If you are like me, when traveling you like go where the locals go, eat and drink what the locals eat and drink, and support local businesses, right? As a savvy traveler, you are planning on enjoying Kauai’s beautiful NaPali Coast, amazing hiking, great surfing, whale watching, and Waimea Canyon’s red dirt whether for the first time or even a second time. However, there are new creations that are taking the island, its locals, and visitors alike by storm or better said by the pint or growler. Some of Kauai’s newest creations are local brews coming out of two breweries, Kauai Beer Company in Lihue and Kauai Island Brewery and Grill in Port Allen. While in Kauai, do raise a glass to Kauai beer! Right on!
Kauai Beer Company is located on Rice Street in downtown Lihue, just minutes from Kalapaki and the port. However, it is only open a few days of the week: Wednesdays noon-6pm, Thursdays 3-8pm, and Saturdays noon-6pm. In an intimate setting, they offer six to eight differ brews depending on availability, seasons, and what the rest of the island has tapped out. On my last visit, on Truck Stop Thursdays, where two, rotating local food trucks are available for grinds, I enjoyed not only two plates of delicious food, but also a sampler of five of its beers: KokoBoPo (porter), Black Limo, Lihue Lager, A Hoppy Accident, and Decemberfest. Although typically a lager type of girl raised in Wisconsin, I ordered a pint of Black Limo, a Schwarzbier beer, dark in color with a light toasted flavor finished with a hint of coffee, as my repeat drink.
If you are in town on days where the Kauai Beer Company is closed, you can find some of its favorites served at local bars and restaurants, but supplies are limited. I have been known to drink a Lihue Lager as well as Black Limo at the Feral Pig, which has the best burger in Lihue.
This was my first Kauai beer experience. It was kismet as I was post-hike from the striking Waimea Canyon and awaiting a NaPali Coast catamaran cruise in Port Allen. Looking for a beer and a place to rest my weary body, I stumbled upon this gem. The Kauai Island Brewery and Grill is open every day, featuring ten craft brews as well as a full menu, Monday through Sunday 11am-9:30pm. With many brews to choose from (of course depending on demand and brewmaster’s schedule), I would suggest my favorite Captain’s Cook IPA (pictured below), but also my close second is the Lailani Light, a topnotch light brew. However, if you have a hankering for something with more kick, you may want to saddle up and pass your keys to your friends while you indulge in the Cane Fire Red Ale with 6.3% alcohol.
After a couple of pints of the any of the above, don’t be shy of the menu. The poke appetizer is spectacular as well as the pork nachos (Nui nachos). Don’t fret if you can only have a pint and pupus. You can always take some with you; Kauai Island Brewery and Grill sells growlers.
So, if you like to support local businesses and want to get to know local flavors while in Kauai, please visit Kauai’s beermakers. Drink and eat local!
Have you traveled to Kauai? If you have, did you try the local beers on the Garden Isle? I’d love to hear from my fellow adventureros/as and about your adventures on Kauai.
Here’s to more good times and good stories. Aloha!