Big Flavors At Waikiki Brewing Co.


Started by Joe Loren-zen, Waikiki Brewing Co. has only been open for a few weeks. But when I visited last week, all of its tables — and barrels doubling as tables — were packed with people. It was like walking into your favorite neighborhood establishment, which it is well on its way to becoming for me.

Our waiter, Justin Marts, gave us a rundown of the menu: It’s got eight brews made in-house, beer cocktails, non-beer cocktails and wine. It’s also stocked with signature dishes, such as the Spent Grain Falafel Sliders, which are baked using leftover grains from brewing.

The eight brews are offered at $6.50 a pint, or $2 for a sample. There is no cap on tasting, thankfully, because I ordered all eight. The drinks came served on two small paddles, and Marts explained that the full-house of samples equates to two pints of beer. (That means, for just $16, I could get enough beer to make me red in the face.)

I’m not going to try to explain the intricacies of each beer, because I don’t fully understand the science behind hops and malts, but I do know when something is bitter and when something is not. Therefore, I give to you a ranking of the top four beers I sampled, from my most to least favorite.

I should note here that I am not typically a beer drinker. But each of the eight beers had a distinct taste, and I can appreciate a craft when you can taste the hard work.

Jalapeno Mouth: If I had to drink one beer for the rest of my life, I would drink this one, because the jalapeno taste masks any harshness. The aftermath wasn’t terribly bitter from the hops, either.

Eee Pah Ipa: This beer has a fruity aroma, which is nice because the smell of beer is off-putting to me. The menu explains that the hops give it a floral, piney, citrus and currant aroma. The taste was light and semi-sweet.

Black Strap Molasses Porter: This was the darkest beer of the eight and had notes of coffee. I enjoy black coffee, and this was reminiscent of that.

English Brown Ale: This beer tasted nutty, like almonds were soaked in the brew barrel. I’m unsure if that’s a good thing or not.