Lots O’ Beer On The Wall
For years now, I’ve wanted to find a drinking spot I could call my own. You know, the kind of place you might see in some sitcom that everyone always gathers at. Well, it just so happens that Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room opened in SALT at Our Kakaako a couple of weeks ago and guys, I think I have found it.
For starters, it’s not your average bar. This one is much more bright and open, thanks to expansive windows and a high ceiling. Seats at the bar and along the perimeter of one wall, along with smaller tables and a communal one, and a lounge area in one corner offer ample seating.
It’s exactly the kind of atmosphere – as I told owners Tim Golden, who runs blog Beer In Hawaii, and Daryn Ogino, a partner at Pint + Jigger – that makes it perfectly appropriate for day drinking. That and getting more intoxicated than initially intended.
On tap at any given time is a draft beer system of 16 rotating handles, along with eight rotating wines (half red and half white). This doesn’t include a refrigerator that lines one wall, full of approximately 450 rotating bottled craft beers.
Yeah, you read that right. Ordering is pretty fun, too, with TV monitors that inform customers what’s on tap. Along with the name of every beer, information such as its alcohol content, where it was made and different flavor notes are displayed. An illustrated keg next to each beer also changes color from green to red, depending on how much is left.
The beer selection is extensive, with everything from pilsners to stouts and ports. I had the pleasure of sampling the Kona Peddlers Pilsner and New Belgium Sunshine Wheat (pictured). Both were light and bright, exactly the way I like it.
But, we really need to talk about the food. Customers are more than welcome to bring in food from other SALT tenants. There also are some packaged s nacks available, things like Primo Popcorn and locally made beef jerky and chips, but what you really need to order is a pot pie. They’re made fresh and delivered by HI Pie (Village Bottle Shop just has to heat it up before serving), and if the one I sampled is any indication of the other selections, I can’t wait. Imagine tender bites of braised steak combined with veggies and a flavorful sauce, baked in a buttery, flaky crust.
That is not some hypothetical yet-to-be-made creation, it’s the Steak and Stout at Village Bottle Shop, and it is the best.
“They’re just warm and comforting and yummy,” says Golden of the pot pies.
He’s got that right.