Island Hopping

Hawaii is best known for stunning beaches, but lately craft breweries are feeling the aloha too. Here are six spots to sample suds.

Many travel to Kona Brewing Company  in Kailua-Kona on the big island to sample its famed Pacific Golden Ale, then linger over seasonal beers available only on draft and paired with the pub’s spent-grain pizzas.

At Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman in Wailea, Maui, 36 microbrews on tap complement locally sourced dishes like fresh gnocchi made with organic kale, mushrooms, tomatoes and goat cheese.

Amid the small-batch brews crafted, bottled, and on draft at Hawai'i Nui Brewing  in Hilo are sophisticated food-friendly ales. But, come October, connoisseurs switch to an intensely hoppy seasonal red.

In Lahaina, Maui, Garrett Marrero of Maui Brewing Company has a passion for creating draft beers infused with, say, cocoa nibs or local mandarin orange peel, as well as colorful canned options, such as the floral blonde lager.

At Nani Moon Mead in Kapaa, Kauai, Stephanie Krieger devotes herself to small-batch, dry island-honey meads infused with 100% locally sourced ingredients such as passion fruit, ginger, and cacao. They reflect Hawaii’s diverse forests, farms and flavors.

Think big for Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch & Crab in Honolulu, where industrial brewing vats inside the restaurant produce classics such as a full-flavored caramel ale, used in Choy’s popular Fish-n-Chips.

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