From bags of grain to kegs of the finished product, a look at the process that makes 1,500 barrels of beer a year in Kakaako.
Just two blocks from the biggest body of water in the world, Honolulu Beerworks in Kakaako produces 1,500 barrels of beer a year that it distributes to restaurants and pubs around Oahu. We decided to get an inside look at the craft brewery process. Joe Direnzo, right, pours malted grain into a mill, where it is mixed with water and flowed into a mash tun vessel.
Ken Caldwell keeps an eye on the mash tun vessel. Mashing converts starches from the malt into sugars for fermenting at the brewery, which was opened in 2014 by Geoff Seideman and his wife, Charmayne.
The view from atop the mash tun vessel.
Caldwell uses a refractometer to check the sugar content of a mash sample inside the device.
The sweet infusion of mash flows slowly from the mash tun vessel into a wort kettle, where it will be brought to boil.
Caldwell makes adjustments to the wort kettle controls before hops are added to the wort.
Moments after a handful of hop varieties are weighed out, Direnzo pours them into the wort kettle. In this case, the end product will be Sheltered Bay IPA, one of the brewery’s 10 main beers.
Direnzo flushes and cleans a 15-barrel fermentation tank in preparation for the wort to be piped in.
Direnzo and Ken Caldwell prepare to place yeast into the fermentation vessel.
Cleanup time: Caldwell hauls away a load of boiled grains, and more awaits.
Caldwell uses a long brush to clean the mash tun vessel. Sanitation and cleaning occupies the majority of the brewers’ time.
After climbing through a small opening at the top of the wort kettle, Caldwell scrubs the stainless steel inner chamber with a scouring pad.
Fifteen-gallon beer kegs are stacked alongside tanks of the finished product.
Direnzo checks a tank of Kewalos Cream Ale after it was transferred from a fermentation vessel, perhaps to see if it fulfills the promise of the Honolulu Beerworks website: “The light malt flavors are balanced by a touch of herbal hops to provide a clean and crisp finish.”