Meet Kohola Brewery, a Surviving Lahaina Business

Meet Kohola Brewery, a Surviving Lahaina Business

We recently had a new member join the association, Kohola Brewery. They are already in partnership with another member of ours, Kona Brewing Company, which made this an easy relationship to discuss. With the wake of the fires, many stepped up to help others in need, including business to business support that Kona Brewing gave to Kohola Brewery. As their brand is small and Lahaina bound, their story is not well known to the rest of the world. Being both Kohola Brewery and Kona Brewing are launching specialty tastings at the Maui Brewers Festival tomorrow, May 18th at the MACC, we thought this to be the perfect time to introduce Mary Anderson, the owner of Kohola Brewery and her recent relaunch of the brand.

1. What is Kohola Brewery and the brief history of its life in Maui?

Koholā Brewery is a small craft brewery in the heart of Lahaina, Maui. Our facility, like most in Lahaina, was destroyed in the wildfire last month.

We are dedicated to traditional styles combined with local ingredients to create clean, craft beers perfect for the Hawaiian climate. Originally established in 2016, Koholā Brewery was founded on the idea that great beer brings people together – it’s a simple idea that has rung true for locals and visitors alike. Kohola’s taproom just off the busy Front Street area of Lahaina quickly became a local hangout and a must-do stop for beer enthusiasts from all over the world. Kohola Brewery was named Best Brewery in 2023 by and Yelp. They also won Gold Medals for their Lahaina Haze Hazy IPA and Talk Story Pale Ale in the the Hawaii Craft Beer Awards in 2023.

2. The fires caused a halt in production. Please give a brief overview of how this struggle led to Kona Brewing partnership and where things are now.

Loosing our brewery in the fires meant we loss both our only production facility and taproom. We knew we had to make some decisions quickly and if we couldn’t brew our beer, we would need to shut down. The Hawaii Craft Beer Community was amazing and a half dozen breweries quickly reached out to help. Due to our recent investments in the brewery, we had significantly grown our wholesale business and we knew there were only a few breweries in the state that could support our level of production as well as be able to commit to a multi year partnership. When we reached out to Kona Brewing Hawaii, all the pieces just fell into place for both companies. They have an amazing facility and lab, their team is extremely knowledgeable and it become obvious we had partner where we could both leverage multiple synergies and mutually benefit each other.

The partnership is thriving! We relaunched three of key brands- Talk Story Pale Ale, Lahaina Haze IPA, and Lokahi Pilsner here in the county of Maui. We now have our focus on re-launching statewide in June. It’s not just that though, we are really learning from them and growing our portfolio being brewed in Kona. Our Head Brewer is there as we speak working with them and learning some of the best in the business.

3. What is the current selection of brew offered and any favorites?

We have the three mentioned above and about to add Waterman IPA and Red Sand Amber Ale. My favorite is the Lokahi Pilsner- it won a bronze metal in an extremely hard category at the Great America Beer Festival. It’s light and goes great with our local fair. The most popular in Maui though is our Lahaina Haze Hazy IPA and Talk Story Pale Ale. They both won Gold at the 2023 Hawaii Craft Beer Awards.

4. Why Kohola is unique, why this brand matters for Maui?

Besides being a local brand, focused 100% on our local market, we really pride ourselves on the quality of our craft and sharing it with Ohana. Our focus has always been on building a sustainable business with a great product, as well as a place where people enjoyed working and hanging out. Commitment to the community is a huge part of what has made Koholā successful

5. Contact info for public / @koholabrewery / /

Become a Member Today!

Benefit from successful lobbying, quarterly mixers, participation in active advisory councils, oversight of state and county legislation that may affect your business, and our weekly newsletter.

Join Now Contact Us