ADDRESS: 74-5612 Pawai Place, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
The first time I was introduced to the Kona Brewing Company was when I picked up a six-pack of their Pipeline Porter from the supermarket. Coffee flavor infused with beer? Sounded interesting enough! I gave it a shot and ended up really enjoying it. Rich, full-bodied, not too bitter, with a nice coffee finish.
For my family’s first stop in Hawaii, we came to Hawaii Island (aka the Big Island), where the town of Kona is located. So naturally, I looked into adding a tour of the Kona Brewing Company into our itinerary. We arrived at the brewery after a stop to check-in at our resort, and at that point we hadn’t eaten any lunch yet. Our brewery tour wasn’t until later in the afternoon, so we decided to go check out the pub that they had set up right next door.
Plenty of outdoor seating was set up to enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian weather, with umbrellas over the tables to prevent the sun from shining down on you while you tried to enjoy your food and beer. There was also an indoor seating area by the bar, but the majority of people chose to sit outside (including us).
While there was no shortage of beers to choose from (over 13 different KBC brews on tap, some available only at the brewery), food options were plentiful as well. Between pizzas, sandwiches, and salads, all of the options sounded really good to my hungry stomach at the time. Other reviews of the place had mentioned about how good their pizzas were, so I decided to give that a shot.
As a quick side note, I would highly recommend that if you’re planning on taking a trip out to the restaurant to also book a brewery tour. It’s $5 / person and includes a brief history overview of the brewing company, tour of their facility, and a tasting of four of their beers. The ones that we got to try were the Hula Hefeweizen, Ina Brown, Kua Bay IPA, and the Black Sand Porter. Out of those, I think my personal favorites were the Hula Hefeweizen and the Black Sand Porter, both of which had robust flavors (Hula Hef — banana, Black Sand — chocolate). Makes me a little sad to think that I won’t be able to find those beers once I get back to Maryland.
Our food arrived at the table in no time, and we all heartily started to dig in. I got the KBC Margherita, complete with mozzarella, tomatoes, garlic, basil, rosemary, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction and garlic-infused olive oil. The pizza tasted great, loaded with flavors and all the toppings tasting very fresh. The crust looked like it was pan pizza style: about a half-inch tall, crispy on the edge but still soft in the middle. I also got the chance to sample my brother’s Pepperoni Ali’I, complete with traditional & smoked mozzarella, pepperoni, tomatoes, and pepperoncini peppers, which was an equally delicious pizza.
We weren’t initially planning to eat at the KBC pub prior to the brewery tour, but I’m very glad that we switched over to do so. The food tasted great and the outdoor dining area was a relaxing place to sit back and enjoy your meal. I would certainly stop by again if the opportunity presented itself to sample even more of the delectable pizzas and the beer that wouldn’t be available back on the East Coast.
Let’s now take a look at the Kona Brewing Company Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
And finally, here are my rankings for Kona Brewing Company:
Food: 5 / 5
All of the food that we had was fantastic. The ingredients tasted fresh and the flavor combinations were on point. With such a variety to choose from on the menu, it’s definitely a tough choice because so many things just sound delicious.
Atmosphere: 4.5 / 5
It’s an casual upbeat atmosphere in the outdoor dining area, with the table umbrellas to shade you from the sun. A light breeze would frequently roll through the area, so you never felt too hot while sitting there either.
Service: 4.5 / 5
All of the staff seemed to genuinely enjoy working there, and it showed. Our waitress was very accommodating, answering questions we had about the menu and offering to give us beer samples when we were indecisive about what to get. She came back throughout the meal to ask how things were and see if we needed any drink refills as well.
Price: 4.5 / 5
I thought the quality of the ingredients the restaurant used matched the price point for their dishes. Portions were sized well, as I was feeling pretty full by the end of the meal.