|On the bar|
As I've mentioned in the past, the beer choices here in Kauai are not great if you're a fan of good beer. Light Kona beers are everywhere and you can find beers from Maui Brewing and others if you dig a little. But locally produced beer for this climate is not easy to find.
Enter Kauai Beer Company, which recently opened a tasting room in Lihue and is distributing its beers to select restaurants and bars on the island. The approach here is different. Owner Jim Guerber and his son and head brewer, Justin, believe strongly in drinkable session beers. Today, these take the form of German-influenced, tasty lagers.
|Eric answers questions|
The co-flagship beer is Lihue Lager, a crisp and refreshing beer that is chock full of flavor you just don't find in a typical light lager. It clocks in a 4.4% ABV and 17.5 IBU...the type of beer you can drink all day with friends hanging out at the beach or pool. Lihue Lager is so popular they were out when I visited... so I tasted it from one of the tanks. Not quite ready for prime time, but still good.
|Lihue Lager from fermenter|
Other entries include a light-bodied Oktoberfest (4.1%, 22 IBU) and the mildly hoppy, A Hoppy Accident ((5.5%, 40 IBU). These are both serviceable, drinkable beers, but Black Limo, Lihue Lager and Helles Swells are the ones to remember.
These guys are really just getting started. They bought and installed a used 10 bbl brewing system. Jim has three 20 bbl fermenters and there are four 10 bbl serving/brite tanks. They have eight tap handles at the moment...four for their beers and four guest taps The number of taps will likely expand, but they apparently expect to always have guest offerings. It's a perfect set-up and they have plenty of room to expand in their downtown Lihue location.
Special thanks to Eric Burda, assistant brewer and apparent jack of all trades at KBC. Eric provided a lot of information on the beers and what whey are working to accomplish in general. As more fans appeared at the bar, he happily moved over to answer their questions, as well. This is the kind of guy every brewery needs.
|The back bar|