Big Island Now Article Posted on May 5th, 2014
by Hunter Bishop
The new owner of Hilo’s Hawaii Nui and Mehana Brewery was granted a permanent Brewers Operating Permit by the Hawaii County Liquor Commission that went into effect Thursday, May 1.
Hawaii-based DeMare Enterprises, Inc., completed the purchase of the East Kawili Street brewing operation last year and needed the permit to continue operations.
Brewery spokesman Deron Akiona said the company now has all of its required permits. “We’re pretty much up-and-running in full production,” he said Monday.
All of the Hawaii Nui and Mehana Brand premium craft beer brands are brewed exclusively in Hilo and are now packaged only in aluminum cans manufactured by Ball Corporation in Kapolei, Oahu.
Johnson Brothers of Hawaii will continue distributing the brands throughout the islands.
The Hawaii Nui and Mehana Brands are currently available in 31 restaurants and 86 retail outlets throughout Hawaii, and the company said in a releases that it expects “that number to double by the end of the year.”
Newly canned Mauna Kea Pale Ale and Volcano Red Ale brands are available now throughout Hawaii and all of Hawaii Nui and Mehana brands are expected to be back on the market by the end of the year, the company said.
Akiona said he’s also currently developing a new beer whose flavor will capture the special character of Hilo as a tribute to “our hometown.” He expects it to be released around August.
Paul DeMare, MD, an Oahu radiation oncologist, owns the company and is chief operating officer of the Hilo brewery.