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Kona brewery introducing certified organic beer

MEDIA RELEASE

Kona Brewing Company is set to tap up Oceanic Organic Saison, Hawaii’s first certified organic beer. The brewery recently received organic certification for the beer from Hawaii Organic Farmers Association (HOFA) and brewed it last month.

OceanicOrganicBeerThe beer will be available at Kona Brewing Company’s pubs in early January.

“We are ecstatic to be brewing the first certified organic beer in the state of Hawaii,” said president and CEO Mattson Davis. “We strive to be environmentally conscious in all that we do – from serving locally grown organic produce whenever possible to feeding Big Island cattle the spent grain from our brewing process. We’re proud that both our pubs recently became Certified Green Restaurants by the Green Restaurant Association. We have improved our efficiencies here in Hawaii and beyond in order to minimize our carbon footprint.”

Oceanic Organic Saison is a Belgian-style ale that was brewed with all organic malt, fermented with a custom blend of Belgian yeast strains and spiced with an abundance of organic hops, organic coriander and grains of paradise.

The straw-colored unfiltered beer has a crisp, dry, quenching flavor and distinctive spicy aroma with notes of lemon peel, clove, white pepper, coriander and fresh hops complemented by pleasant cellar-like notes. The complex aroma is balanced by rustic hop flavor.

The beer will be served on tap at Kona Brewing Company’s two pubs in Kailua-Kona and Hawaii Kai and at a few select Hawaii restaurants locations. It will be available in growler jugs at the Kailua-Kona Growler Shack.

The brewery also will begin bottling Oceanic Organic Saison in 22-ounce bottles in spring of 2010.

“We brewed this beer for the first time a few years back, and it was incredibly popular,” said Vice President of Brewery Operations Rich Tucciarone. “While it is challenging and expensive for us to acquire the organic ingredients, it is worth it to create such a tasty and unique brew. Beyond the taste, our fans really love the fact that it’s organic!”

Brewing this organic beer is roughly six times more expensive than most of Kona Brewing Company’s more conventional beers, which are already approximately 50 percent more expensive to brew in Hawaii.

According to Washington, D.C.-based beer columnist Greg Kitsock, organic beers constitute less than 1 percent of the craft beer segment in the United States, which itself produces less than 4 percent of the beer consumed in this country. However, that niche has been growing by double digits for the past several years.

Kona Brewing Company chose to obtain its certification through HOFA, thereby supporting a local nonprofit organization and keeping business in Hawaii. HOFA is accredited by the USDA National Organic Program to certify organic crop, livestock and processing / handling operations. It is the only accredited organic certification agency based in Hawaii.

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. This helps to minimize its carbon footprint by reducing shipping of raw materials, finished beer and wasteful packaging materials.

The company is headquartered where it began, in Kailua-Kona, and has grown into Hawaii’s largest brewery, has three restaurant sites in Hawaii and beer distribution reaching 28 states and Japan.

The brewery was named the fastest growing top-50 craft brewing company in the country based on 2008 sales figures. It is the 14th largest craft brewing company in the country, posting 51 percent growth in 2008.

For more information call 808-334-BREW or visit www.KonaBrewingCo.com

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