Rum-soaked mai tais may still top most tourists’ tables in Hawaii
’s capital city
, but beer lovers are finding excellent frothy alternatives, due to its rapidly growing craft brewery scene that’s seen nine spring up in and around downtown. Belly up for tropical flavors and a carefree, hang-loose attitude.
Honolulu’s coolest neighborhood, Kaka’ako, inspires both the beer and the ambience at this brew pub
. Recycled wooden walls, local artwork, and communal seating make for a bright, beachy atmosphere with a sharp urban edge. Expect exotic takes on ales and saisons, further enhanced by on-site barrel aging.
Kewalos Cream Ale, Cocoweizen German-style ale, Hi-Pa/Hop Island IPA
Beer Lab Hawaii
was founded by a trio of Pearl Harbor-based nuclear engineers. As its name implies, they embrace experimentation, creating dense IPAs, rum-barrel-aged stouts, and guava-infused sours. Tables fashioned from old doors and a mural by a local DC Comics artist have injected frivolity into the science.
Ko’olauloa IPA, The Truth Brett ale, Manana Falls sour ale
Waikiki Brewing Company
Just steps from several Waikiki hotels, this may be Honolulu’s most convenient craft brewery
. It’s also exceptionally popular, thanks in part to its bacon and brie burgers, fried pickles, and Cuban sandwiches, which pair wonderfully with the IPAs, porters, ambers, and hefeweizens on tap.
Black Strap Molasses porter, Hana Hou hefe, Skinny Jeans IPA
“House Befitting Heaven,” as the name Halekulani
an apt description of this historic five-acre, 453-room property on Waikiki Beach, featuring rooms with deep soaking tubs and large lanais. Just three blocks away, find Waikiki’s favorite restaurants, including Waikiki Brewing Company. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 (per room) or $200 (per suite) hotel credit.