Kona Brew­ing Com­pany Goes Green, Or­ganic

MidWeek Islander (East Oahu) - - FRONT PAGE - By LINDA DELA CRUZ

A Koko Ma­rina Cen­ter restau­rant and pub in­tro­duces its or­ganic beer this year on the heels of earn­ing two stars in the Green Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion’s cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram.

Kona Brew­ing Com­pany’s sus­tain­abil­ity co­or­di­na­tor Tracy Solomon said the Hawaii Or­ganic Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion cer­ti­fied their brew­ing process in Novem­ber for mak­ing Oceanic Or­ganic Sai­son.

“It is a Bel­gian-style beer made with spe­cial yeast strains that gives it its char­ac­ter­is­tic fla­vor,” said Solomon. “We’ve made this pop­u­lar beer be­fore with or­ganic in­gre­di­ents, but this is the first time we went all out with lo­cat­ing ev­ery or­ganic in­gre­di­ent pos­si­ble— and we also went ahead and got cer­ti­fied so we can call it or­ganic.”

The first batch of the Oceanic Or­ganic Sai­son was kegged in late De­cem­ber, and as of press time the sec­ond batch was fin­ish­ing off in the tanks. Plans are to serve it in the restau­rant “in early 2010.”

“The Koko Ma­rina lo­ca­tion has a com­plete waste-re­duc­tion pro­gram and ver­ma­com­post­ing (worms),” added Solomon, who has been work­ing for two-anda-half years to guide KBC pubs to greener pas­tures. “We re­cy­cle all pa­per, plas­tic, glass and mixed pa­per.”

In fact, KBC started with a green foun­da­tion, she

said, with re­fur­bished ta­bles and chairs. The kitchen hood is an old beer fer­men­ta­tion tank.

Equip­ment also helps. “Seventy per­cent of the lights are en­ergy-ef­fi­cient CFL bulbs. Ice ma­chines and re­frig­er­a­tion also are on the en­ergy-sav­ing side. The front of the house doesn’t have air con­di­tion­ing, since we can be­come cool from ocean breezes. We have wa­ter con­ser­va­tion in our re­strooms and kitchens.” KBC also cut chem­i­cals in its cleansers by switch­ing to more biodegrad­able clean­ing prod­ucts.

They’ve also re­vamped the bar area (now called Liq­uid Aloha Lounge) and rolled out 40 new drinks, a new wine list and ex­tended the desserts on the bar menu to en­hance its happy hour of­fer­ings.

Eron Read, gen­eral man­ager of the Kona Brew­ery lo­ca­tion at Koko Ma­rina, said the four beer-ti­nis they’ve added are a huge hit.

“We are fus­ing our award-winning beers with liqueurs,” said Read.

Kelli Chun tests third-graders on their knowl­edge of the ma­jor food groups Dec. 7 dur­ing an in­for­ma­tional health fair put on by Kalani High School health academy stu­dents to help area ele­men­tary schools learn about what it takes to lead a healthy life­style. Photo by Nathalie Walker, nwalker@mid­week.com.

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