These Collab Beers Mean More to Honolulu Beerworks

Geoff Seideman and his Honolulu Beerworks team have done beer collaborations with other breweries, but to him, they don’t resonate the way that collaborating with the local community. “Yeah, it’s fun,” he told Brewer, “but I like to do the ones where you bring in people who have no idea about beer and get to educate them.”

The Hawaiian brewery recently teamed up with the Plant Extinction Prevention Program, the Lyon Arboretum, and the United States Botanical Garden Association to shine a spotlight on plant extinction prevention efforts in Hawaii with a new release called HāHā-Loha, a Grape Sour.

“We’re getting educated because we’re going out and doing field days and doing a service day at that Arboretum with all the staff to go out and help clean up and learn about what’s going on,” Seideman said. “To me that’s more fulfilling to say, hey, we did a collaboration with ‘so-so brewery.’ Yeah, it’s fun, but they’re not as fulfilling or resonate with the community.”

Being a part of the community has been an important aspect for Seideman, who moved to the island nearly a quarter century ago and started the brewery almost 10 years ago.

“The family and community aspect of it is something you’ve never seen in any other community,” he said. “When I moved here, immediately, people are bringing you in, as long as you have the respect for them and the culture or something. It’s awesome.”

Back in May, Honolulu made Kāhuli Brewli, a Saison in which a portion of sales is donated to the Snail Extinction Prevention Program.

READ MORE: How This New Hawaiian Brewery Tackles Brew Day Logistics

“When we released this, it was absolutely insane,” he said. “We haven’t had a day like that since pre-COVID. Standing room only.”

The brewery also made a NA hop tea to help support the local humane society this year as well and it was just as well received.

HāHā-Loha is tying into the project with PEPP by using calamansi and lemongrass

“We went out and hiked up into the mountains and saw where they replanted these things,” Seideman said. “They tasted the nectar and it reminded them of Concord grape. We can use that. So we used Concord grape juice and jam in the beer to give it the color. But we’re also using calamansi and lemongrass.”

A QR code on the can leads consumers to the brewery’s website so that people can donate to both organizations and Honolulu Beerworks will donate off all can sales as well.

On the day Brewer was at the brewery to chat with Seideman in early November about the brewery’s plans to open a new production facility nearby while also planning their 10th anniversary coming up in 2024, members of the organizations were helping create the beer that day.

“We try to have them involved as much as possible in developing,” Seideman said. “Most of the time we will give them a style and we will develop it. But we try to get as much from them as much as possible.”

Getting into the community over the years helped projects like this come to life. A regular to the brewery suggested to Seideman to get involved with the Snail Extinction Prevention Program and he quickly jumped in to find a way to make it happen.

“It was just getting together and saying we can make beer,” he said. “We want to make it to benefit them and help in conservation.

“This is really about them. Yeah, we made beer, but I pushed it off to the representatives of these guys. That’s an important part for me.”

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