For immediate release: Hilo, Hawaii, November 7, 2008
Contact: Keith Kinsey: 808.895.3818
Hawai’i Nui Brewing, the owner of Keoki Brewing, and Mehana Brewing today announce that the two locally owned independent breweries have agreed to join forces. Hilo-based Mehana Brewing is the only local bottler of beer in Hawai’i. Lihue-based Keoki Brewing is the largest independent brewer in Hawai’i.
The companies are combining to meet the demand for Island Style ales and lagers with locally produced and packaged craft beer. The combined company will operate as Hawai’i Nui Brewing and will be headquartered in Hilo. Hawai’i Nui Brewing is continuing the tradition of commitment to excellence and local production in Hawai’i.
“We are delighted to expand our Ohana,” said Calvin Shindo, General Manager of Mehana Brewing. “The Shindo family has a four-generation history of innovation in the beverage industry in Hawai’i since my grandfather Katsuichi Shindo founded the Hilo Soda Works in 1920. Now begins a new chapter in this unique combination of local business style and traditional craft brewing.”
“Hawai’i Nui means Great Hawai’i,” said Keith Kinsey, who will serve as president of the combined entity. “This is an important step in realizing our joint vision of authentic Island Style ales brewed and packaged locally. We are committed to local production for all of our markets.” The Kauai facility is at full capacity, even after a significant expansion in 2007, when Keoki became the local draught brewer of Primo Island Lager. Additional production capacity in Hilo will enable the combined company to meet the demand for all of its brands throughout Hawai’i and Japan.
Andy Baker, Vice President of Sales, will focus on the needs of the retailer and the craft-beer consumer with the combined portfolio. He will promote both the Mehana brands and the Keoki brands.
“It’s a great day for Hawai’i,” said Dustin Shindo, founder of Mehana Brewing and Hoku Scientific (HOKU) and co-founder of Kai Sensors. “The combined team has the vision, passion and persistence to deliver an even broader selection of hand-crafted ales and lagers to satisfy the varied tastes of Hawai’i.”