Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Kona Brewing Makes Waves With Sustainability Efforts and New Brewery

kona brewing co beer
Kona Pub and Brewery/Facebook

Hawaii has a goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 and, naturally, beer is playing its part.

The brewing industry is certainly one of the most sustainably-minded industries (out of necessity, if nothing else, due to the large amount of resources that go into making a delicious brew). Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Co. is taking that to the next level with sun-powered beer.

Kona’s new brewery in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island will include a solar-plus-battery storage system in partnership with EnSync Energy Systems and Holu Energy, capturing enough sun power to create nearly 7,000 cans of beer per hour. Those beers, of course, include Longboard Island Lager and Big Wave Golden Ale, which make their way to all 50 states. You may also remember one of Kona’s newer creations, a light beer they’ve named Kahana.

The solar power will generate approximately a quarter of the brewery’s electricity needs. This is doubly impactful, as Hawaii has the highest energy costs in the nation.

“The installation offers Kona Brewing a fully-integrated resource to meet its dual goals of using clean energy and reducing energy costs,” Holu Energy president Ted Peck said.

The new brewery, which is slated to be finished in 2019, will be a 30,000-square-foot facility down the street from its original location. The expansion will take the brewery from pumping out 14,000 barrels of beer annually to 100,000.

Kona Solar Battery New Brewery Infographic-1
Kona Brewing Co.

The sustainable electrical portion of the project includes a 336-kilowatt roof-mounted solar panel system and a 122-kilowatt-hour battery system. The latter stores energy during the daytime for use in dark hours and allows the brewery to participate in Hawaiian Electric’s demand response programs, which will help offset peak charges and aid in the local power grid’s resiliency. The project will also include a way for the brewery to recapture carbon dioxide (CO2), a byproduct of the fermentation that can be use to carbonate beer later in the process.

“Since it formed over 20 years ago, Kona Brewing has been committed to making locally brewed beers in an environmentally responsible way,” Kona Brewing sustainability manager Julia Person said. “This partnership demonstrates how we embrace innovation to maintain our commitment to the ‘Aloha spirit’ and the larger Hawaiian community.”

If you want to follow the construction progress live, you can watch it right here.

Editors' Recommendations

Pat Evans
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Pat Evans is a writer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, focusing on food and beer, spirits, business, and sports. His full…
10 classic summer cocktails everyone should know how to make
Enjoy your summer with these incredible, classic drinks
Gin cocktail

We are right at the cusp of summer. It's the season of backyard campfires, yard games, dangling your feet off a dock, and seemingly endless sunny days. It's a great time of year for refreshing, crisp beer. But it's also the perfect time for classic summer cocktails. Lucky for you, there are many to choose from. And while we love a rich, complex, boozy Old Fashioned or Manhattan any time of year, in the summer, we tend to opt for thirst-quenching, fresh cocktails.
Classic summer drink recipes

The best part? These iconic, refreshing summer drinks are all reasonably easy to whip up. You don't need an advanced degree in mixology and a whole cabinet of tinctures, herbs, and other ingredients to make them. Most of them are only a few ingredients and the ones with more are still fairly easy to shake up. These are the summery drinks that everyone should know how to make. Keep scrolling to see them all and learn a few new recipes to wow your friends and family this summer.

Read more
You won’t believe these 6 ways to clean burnt pots and pans
You'll be surprised what a few household items that you already have can do for your dirty pots
Getting ready to clean a burnt pot

We've all had to say goodbye to an unfortunately burnt-beyond-repair pot. However, not all crispy pans are a lost cause. So before you cast out that crusty iron pan or that over-browned brownie sheet, we've got some tips that might keep them around a few more rounds.

With just a few everyday household products, you will be surprised at what a little bit of nature (and a lot of elbow grease) can do. Here's how to bring those burnt pots back to life. These methods aren't that hard to do, but they do take a little patience and some elbow grease. Fortunately, the reward is extremely satisfying! So, here is how to how to clean burnt pots and pans.
The vinegar and baking soda method

Read more
What is Chinese barbecue? An essential guide
If you're a meat lover, you need to give char siu a try
Char Siu

There's a common sight on the streets of Chinatowns — row upon row of glistening meat displayed in restaurant windows. The meats are varied, ranging from whole bronzed ducks to huge sides of crispy roast pork, a tantalizing sight to any meat lover.

There's also another item — a red-colored, fragrantly sweet pork that's delicious by itself or served with a bowl of white rice. This is char siu, Chinese barbecue pork, a delicacy that's beloved throughout the Chinese community.
Selecting the pork

Read more