By Anni Caporuscio
Among coffee, chocolate, whiskey and wine, beer is one of those luxuries of magical and mysterious origin. Tell me all day long how it’s produced, and I still won’t totally understand it.
But boy am I thankful for it.
Jim Gerber, owner, operator, and mastermind behind Kaua‘i Beer Company in Downtown Lihu‘e, has been brewing beer since 1974, when home brewing became legal in the United States.
Jim and his son, Justin, brought a decommissioned brewery from Portland to Kaua‘i, and put it together themselves, customizing it to suit their needs.
Jim said malt is sprouted barleys, and showed me a handful of fresh hops.
A brewer adds hops at different times for flavor. The yeast is added when the mixture is below 80 degrees.
The recipes are tightly followed, and the equipment is sterilized between brews.
The brewery has a loft totally devoted to a grinder and grains, with hundreds of bags. On brewing day, they get to work with a shovel, mixing the right amounts and grinding it for the mixture.
And each batch produces 300 gallons of beer!
Get this, the IPAloha is made from local honey, dregs and mess and all, to produce a fresh and refreshing beer with no bitterness.
The brewery opens Wednesday to Saturday, from 3 to 8 p.m.
On Truck Stop Thursday, they invite local food trucks, and on Finally Friday, their menu is locally sourced. On Wednesday and Saturday they are open as a tasting room.
Kaua‘i Beer Company is at 4265 Rice St. Visit www.kauaibeer.com or call 245-BEER for more information.
- Anni Caporuscio is a food lover and can be found daily at her Kapa‘a business, Small Town Coffee.