A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Billy Smith, the newish head brewer at the Kona Brewing Pub in Kailua Kona. Billy was on Oahu for the day training the staff at the Koko Marina Pub about a number of new specialty beers the pub was serving.
Billy is no stranger to Kona’s beers. Prior to joining the team in Kona, he was the brewmaster at Redhook’s massive brewery in New Hampshire. There he brewed the flagship beers for Redhook, Widmer, Kona and Omission. The move to Hawaii was a big change, both in lifestyle and also in brewing scale, but the changes were met with excitement.
Since taking over the head brewer position this past Spring, Billy has put into place an innovation team to create more unique specialty releases for the Hawaii market. One of Billy’s goals coming into Kona was to breathe some new life and excitement into the brewery. The new innovation team is made up of Billy, a fellow brewer, a QA tech and one rotating staff member. For each new brew
Source: Beer in Hawaii
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