Hawaiian Beer

Kona Brewing Company To Celebrate 21 Years With Makana Series

Kona Brewing Company Makana Series Logo

It’s hard to believe that Kona Brewing Company is turning 21 this year. I was still in high school when they first started as a small brewpub in Kailua Kona. A lot has changed since then and to celebrate their 21st anniversary Kona Brewing Company is release four specialty beers called the Makana Series. Each beer will feature a local ingredient and is inspired by the four elements of nature (Earth, Wind, Fire, Water.) The Makana Series will be brewed in the Kailua Kona brewery and only released in Hawaii on draft.

Each beer from the Makana Series beers will be available for approximately only three months, (or until supply runs out) and will be available on draft-only. You will only be able to find these beers at the two KBC pubs and approximately 50 other bars and restaurants throughout Hawaii. Due to limited supply, the series will not be available at the growler station or for dock sales at the Kona brewery or Koko Marina pub.

Proceeds from each release will be donated to a different charity associated with the element. See full release below.


For the past 21 years Hawaii’s beautiful landscape, remarkable people, and rich culture have made Kona Brewing Co. who we are. To say mahalo, we’re introducing the island-brewed Makana Series – four limited edition, small-batch beers made with island ingredients that tell our story.

This first series is inspired by the Earth [Aina], Fire [Wela], Water [Kai] and Wind [Makani] of the paradise we call home. And because “makana” means “to give,” sales of each beer will benefit a local nonprofit committed to the islands’ natural wonder: Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Malama Maunalua, Surfrider Foundation Hawaii and Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

We’ll make only a small batch of each brew – and they’ll only be available here on the islands for our ohana to enjoy. So join us in the makana spirit, and give your thirst and Hawaii’s environment the gift they deserve. Aloha!

Founded in 1994, it has always been our mission to craft delicious, unique brews inspired by this beautiful paradise we call home. 21 years later, we still strive to deliver a bit of Liquid Aloha with every sip of our beer, whether it be in one of our pubs, on a beach, or even in your backyard.

But part of brewing Liquid Aloha is about doing so responsibly and sustainably. We recognize that the future of the Earth depends upon how businesses and individuals treat it. To show our commitment to sustainability, we champion recycling, are careful with our waste and support groups that strive to protect the environment. A key component of our business plan is to grow with ecological integrity, reducing our carbon footprint whenever possible.

We are also an integral part of our community and thus, we feel passionate about giving back. We support or host over 130 fundraising campaigns for environmental groups, and educational and cultural organizations in our local community each year. But we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the continued support of our loyal customers. So we want to show our appreciation with something special, exclusively for our ohana: Kona Brewing Co.’s Makana Series. Mahalo!

Kona Brewing Company Makana Series Aina LogoJANUARY 2015 – EARTH:
The Makana Series is all about giving, and in that spirit we’d like to celebrate the beautiful land of Hawaii (or aina) that has given sustenance to our people. Deep in the rich volcanic soil of our islands grow the roots of the kalo (or taro) plant, an essential part of Hawaiian food and history for thousands of years. Kalo is believed to carry the spirit of Haloa, the first Hawaiian, making him present in each bowl of poi we eat. With Aina, the first release in our new Makana Series, Kona Brewing Co. gives our homeland a new way to experience kalo and the spirit of Haloa, sip by sip. And since “makana” means “to give,” we’re donating a portion of the proceeds of our limited edition Aina Brown Ale to the nonprofit Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to keep our most stunning landscapes, our miles and miles of island coastlines, pristine and garbage-free.

We’re paying tribute to the beautiful land of Hawaii with our limited edition Makana Series Aina Brown Ale. With kalo added to the mash, you’ll taste its earthy flavor which balances the caramel complexity of this unique brew. Take a sip, close your eyes, and let the spirit of Haloa give you appreciation for the paradise beneath your feet.

ABV: 6% IBUS: 29
MALT: Premium 2 Row, Caramel, Munich, Chocolate, Carapils
HOPS: Millennium, Cascade, Mt Hood, Centennial

Hawaii’s beaches are our doorstep to the bright blue waters of the mighty Pacific. Unfortunately, not all of our coastlines are as clean and beautiful as they appear on postcards. Kamilo Beach has been called one of the dirtiest beaches in the United States, with garbage piling up several feet high in some places. Kona Brewing Co. knows we can do more for our fragile island environment, and so do our friends at Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH).

