By Will McGoughSpecial to Frolic Hawaii
Two years after Waikiki Brewing Company opened at the edge of Waikiki, it has expanded with a second brewpub in Kakaako. The new space opened in early August in Honolulu’s historic brewing district on Queen Street, giving beer drinkers a legit brewery hopping route with Waikiki Brewing, Aloha Beer Co., Home of the Brave and Honolulu Beerworks all within walking distance of each other.
THE SPACEIt’s the the old Fresh Cafe Space, now with an inside-outside corner layout and two sections of outdoor seating in front of warehouse-style doors that lead to a bright interior. No matter where you sit, you have a panoramic view of televisions (they plan to have NFL Sunday Ticket parties this fall) and a sightline to the outdoors.
The outside seating extends into a beer garden with a large, colorful mural and enough room for games like cornhole. This is the largest outdoor brewery space in town (only Gordon Biersch at Aloha Tower has them beat). There is also a second bar outside next to the beer garden.
THE FOODWaikiki’s Queen Street location is a true brewpub, offering a full food menu as well as cocktails and wine. The food menu is more barbecue-oriented than the Waikiki location, featuring pulled pork, smoked beef brisket, shredded chicken and a kiawe-smoked cheeseburger plus pizzas and salads.
PARKINGThere are four or five spaces right out front (which leave your car hanging partway into the road), but otherwise, it’s all street parking.
Fear not, though – the parking issue comes with a silver lining: The brewery will give you half off your first beer if you show your receipt from a Biki Bike, Uber, Lyft or taxi ride.
AND FINALLY, THE BEERIt’s all Waikiki Brewing Co. labels here, the same full lineup as at the Waikiki location.
Happy hour is also the same, Monday to Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. until closing. You’ll find $5 pints, $5 wine, $5 well drinks and 64-ounce growler pours for $12.
There’s more good news: The new, larger location will allow Waikiki Brewing to increase its capacity, meaning they will be brewing and canning more beer. This fall, Skinny Jeans IPA and Aloha Spirit Blonde Ale will debut on Waikiki Brewing’s local can line, meaning you’ll be able to find them in stores throughout the islands (the brewery currently only cans its Hana Hou Hefe). There will also be more room to create new beers, including possibly one or two “experimental” beers this fall.
Waikiki Brewing Company831 Queen Street, Kakaako Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 12 midnight