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plax

Beer in Hawaii

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I've been searching the internet and realized, duh! I could ask here on Egullet. I am a novelist writing about Hawaii while living in Florida. I want my hero to drink the occasional good beer, preferably something local. He used to drink Primo, back before it went out of business. What would he drink today? Are the Ali'i Ales available around the islands, particularly in Honolulu and on the north shore? (locations of the book I'm working on). Thanks for any advice!

Neil


Edited by plax (log)

Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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Well, there always Gordon Biersch. They make great beer, but as a brewpub you need to put your character in the place to have him swill any of the stuff. :laugh:


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Actually, I've got a scene in the first book in the Gordon Biersch at the Aloha Tower (let's hope it stays open until the book comes out!)

One of my writing professors has advised me that if anyone complains about my hero drinking a Primo in the first book and says, "They're not making that beer any more," I should say, "That's what they'd like you to think."

This comment is said to work for any number of factual errors that may occur.

Neil


Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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It's no different than tough guy characters in books about New Orleans and the author has them drinking Dixie-the chances are pretty slim. Were it not for tourists and out of state sales Dixie would have (sadly IMO) closed long ago. The last few Dave Robichaux books in that excellent series have had many of the main characters drinking Abita, which in fact, would be much more likely.

Or at least that's what they'd like you to think. :wink::laugh:


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Hawai`i, like other places, has been hit by the microbrewery boom in the last decade or more. However, brewers here face special obstacles because of the great expense of shipping ingredients and equipment across the Pacific.

By far the biggest microbrewer (mesobrewer?) in the islands is the Kona Brewing Company, which has been around since 1994. They produce a full range of loosely adapted British varieties (Pale Ale, IPA, Porter, Stout, Barley Wine) plus a variety of more "color-named" ales such as Amber, Red, Golden, Blonde, as well as a golden lager and hefeweizen, all with hokey names such as "Longboard", "Big Wave", etc. They own brewpubs in the North Kona Shopping Center on the Big Island, as well as the Koko Marina Shopping Center on Oahu, and their more popular varieies are available in most of the big supermarkets.

Besides these and Gordon Biersch, there a a few other brewpubs sprinkled around the islands. Sam Choy has one attached to his "Breakfast, Lunch and Crab" restaurant . . .

About time someone resurrected Primo. . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Thanks! I've got my hero drinking these, as I found them online, but I wasn't sure they would be readily available. I appreciate the info.

Neil


Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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my personal favorite is made right here in hilo. mehana beer.

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Lym, I just started noticing the Mehana Beers on local shelves. Haven't tried them yet, however. According to their site, there are five varieties. Which one is your favorite, lym? In case one of us is able to make a pilgrimage to Hilo anytime soon, which , in your opinion, would go best with your own classic prepared kalbi steak, oxtails, and so forth?

Noticed that one is called "Roy's Private Reserve", apparently some tie-in with Roy's Restaurants. . . .


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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sorry for the lateness but i've been away.

my favorite is roy's special reserve. but, i'm no expert of beer. my son is embarressed to buy my favorite beer, which is natural light. i'm told that it's a big island beer and hard to find anywhere else.

the best beer that i've ever tasted was the beer that i brewed myself. so full of flavor that drinking anything else was a downer...like drinking water. my son got me a kit from the liquor collection, where he worked part time while going to uh manoa.

of course, having the stainless sinks, walk in chill etc. made it easy for me. my wife wasn't too happy about the beer fermenting in her office but i thought the aroma was wonderful. unfortunatley, time constraints makes it impractical to brew my own.

btw, i'm experimenting with a taegu style tako. feedback so far is good.

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