Kona Brewing Co. operations in Hawaii now independently owned, managed locally

  • (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • SMITH

  • Kona Brewing Co. operations in Hawaii officially returned being independent and privately owned last Tuesday. Going forward, Kona Brewing Co. will operate as Kona Brewing Hawaii. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Kona Brewing Co. operations in Hawaii officially returned being independent and privately owned last Tuesday. Going forward, Kona Brewing Co. will operate as Kona Brewing Hawaii.

“This is a very exciting time for our entire team in Hawaii,” said Billy Smith, general manager of Kona Brewing Hawaii. “For years, our team across the islands — which includes our brewers, restaurant workers, administrative personnel, sales and marketing staff have called Hawaii our home. Our newfound independence will allow us to put even more focus on our fans and communities throughout Hawaii, while also being able to brew fresh world-class beer locally thanks to our new 100,000- barrel brewery opening soon.”

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The announcement follows the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division approving in late September the acquisition of Kona Brewing Co. operations in the Aloha State by PV Brewing Partners. That arrangement paved the way for beer giant Anheuser-Busch to purchase Kona Brewing Co.’s operations outside Hawaii.

Construction on the new 30,000-square-foot brewery in Kailua-Kona is nearing completion, with the brewery scheduled to open later this year. The brewery and two Kona Brewing pubs employ more than 140 local residents. The growth of both the brewery and the pubs will remain a primary focus.

Kona Brewing Company’s MAKANA local giving program helps support more than 100 local nonprofits annually with more than $100,000 in donations. Kona Brewing’s Backyard Batch program, which highlights seasonal or limited draft beers exclusively brewed and sold in the islands, will continue.

Kona Brewing Hawaii owner PV Brewing says its No. 1 one priority is carrying on the legacy of what Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa built in Kailua-Kona in 1994.

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“We are grateful for the tremendous support from PV Brewing which gives the team here wings to fly on our own. They have a long-term vested interest and are excited to see this new chapter for us in Hawaii unfold.”

The Kona Brewing Hawaii leadership team will remain at the helm of operations. The local team represents a diverse mix of leaders who have decades of combined experience not only in the beer and restaurant industry, but as residents of Hawaii.

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