Kona Brewing Company opened 22 years ago as a small brewpub in Kailua Kona on the Big Island. Back then it was pretty much the only craft brewery in Hawaii. Over the past 22 years the company has grown tremendously and last week Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) announced plans to build a brand new brewery in Kona to dramatically expand the amount of beer produced here in Hawaii. I got the chance to sit down and chat with Andy Thomas, the CEO of CBA, about the new brewery, the beer industry and the Kona brand.
A little about the new brewery before I jump into the interview. The existing Kona brewery has been maxed out at around 13,000 barrels for a few years now and hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand of the islands. It also only produces draft beer and doesn’t have the ability to package (can or bottle). The newly announced brewery will be able to meet the demands of the Hawaii market for both draft and cans, at a whopping capacity of 100,000 barrels per year.
The new 30,000 square f
Source: Beer in Hawaii
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