Pizza, Beer and Recycling

Believe it or not, there is a place in America where beer and pizza tastes like a gourmet meal.  Unfortunately, however, getting there isn’t the easiest of tasks.  In the mid ‘90’s a father and son duo came from the West Coast to the Big Island of Hawaii with a few pieces of home beer brewing equipment and a couple of scribbled down recipes.  After high praise from a few of their friends, they decided to share some of their brews with the public.  In 1995, Kona Brewing Company was established and three years later they opened a small microbrewery and pub in Kailua-Kona on the west coast of Hawaii.  Free tours of the brewery (offered daily at 10:30 and 5:00) offer a comprehensive overview of the brewing process in layman’s terms and end with a sampling of four of their most interesting beers.

The real treat is going for dinner where you can order samplers of beer that serve four 5 oz. glasses of the beers of your choosing and dine on an extensive and creatively crafted menu of extremely flavorful pizza.  All ingredients and byproducts at the microbrewery are recycled and put to good use.  The majority of barley, for example, once drained from the beer and dried, is given to local farmers who use it to feed their pigs.  A small remaining portion of the used barley is baked into the dough of their pizzas to tie the slightly sweet flavor of beer into their crusts.

KBC’s pies are innovative and tasty.  The Spicy Chicken pizza features a ranch based (rather than tomato) sauce under a delicious layer of blue cheese, feta and herbs and topped with grilled chunks of buffalo chicken.  They also offer a slew of seasonal beers (about eight when I was there) in addition to their standard menu beers (about ten).  Oceanic Organic is a fragrant blend of sweet notes from 100% organically grown local ingredients.  Other favorites include the Lavaman Red Ale and the Wailua Wheat.  Most interesting brews you may or may not find at your nearest Kroger? The coconut flavored Coc o Loco Brown Ale and the Pipeline Porter made with 100% Kona coffee beans combining the rich malty taste of a porter and a freshly roasted cup of Hawaiian coffee.


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