Waikiki Brewing Company is getting very close to finally opening it’s doors and serving guests pints of beer. Their first two beers will debut at the Kona Brewers Festival on March 14th. A grand opening is being tentatively set for later this month. I got the chance to stop in while the crew was brewing up a batch of blonde ale and the brewery is in full production. Here’s some photos to get you excited for the opening.
Brewers (and cousins) Joe and Eric. Get to know these faces because you’ll be able to chat with them from the bar as they brew. One of the really cool features about Waikiki Brewing is that there are no walls separating the line of site from the bar into the brewery. The brewery is literally right behind the bar which will allow customers you sit at the bar to see everything that goes on in the brewery.
There will be lots of outdoor seating. From the street you can see straight into the brewery making it almost impossible to miss. The bar (which is still being built) will run along where you see all of the kegs stacked up.
The soon to be bar. Pull a seat up and watch the brewers do their thing about 10 feet away. The small space provided a number of challenges to the brewers, but it also provided the opportunity to be close to the customers and allow them to see the entire brewing process.
The seven barrel brewery was basically squeezed into the building. There is not a lot of space in there so everything has a specific spot and is meticulously labeled. Brewer Joe explained that because they are tight on space it forces them to be extra organized. Everything got labeled down to the mash tun and boil kettle. The brewers realize that customers will be sitting at the bar and be able to look into the brewery, so decided to make sure people could easily see what each piece of equipment was called.
7 barrels = 217 gallons, just in case you were wondering.
In order to fit a few bigger fermentors into the space, they had to position them perfectly under skylights. The spacing was so tight that if it was off by a few inches it wouldn’t fit.
Brewer Joe Lorenzen carefully monitoring the sparge. Joe has been working on getting Waikiki Brewing Company up and running for a few years. In a few weeks, he finally gets to serve beer to thirsty locals and visitors.
Everything is labeled…I wasn’t joking. Eric reinforced that a lot of it is for the customers. Eric and Joe want them to be able to see and understand what is going on in the brewery and ask questions. The opportunity to chat with customers excites both brewers and it’s a very unique touch.
The tools of the trade…only a few feet from where you can sip a beer and watch the whole process go down.
Great glass selection as well. Multiple different glass sizes for the various styles that will be available.