ALOHA BEER COMPANY ESTABLISHES ROOTS IN HAWAI’I’S HISTORIC BREWERY DISTRICT
Honolulu, Hawai’i, November 11, 2016 – Aloha Beer Company is proud to announce their new brewery and Tap Room at 700 Queen Street. Kaka’ako was once home to Hawai’i’s booming beer business from 1900 to the late 1960s and Aloha Beer’s new production facility and Tap Room is located a stone’s throw from the Historic Honolulu Brewing and Malting Company Building at 553 Queen Street and blocks away from the former site of Primo’s Cooke Street Brewery. The opening means the return of the production of Aloha Beer to Oahu and an opportunity to establish a new future for the brewery.
Local businessman Steve Sombrero and noted brewer Dave Campbell are spearheading the efforts at Aloha Beer’s new brewery and Tap Room. Brewery production began in late October with the Tap Room scheduled to open in mid-December. The location on Queen Street marks Campbell’s return to his personal brewing roots in Kaka’ako. He established O’ahu Brewing Supply on Waimanu Street in 1994. “It’s exciting to be a part of the renaissance of Kaka’ako, and to see the area grow along with the demand for craft beer,” states Campbell. “I’ve been involved with the craft beer industry since its inception in Hawaii, and to build the new brewery on Queen Street – it really feels like I have come full circle.” Born and raised in Hawai’i, Campbell is a Punahou graduate and respected pioneer of craft brewing in the islands. His first experience with homebrewing was as a senior in high school (the drinking age was 18) in 1985. He became involved with Aloha Beer Company while serving as Brewmaster at Big Aloha Brewing at Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch & Crab. In addition, he has been a consultant on many craft beer projects on Oahu and beyond throughout his 22-year career.
Campbell will serve as Director of Brewery Operations at Queen Street with Kaiao Archer taking the role as brewer. Archer, born in Kealakekua on Hawai’i Island, brings over 12 years of experience in the brewing industry. He has brewed continuously from 2004, throughout the islands as well as in San Diego. Brought on board in January 2016, Archer has been involved in the brewhouse design and build from the ground up. “It’s been an amazing experience so far. This is the first time in my 12-year career that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a brewery project from the ground floor. To have had a hand in almost every aspect of the buildout has been a privilege. I can’t wait to see where our hard work takes us in the future.”
The Aloha Beer Company Tap Room will feature a variety of beer styles brewed in-house along with crafted cocktails. Brad Miller, former Beverage Manager of Monkeypod Kitchen Ko Olina, joins the “A-team” at Aloha as Beverage Director and will be overseeing Tasting Room operations. Miller has his own history in brewing, having worked as an assistant brewer at Big Aloha with Campbell. He brings a passion for all things fermented from beer and wine to cheese, kraut, Kimchi and Kombucha. He can often be seen at the Kaka’ako Farmers Market on Saturdays picking up produce for the week, something new to pickle and ingredients that might be the star of his next cocktail.
The menu at Aloha Beer is being created by noted chef, restauranteur and pork purveyor Robert McGee. Chef McGee has put together a menu that is inspired by, and designed to be paired with Aloha’s brews. Many of the selections will feature beer as an ingredient as well. “The menu will feature smoked meats, pickles. As we are in the heart of the brewing district, there will be fries, but also pigs knuckles, too. In fact, we will be unabashedly, whole hog,” laughs Chef McGee. “At the same time, we will have salads, thoughtful in sourcing and seasoning. Sandwiches for every taste and plenty of larger format or family style offerings to share from crudité to steak.”
The new Aloha Beer Company Brewery and Tap Room is the culmination of a long-held vision for Steve Sombrero, Founder and Managing Partner. Sombrero is the President and Owner of NAI Chaney Brooks, one of Hawaii’s oldest and largest real estate companies with offices in Honolulu, Kaua‘i, Guam and Tokyo. His dream of creating Aloha Beer began while working on his MBA in 1994. Aloha Beer Company originally hit the scene in the Big Aloha/Sam Choy’s space on Nimitz Highway. Demand for distribution throughout Hawaii and Japan dictated that the beer be brewed and bottled at a distinguished California Brewery. After the closing of the Nimitz location in 2013, the company was reorganized and production and distribution of Aloha Beer continued while a new location was found. Buildout started at 700 Queen Street in the summer of 2015. Great care was taken during the demolition to preserve the woodwork, which has been reused in the redesign of the space. Sombrero plans to bring all production for the Hawai’i market to the Queen Street location.
Aloha Beer Company is a locally owned and operated brewery, with beer brewed on Oahu. The company was founded by Steve Sombrero with Dave Campbell as the Brewmaster. Aloha Beer Company is committed to the future of craft brewing in Hawai’i, with roots in the traditions of the past.