Keoki Brewing and Mehana Brewing combine forces

7 11 2008

Mehana Brewing and Keoki Brewing combine forces
to meet demand for local craft brewing and bottling,
Hilo facility to increase production

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.”


Gotta fly: the new kegs have arrived

27 10 2008
A brewery is always more interesting than a meeting

A new keg is always more interesting than a meeting

We were hard at work in our main conference room (aka the lanai) when Keith got the call from Andy: the new kegs are here!

The meeting was ovah. Keith was out of the chair and into the truck before the cat woke up.

Hawai’i Nui Brewing is bringing 1,250 new kegs into the market to support our draught business with local bars, restaurants, resorts and entertainment venues.

Keep your eyes out for our gleaming new kegs. – Nina


Local Journalists Cover Every Aspect of Island Brewing

29 06 2008
Curtis making it happen

Curtis making it happen

Congratulations to the Star-Bulletin for an outstanding special section, Hawaii on Tap.

Local journalist Jennifer Sudick, photojournalists Jamm Aquino and Rod Thompson, and a team from the Star-Bulletin scoured the Hawai’ian islands to report on all the flavors, issues and players in the vibrant local microbrewing scene. This special report is a must read for locals and visitors alike, anyone who’s interested in developing their palate and experiencing all that microbrewing has to offer in Hawai’i. -Keith

BTW, the article includes video of the Keoki Brewing facility in Lihue.

Increasing Capacity at the Lihue facility

30 03 2008

Our partnership with Primo made it imperative to invest in additional capacity. Local production is our ideal, and we work toward that goal every day.

Andy and I have just about finished installing the equipment recycled from Ali’i Brewing, and bringing it up to spec with the latest fittings and controls.

Now for the interesting part, getting the new brewhouse configuration just right for consistent quality. Beer is a living thing, and craft brewing is a combination of art and science.

I have high standards, and am always seeing areas where we can improve our craft. But whenever I get impatient, it doesn’t take me long to regain my balance. I just step outside the brewery and look at the view out back. -Keith

With a little help from Keoki Brewing, Primo Beer is back

28 11 2007

The news broke today. Pabst Brewing & Malting company re-introduced Hawaii’s original beer, Primo Island Lager.

Keoki Brewing is honored to have been chosen as the local brewer of the draught lager beer. If you are drinking Primo on draught, it was hand-crafted locally in our Lihue facility.

Mahalo to our friend Brad at Primo for this important opportunity to help revive a local favorite brew. -Keith

Here are some links to the local coverage of the story:

Kaua’i Garden Island News , North Shore Kaua’i, Honolulu Advertiser, Yelp Honolulu, Hawai’i Magazine,

Bringing new life to a part of local microbrewing heritage

8 11 2007
Rescuing an Ali'i Brewing tank

Recycling a hertitage tank from Ali'i Brewing

With the popularity of Keoki Sunset Amber Ale and Keoki Kauai Golden Ale, we’re lucky enough to have the problem that demand is outstripping local supply.

Hmmm…  Ali’i Brewing, Oahu’s original craft brewer, went out of business 7 years ago. We knew there were perfectly good tanks and equipment sitting idle, waiting to brew beer again.

Rather that ship stuff over from the mainland, Keith and I hunted this equipment down, found it in a scrapyard on Oahu, and brought it over to Kaua’i. -Andy

Taste of Hawai’i, Kapa’a, Kaua’i 2007

1 06 2007
Aloha from Hawai'i Nui Brewing

Aloha from Hawai'i Nui Brewing

Our first time out in public as new owners of the company…

This was my best opportunity to see with my own eyes just how much so many people here appreciate an authentic Island Style beer.

Wow! Keoki Kauai Golden Ale and Sunset Amber Ale truly are Kauai’s favorite local beers.

The Taste of Hawai’i is the islands’ premiere culinary event, held every year the first Sunday in June.

Mahalo to the Rotary Club of Kapa’a for organizing this wonderful event. See you there next year. -Nina