buildout became a challenge during the pandemic, and with support from an understanding landlord and their own backgrounds in construction, they ended up doing more work themselves to limit the size of their bubbles. “We chose this location after extensive searching in part because of the community around it. There’s room for us to grow, but also help the community around us,” says Coronado. “I love seeing in real estate listings ‘within walking distance to a brewery.’ We hope people feel the same about us.”
Grand opening hours on May 1 are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hours afterward are subject to change but will be Thursdays from 3 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 3 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 8 p.m.
On-site free parking is available, with paid overflow in the garage next door or metered street in the evening and on weekends. Two Biki stops are nearby, with a bus stop across the street.
1160 S. King St., @lokahibrewing