Beer Camp brews hit Honolulu store shelves and bar taps
“It was like being in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for a brewer.”
Maui Brewing Co. CEO Garrett Marrero couldn’t have said it better about Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's Beer Camp Across America, an annual event that saw more than 30 leading craft breweries from the United States take part in creating six different beers that are currently being sold across the country and will be poured during official Beer Camp beer festivals held in six different cities starting this weekend.
This year also marked the first time a Hawaii-based craft brewer was invited to participate in Beer Camp. Marrero brought “a touch of Hawaiian ‘aloha’ from the addition of hibiscus” to the West Latitude Session Rye created by a team of mostly California-based brewers.
“Bringing that attention to Hawaii is no joke,” he said. “To have real craft beer coming from Hawaii like we’ve been doing and to get the notoriety for that, it’s an epic win for the state.”
After tasting all six of this year’s beers — which also include the Sweet Sunny South Table Beer, Moxee-Moron Imperial Session IPA, Family Values Imperal Brown Ale, Pat-Rye-Ot Revolutionary Pale Ale and Stout of the Union Robust Stout — it was the touch of hibiscus in the West Latitude Session Rye that set it apart from the rest of this year’s offerings for me.
Read more of my thoughts on this year’s crop of Beer Camp brews in Barfly, available online to subscribers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser here.
Want to skip the extra reading and just try the beers for yourself? Pick up mixed 12-packs with two bottles of each beer for about $30 at Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors locations on Waialae Ave. and at the Aikahi Shopping Center, or stop by Bev Mart at 2441 Date St. Single bottles of select beers are also available at the Liquor Collection at Ward Village for $3.25 each.
Kegs of all six beers are also on island, with Real a Gastropub at Ward Village leading the charge. They tapped a keg of each beer yesterday and are probably your best bet at finding all six in the same place at the same time right now. Tropics Tap House at Puck’s Alley aims to do the same, but they won’t have all the beers available for another week or two.
Pint + Jigger, 1936 S. King St., is taking a more staggered approach, tapping two kegs at a time until their allocation runs dry. Owner Dave Newman said Beer Camp’s Stout of the Union Robust Stout and West Latitude Session Rye were the first to be poured at the bar yesterday.
Know of any other stores, bars or restaurants serving Beer Camp Across America beers? Share the location(s) in the comments below.
Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.