There’s a lot to love about life in Hawaii. Also water is wet and beer is delicious, am I right?! But seriously, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating, drinking and exploring here on The Valley Isle, and in an effort to enhance our knowledge of Hawaii’s craft food and beverage industry as a whole, we think it’s important to travel to other islands to get inspired, learn more and meet those pushing the limits of craft entrepreneurship across the state.
If you plan on visiting more than one island on your next Hawaiian vacation, or are skipping Maui entirely (le sigh!), we’re here to give you our list of top craft companies on Oahu, Kauai and The Big Island, all of which give us plenty of interisland craft inspiration and even more reasons to return for another adventure.
Interisland Craft Inspiration
Hale’iwa Beach House
Located in a charming area of Oahu’s North Shore across from Ali’i Beach, Hale’iwa Beach House is one of our favorite local stops for handcrafted cocktails, craft beer and fresh fish with a view. Try the Lono Ono’s Potion, made with Big Island Orchid Guava Liqueur and fresh lime juice, and see why Hale’iwa’s is one of our top go-to craft restaurants on Oahu.
A craft brewery on a mission to bring the flavors of Hawaii to the local beer-loving community, Honolulu Beerworks utilizes locally-sourced ingredients in their range of craft beers, available at their gorgeous Brewpub in the Kaka’ako neighborhood. Grab a seat in the beer garden, browse artwork from local artists, and try a pint of the Pia Mahi’ai Honey Citrus Saison, Cocoweizen or one of their Limited Edition varieties for an afternoon win. Yum!
Lanikai Brewing Company
Located in the east coast town of Kailua, we highly recommend visiting Lanikai Brewing Company’s recently opened Tasting Room, open Thursday and Friday from 4pm to 9pm and weekends from 12pm to 6pm, for a sample of some of their island-inspired, 100% Hawaii made brews, including fun varieties like the Brew Hefener and The Manako. Brewery Tours are also available every Saturday and Sunday for $25 per person, which include a souvenir glass and 4 beer samples.
Ko Hana Rum
One of the most recent craft experiences we absolutely fell in love with was Oahu’s Manulele Distillers, who offer daily tours and tastings of their delectable white and aged Ko Hana Rums. Inspired by the Hawaii of the past, Ko Hana is made with heirloom varieties of native Hawaiian sugarcane, which is then hand harvested, pressed and distilled into small batch, farm to bottle rum varieties. Tours begin with a glass of fresh pressed cane juice, an overview of the distillery process, historical information about Hawaiian sugarcane, and end with a special tasting of their rums. Grab a bottle as a souvenir and thank us later!
Maui Brewing Co.
We can’t leave Oahu without visiting Maui Brewing Co.’s gorgeous Waikiki Brewpub! Order some breakfast tacos and a MBC Bloody Mary to start your day off with a bang, or head over for some afternoon beers and live music entertainment after 4pm. Located just steps from Kuhio Beach, if their offering of craft beers and cocktails can’t put you in the tropical mood, we don’t know what will.
Wild Kauai Chocolate
If you thought wine, beer, spirits and savory dishes were enough to satisfy your craft cravings, let us introduce you to the world of craft chocolate. Started by 3 passionate owners, Wild Kauai Chocolate offers an assortment of handcrafted, bean-to-bar chocolates that’ll reignite your sweet tooth with a quickness. For a more immersive experience, guests are also welcome to sign up for their Craft Chocolate Making Classes or Chocolate School!
The first and only licensed distillery on Kauai, Koloa Rum demonstrates their passion for Hawaii’s rich history by producing single-batch rums with Hawaiian grown cane sugar, pure mountain rainwater and the best local ingredients available. Stop by the Tasting Room, open 7 days per week at the Kilohana Plantation, for a sample of their 5 daily varieties, or grab a bottle to take home as a unique Kauai souvenir.
Kauai Beer Company
A cozy craft microbrewery located in Lihue, Kauai Beer Company first opened its doors in 2013 and has been going strong ever since. With a relaxed atmosphere that’s frequented by both locals and visitors, we absolutely love stopping by for a pint of their flagship Black Limousine Lager, fish tacos and Bavarian pretzels. Focusing on both locally sourced food and inventive seasonal beers like the Tropical Armadillo, KokoBoPo Porter and Rice Street Lager, we love hitting this Kauai staple on our journey to (and from) the nearby airport.
Oasis on the Beach
With a stunning oceanfront location on the eastern shore of Kauai, Oasis on the Beach sources an impressive 90% of their menu from local fishermen, farmers and ranchers around the island. This farm-to-table restaurant has won several awards, and is the perfect place for a romantic dinner while visiting the dreamy island of Kauai. Bonus: Coordinate your visit with their daily 4pm to 6pm happy hour for $3 beers and 1/2 price signature craft cocktails.
Big Island Brewhaus
A local Big Island favorite offering craft beer, live entertainment and a handcrafted food menu, Big Island Brewhaus is a triple threat in the best possible way. With a passion for sustainability, they were also recently certified by the Surfrider Foundation as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant! Try the Overboard IPA, Monk’s Brunch Pale Ale or Jabba da Sour, and finish with a Green Chili Burger for a Hawaii Island go-to with the locals.
The Locavore Store
Founded in 2010, The Locavore Store is a craft food haven located conveniently in Hilo, Hawaii. Working closely with Big Island farmers and local craft artisans, The Locavore stocks a spectacular assortment of produce, meats and dry goods from family-owned businesses around the island. If you’re looking for the best way to support multiple craft businesses at once, The Locavore is an excellent destination.
Capturing “the playful spirit of Hawaiian paradise,” the wines of Hawaii’s own Volcano Winery are creatively blended with fruits like yellow guava and the jaboticaba berry, among others. Available only in Hawaii, guests are welcome to stop by the Tasting Room for a $5 Standard Tasting or $8 Premium Tasting of varieties such as the Symphony Mele, Hawaiian Guava Grape, Infusion Tea Wine and even the Volcano Winery Estate Teas.
Mahalo for reading our list of local businesses serving up some serious interisland craft inspiration, and we hope you add these local legends to your Hawaii travel itinerary!
Don’t forget to sign up to our email list for upcoming announcements, specials and local event listings, and we look forward to hosting you on one of our stellar Maui Craft Tours over the upcoming holiday season. Aloha!