SCH was formed to tackle the problem of marine debris while inspiring stewardship of the place where the earth meets the ocean. They work with like-minded partners to care for coastlines through hands-on beach cleanups, and have removed more than 80,000 pounds of garbage by hosting volunteer-powered cleanups throughout Hawaii.

With our first Makana Series release, we’re giving to an organization we’ve called ohana for some time now. We sponsor their “I Heart the Ocean” fundraiser annually, and donate beer and merchandise to support their cleanup events. So it was only natural to donate a portion of the proceeds from our Aina Brown Ale, inspired by Hawaii’s land, to help SCH care for some of our most stunning landscapes – our miles and miles of coastline. Learn more at sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org.

Kona Brewing Company Makana Series Wela LogoAPRIL 2015 – FIRE
The Makana Series is all about giving, and in that spirit we’d like to pay tribute to the passion Hawaiians have for this place we call home. Our ohana place a great importance on the culture of the islands and the environment where aloha thrives, and feel passionate about preserving its natural beauty. Thousands give their time and energy to maintain the splendor of our tropical paradise through organizations like Malama Maunalua, the dedicated community nonprofit working to restore Oahu’s Maunalua Bay. With Wela, the second release in our new Makana Series, Kona Brewing Co. gives you a taste of that bold, fiery Hawaiian spirit with a touch of smoked malt in each sip. And in honor of that fiery spirit, we’re donating a portion of the proceeds of our limited edition Wela Red Ale to Malama Maunalua in order to fuel their burning dedication to bring back the rich native life and clear waters of Oahu’s beautiful bay.

Our limited edition Wela Red Ale honors the fiery spirit of the Hawaiian people. The malted barley that gives this ale its rich taste is cold smoked with local Kiawe wood we harvested less than a mile from our brewery. Smooth and never bitter, this island-inspired Scottish style ale has a copper hue and subtly smoky flavor that will make you feel like you’re next to a bonfire on the beach.

ABV: 5% IBUS: 25
MALT: Premium 2 row, Caramel, Munich, Honey (malt), Kiawe wood smoked malt
HOPS: Millennium, Northern Brewer, Saaz

Volcanoes and the ocean define our islands. Fiery lava and cool water combined to create the islands themselves, giving us the rich life and beauty we enjoy in Hawaii. Kona Brewing Co.’s Koko Pub sits where the two meet, at the head of Maunalua Bay, which was once the largest constructed fishpond in all of Hawaii. But over 100 years of building on Oahu have changed these ancient fishing grounds. Sediment and street pollution have choked the bay, forcing the coral to struggle and leaving the native fish scarce.

Our friends at Mālama Maunalua, a community nonprofit focused on restoring the health of the Bay, are bringing Maunalua back to life by organizing thousands of the island’s people into action. Their volunteers have pulled tons of invasive algae from the water, and kept tons more debris from washing into the bay. They even helped us convert Koko Pub’s iconic beer tank into a water catchment system to reduce our rainwater runoff.

With our second Makana Series release, Wela, we honor the fiery passion that Malama Maunalua has for restoring Maunalua Bay to its original beauty. And as our gift to them, we’re donating a portion of the proceeds from our Wela Red Ale to the dedicated volunteers of Malama Maunalua. Learn more at malamamaunalua.org.

Kona Brewing Company Makana Series Kai LogoJULY 2015 – WATER
The Makana Series is all about giving, and in that spirit we’d like to pay tribute to the treasured water (or kai) that surrounds our islands and has given Hawaii life. The storms that gather over the Pacific rush up our mountain slopes and provide the warm rain that creates our clear streams and waters our abundant crops, before filtering through our volcanic islands and gathering into calm bays perfect for fishing. Water runs through the soul of every Hawaiian and quenches our thirst for adventure, whether we’re paddling along the shore or dropping into the perfect swell. With Kai, the third release in our new Makana Series, Kona Brewing Co. gives you a new way to quench your thirst – a crisp beer brewed with desalinated ocean mineral water. And since “makana” means “to give,” we’re donating a portion of the proceeds of our limited edition Kai Golden Ale to the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation Hawaii to help them protect our oceans, waves, and beaches for generations to come.

We’re honoring the lifesource of Hawaii, its water, with our limited edition Kai Golden Ale. We sourced the water for this brew from 3,000 feet below the Kona coast off the Big Island. It’s pure and naturally full of the right minerals that give this ale a light, crisp finish – making it deeply refreshing and the perfect end to a day spent riding the waves.

