Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawaii — More than 5,000 miles from its Kailua-Kona, Hawaii headquarters, Kona Brewing Company held a traditional Hawaiian blessing at Redhook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on April 28. Kona Brewing Company, Hawaii’s largest brewery, recently began brewing its beer at the Portsmouth brewery to fulfill East Coast demand for its fresh craft beer in an environmentally responsible manner.
“The blessing was our way of bringing our sense of place – Hawaii – to our partner brewery in New Hampshire,” said Kona Brewing Company’s President and CEO Mattson Davis. “Our brand’s popularity certainly begins with the beers’ great tastes. And it goes beyond that. It’s about Hawaii, about sharing the aloha spirit and our ‘Liquid Aloha’ with those on the mainland as well as our residents in and visitors to Hawaii. The blessing was a thrilling experience.”
Kona Brewing Company brings Hawaii’s most popular beer to discriminating mainland beer drinkers in a manner that is environmentally sensitive. By crafting its beer close to market, Kona Brewing Company can ensure consumers receive the freshest beer, while minimizing the company’s carbon footprint and eliminating huge transcontinental shipping costs. In 2009 Kona Brewing Company is adding several new mainland markets, including Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
“Mainland Kona drinkers can be assured our Kona brewery is still the place where our recipes originate, and we know the fresh taste says ‘Liquid Aloha,’ ” continued Davis. “We are also proud that the mainland batches are a little easier on the environment as we strive to be good stewards of the planet’s resources.”
In late 2008, Kona Brewing Company bottled its first official beer at the Portsmouth brewery. The beer brewed at the New Hampshire facility is distributed throughout Kona’s East Coast markets. By the end of the year, Kona Brewing Company projects it will be brewing 20,000 barrels of beer at its partner brewery in Portsmouth.
Al Ku’ahi Wong, originally from Hawaii and now residing in Boston, Mass., led the traditional Hawaiian blessing. Wong is a leader at Hui Anuenue, the New England Club of Hawaii, and much of his family still resides on Hawaii’s Big Island, just miles from Kona Brewing Company’s original brewery. During the ceremony Wong and representatives from Kona Brewing Company and the Portsmouth brewery visited each area of the brewing facility, sprinkling Hawaiian sea salt as a cleansing ritual. Throughout the ceremony, Wong paid tribute to each of Kona Brewing Company’s brewing facilities and emphasized the importance and uniqueness of the company’s “global ‘ohana” as it shares Hawaii’s aloha spirit throughout the mainland and beyond. As a mahalo, or thank you for Wong’s expertise, Kona Brewing Company purchased a collection of National Geographic Atlas books to donate to Konawaena High School, a public school just south of Kailua-Kona, on behalf of Hui Anuenue.
Kona Brewing Company was started in the spring of 1994 by a father and son team that had a dream to create fresh, local island brews made with spirit, passion and quality. It is a Hawaii-born and Hawaii-based craft brewery that prides itself on brewing the freshest beer of exceptional quality, closest to market to create the smallest carbon footprint. The company is headquartered where it began, in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island. It has grown into Hawaii’s largest brewery, has three restaurant sites in Hawaii and beer distribution reaching 28 states and Japan. In 2008 Kona Brewing Company posted nearly 50 percent growth over the previous year, increasing its barrels sold to 93,104. It is the 14th largest craft brewery in the country based on 2008 sales. For information call 808-334-BREW or visit www.KonaBrewingCo.com.