It’s always a good time for beer!?
Laren Gartner and Edna Bayliff are two entrepreneurs based out of Portola, California who found great success with their Cheeseburger In Paradise restaurants in the 90’s. Expanding to Oʻahu in the 2000’s they dove into the craft beer movement and opened Waikiki Brewing Co. next to their Cheeseburger Waikiki location in 2015. A year later they opened a larger brewery/restaurant in Kakaʻako (the local beer capital of Hawaiʻi) and released their first canned beer.
Fast forward to November 2020 and we’re experiencing one of the worse economic recessions in modern history, yet breweries are not only reopening, they’re expanding. Waikiki Brewing Co. just opened their newly renovated Waikiki location taking over the Cheeseburger space making room for a very large pub/dine-in experience that accommodates more people and allows proper physical distancing. So, why and how? In short, local breweries saving grace can be attributed to the demand for local goods and a very loyal and enthusiastic clientele; not to mention distributors moving their product through local markets during the lockdown. Still not good enough. Without tourism, the lack of kegs sales which end up in hotels, bars and restaurants across the islands takes a sizable chunk out of the bottom line.
I believe beer has always been a survivor due to the people who make it and drink it for pleasure and socialization. It’s a craft with a long tradition of bringing people together during the best and worst of times, and it’s still working… Cheers!
More info at www.WaikikiBrewing.com.