SPECIAL INGREDIENT: DEEP OCEAN MINERAL WATER (sourced from 3000’ below the Kona coast off the Big Island)
ABV: 4% IBUS: 15
MALT: Premium 2 row, Wheat
HOPS: Millennium, Hallertauer
YEAST: Ale and Bavarian Hefe

We’re all about Liquid Aloha, and we’re not just talking about our beers. Our island home is surrounded by the lively, turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean. To those that live Aloha every day, nothing compares to grabbing your board, paddling out into the big blue expanse and catching an awesome wave back to shore. But it’s hard to hang ten when there are plastic bags hanging off your board. Kona Brewing Co. is committed to keeping our oceans clean, as is one of our longtime friends, the Surfrider Foundation Hawaii.

Since 1984, the Surfrider Foundation has evolved into one of the nation’s largest non-profit grassroots organizations, with a volunteer-activist network dedicated to keeping our oceans safe, clean and accessible. Founded by surfers, they were instrumental in helping Hawaii become the first state to ban plastic bags, and we’ve long supported their events held year-round to spread awareness and clean up our ocean.

We’re happy to show our support for Surfrider by creating a beer inspired by the same water they work so hard to preserve – Kai Golden Ale, our third Makana Series Release.  A portion of the proceeds from this refreshing ale will help Surfrider continue their ongoing campaign to keep the Pacific a treasure. Learn more at surfrider.org.

Kona Brewing Company Makana Series Makani LogoOCTOBER 2015 – WIND
The Makana Series is all about giving, and in that spirit we’d like to honor the the Hawaiian wind (or makani) that does more than give us fresh air on hot, humid days. The tropical tradewinds filled the ancient sails of hand-carved canoes that carried the first island explorers. These canoes were made almost exclusively from koa wood, which was – and still is – believed to instill fearlessness and courage into the outrigger and its sailors. The island breeze also carries the bees that pollinate Hawaii’s koa trees, from which they make a uniquely sweet, golden honey. With Makani, the fourth release in our new Makana Series, Kona Brewing Co. gives you a taste of the wind’s gift by adding a touch of Big Island koa blossom honey to each sip. And since “makana” means “to give,” we’re donating a portion of the proceeds of our limited edition Makani Wheat Ale to the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative to protect the great koa trees that keep our winds clean.

Our limited edition Makani Wheat Ale pays tribute to the tradewinds that give life to our islands. We’ve added a kiss of koa blossom honey from Big Island bee hives, giving this light-bodied, golden ale a touch of sweetness. The hazy look of the beer comes from an indigenous yeast discovered blowing in the breeze around Kilauea’s crater. This brew is a taste of fresh air, perfect for keeping your chill.

ABV: 4.5% IBUS: 15
MALT: Premium 2 row, Wheat
HOPS: Millennium, Willamette, Hallertauer
YEAST: Local indigenous from Kilauea on the Big Island

Hawaiians live life to fullest. And few places on earth are more full of life than the Hawaiian islands. But our tropical rainforests and windswept cloud forests have been hit hard by sugar, pineapple, and cattle farming over the years, putting native wildlife at risk while wiping out acres of lush, CO2-munching koa trees. We at Kona Brewing Co. want to help reverse this trend, so we’re teaming up with our friends at Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) to replant these areas with koa and other native species.

On a mission to rebuild our island’s most diverse natural environments, HLRI will plant Koa Legacy Trees, as well as other native saplings and shrubs that will someday bloom back into our beautiful mauka-to-makai corridors. Not only will these trees contribute to Hawaii’s ecosystem, they’ll also offset carbon and give us all richer, cleaner air.

With our fourth Makana Series release we’re honoring Hawaii’s treasured koa trees with our Makani Wheat Ale. Each sip of this limited edition ale has a hint of honey made exclusively from koa blossoms by our beekeeping friends at HLRI. A portion of the proceeds from our Makani ale will help HLRI continue its work, and make us all breathe a bit easier. Learn more at legacytrees.org.


2 thoughts on “Kona Brewing Company To Celebrate 21 Years With Makana Series

  1. Pingback: Kona Brewing Company Releases Kai Golden Ale with Maui Concert Featuring The Green | Beer In Hawaii

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