For any fan of locally produced beer, it’s important to know how difficult an industry it is. Craft brewers are constantly competing with large entrenched macro breweries, many of which own controlling shares in distributors, which makes it hard or impossible to find shelf space at retail or access to quality ingredients. To combat the ‘big guy,’ many small breweries band together in associations to the benefit of all.
Guilds started in the Middle Ages in Europe as a formal association of artists or craftsman to oversee the quality and function of a particular skill or product. With the explosion of local Hawai’i beer in 2005, the now-defunct Aloha Brewers Guild was formed to link these new breweries. It wasn’t successful, but stood as a start.
In 2014, the Hawaiian Craft Brewers Guild was formed to further organize to make it easier for local breweries to produce quality beer and serve their communities without interference. In recent months, the Guild has been submitting testimony to the state legislature for increased sales limits, and the ability to be family-friendly, among other initiatives. The Guild represents breweries based in Hawai’i that produce 100% of their beer in the state. As reported by Lanikai Brewing Company’s owner Steve Haumschild, only 5% of beer consumed in the state is produced here! Beyond lobbying, the Guild stands to educate and promote drinking local.
To that end, the Hawaiian Craft Brewers Guild will be hosting a Tap Takeover event at Square Barrels in downtown Honolulu on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 starting at 6pm! Brewery owners and representatives will be present from all members to talk story and raise support for the organization. Come down and meet: Honolulu Beerworks – Geoff Seideman; Kauai Beer Company – Justin Guerber; Kauai Island Brewing Company – Dave Curry; Lanikai Brewing Company – Steve Haumschild; Maui Brewing Company – Garrett Marrero; Stewbum & Stonewall – Darren Garvey; and Waikiki Brewing Company – Joe P. Lorenzen. In addition to the people, Square Barrels always has fantastic food. Each brewery is, of course, bringing beer! It’s a great opportunity to try outer island breweries that aren’t always available in Honolulu.