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Kona Brewing Co. Decides on Kona for New Location

January 20, 2016, 12:08 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 11:41 AM
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Kona Brewing Co. file courtesy photo.

Kona Brewing Co. file courtesy photo.

Kona Brewing Company has chosen its spot for a new location.

Following a year-long search which included multiple property evaluations across the state, Kona Brewing announced Wednesday morning that it has signed a lease with the Queen Lili’uokalani Trust for a 2.6-acre site in Kailua-Kona.

Kona Brewing officials say the location is down the street from the original Kona Brewery & Pub, and will morph into a 30,000-square-foot home of its brewery and canning operation.

“When we first decided on Kailua-Kona for our original Kona Brewery 22 years ago, we did it as a result of our respect for the rich culture and spirit of the community,” said Cameron Healy, who co-founded Kona Brewing with his son, Spoon Khalsa, in 1994. “It’s amazing to see how far Kona Brewing Co. has come in just over two decades. Having the opportunity to build the new Kona Brewery in the same neighborhood where we started is a privilege. Kona and the Big Island of Hawai’i are special, and we are grateful to the community for all of their support over these many years.”

More than $20 million will be invested by the company into the new brewery. The investment includes an increase of $5 million from what was originally planned and includes funds to incorporate new innovations in renewable energy and water conservation into the design of the brewery.

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The new brewery is expected to boost capacity to 100,000 barrels per year.

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Ground will break on the project in the spring and the new brewery will be fully operational by 2018.

Kona Brewing plans to partner with PurposeEnergy, a water treatment and renewable energy company that will assist in designing an on-site Resource Recovery Center. The center will recycle the organic brewing byproducts, extracting the energy potential and reuse it to produce electricity, heat, and clean water for the brewery.

A high-efficiency craft brewing system will be at the heart of the plant. The IDD Process & Packaging manufactured system will conserve grain and water use. Kona Brewing officials say the innovations, along with a solar photovoltaic system, will allow the company to generate 50 percent of its energy needs and reduce its water usage.

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“We’re so excited to begin brewing with this new system, which will help us better utilize our hopes and increase our yield by brewing more efficiently and sustainably. For our Hawai’i customers, that means having more of the Kona beer they love on tap and more unique small-batch beers, like our Makana Series,” said Sandi Shriver, head of brewing operations for Kona Brewing. “We’ve been waiting a long time for technology to catch up with our vision, and now that it’s here, we’re excited to bring those ideas to life.”

The new brewery will also increase the company’s canning operation. As of right now, Kona Longboard Island Lager and Big Wave Golden Ale are the only Kona Brewing beers sold in cans, according to officials.

Along with changes in space, Kona Brewing’s previous President and Director of Restaurant & Retail Operations, Mattson Davis, will transition into a new role as strategic advisor and member of the Kona Brewing Advisory Board. Davis held a key role in building the Kona Brewing Brand.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the selection of Kailua-Kona for the new brewery,” said Davis. “From the beginning, we knew that Kona Brewing Co. was something incredibly special, and it’s exciting to see how much it’s grown and given back to the community here. I look forward to continue supporting Kona’s growth as I build on my nearly 20 years’ experience with the company to pursue a new consulting endeavor.”

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