New beer series in Hawaii only

Kona Brewing Company recently released a limited-edition collection of beers, with tastes ranging from light to caramel and hoppy. Kris Tanahara, Kona Brewing’s director of public relations, spills the details.

What inspired the Makana Series?

After months of discussion about how to best celebrate its 21st birthday, the employees of Kona Brewing Co. determined that the most fitting way was to create a special series of small-batch beers that would only be available in its island home. This new series of beers, called the Makana Series (which means “to give”), serves as the centerpiece for Kona Brewing Co.’s full-year campaign to raise money for nonprofit organizations dedicated to restoring and preserving Hawaii’s natural resources.

How do the four ales differ from what Kona Brewing Co. has already done?

Inspired by the four elements of nature (Aina Brown Ale – Earth; Wela Red Ale – Fire; Kai Golden Ale – Water; Makani Wheat Ale – Wind), the Makana Series pays homage to the forces that helped shape Hawaii. (The beers) actually incorporate local Hawaiian ingredients derived from the elements themselves.

Which nonprofits will benefit from the proceeds?

A portion of the proceeds from each Makana Series beer, and 100 percent of the profits on Makana Series merchandise, are donated to four partner non-profits: Aina Brown Ale – Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii; Wela Red Ale – Malama Maunalua; Kai Golden Ale – Surfrider Foundation Hawaii; and Makani Wheat Ale – Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

How long will the ales be available?

Each is available on draft only for approximately three months (or until supply runs out). Aina Brown Ale was released in January. Wela Red Ale was released in April and will be available until June. Kai Golden Ale will be released in July. Makani Wheat Ale will be released in October.

Where can we find them on Oahu?

Duke’s Waikiki, 
Hula Grill, Tropics Bar & Grill, The Hideaway Bar, Tiki’s Grill & Bar, Yard House, Whole Foods, 
Kona Brewing Co.’s Koko Marina Pub, REAL a gastropub, 
BREW’d craft pub
, Monkeypod Kitchen Ko Olina
, Roy’s Ko Olina, Taps and Apps, and Breakers Restaurant and Bar

What does the future look like for Kona Brewing Co.?

The future looks good for Kona Brewing Co., which announced last month it will invest approximately $15 million to expand its brewery operations in Hawaii. The expansion project will increase annual production capacity to 100,000 barrels per year. Kona Brewing Co. currently is narrowing its list of possible locations for the new facility, with plans to be fully operational by early 2017.