The first time we attempted to take the Kona Brewery tour, they wouldn’t let us in.
It was before noon on a Friday and the darn thing was already sold out, said the woman at the welcoming hut.
So my smart daughter Elisabeth went to their online site and secured us five for a day down the road.
This time around, we were on the list on the hut when arrived early enough for the afternoon tour to eat lunch first and come back outside to join the group afterward. (The cafe part will be covered in my food post still down the road.)
Our tour guide Eric got us together and told us a thing or three about the making of beer in general.
I found out that this was a totally green-thinking brewery. My pizza crust of moments earlier, in fact, had been made from leftover grain in the beer brewing process.
I digested this as we were herded to the brewery yard.
This whole process in the brewery was aimed toward filling kegs, Eric explained on our tour.
Kona produces a lot of different lines, and Eric explained differences in the processes.
I was hung up on the discovery that the bottled beer George and I had been drinking from our Kona By the Sea suite refrigerator all vacation purchased from the Sack and Save supermarket had in fact been brewed and bottled on the mainland and shipped to Hawaii per an agreement with three different several contiguous breweries. They have no bottling capabilities here, Eric explained.
The bigger plant coming virtually next door, Eric said, will allow them to produce much more beer island consumption. Canning may come. Bottling, not yet. So this Craft Beer Alliance Inc. they have with mainland production does mean that I can drink a Kona Big Wave back home in A Bitty Better in the Liverpool neighborhood of Galeville, likely brewed and bottled in New Hampshire. It also meant that when George and I returned to the suite miles down the road in Kona, the Wailua Wheat made with Passionfruit we’d savor was brewed and bottled in Redland, Wash. So very interesting. It validated my lunch table judgment that my draft Wailua Wheat had tasted even better than the bottled we’d been drinking.
I wasn’t going to let it ruin our sampling experience. Eric sat us at covered tables and poured, say, four-ounce jiggers of a quartet of varieties from pitchers.
He carefully explained all four of our tasting opportunities. He passed around integral hops in a little bowl, saying we would be able to mark the taste in the beer if tried a little bite. I did, and I did.
Eric said if we found a brew we didn’t like, we could pitch it into the adjacent garden because the lizards like it. I tossed my IPA after one bitter sip, and several geckos came scurrying for a taste.
I liked the other three.
I took a nap when we got back to the suite.
Tomorrow: A much different coffee tour