Greg Yount, brewmaster, adds barley, the first step to making Moonlight lager, into a bin that an auger will transport to a tank where it is mixed with hot water.
on the rise
The number of brewpubs in the U.S. is growing. For the nearly three dozen that closed last year, 48 opened.
Brew Moon Restaurant & Microbrewery
Ward Centre, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
» Owner: David Pierce
» Beers: Moonlight Lager, Moon Berry Wheat, North Star Lager, Big Bang Pale Ale, Orion's Red Ale, Black Hole Lager (The most popular brew order is the Lunar Beer Sampler, offering a taste of each.)
» Seasonals: Imperial Moonlight
» Open since: 1998
» Size of brewery: 10,000 square feet, including restaurant; 15-barrel system
» Production: 700 barrels a year
» Employees: Brewer Greg Yount; 30 in the restaurant
» Open: Daily 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
While Hawaii's four brewpubs -- defined by the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association as a restaurant-brewery that sells a quarter or more of its beer on site -- have each been operating for at least a decade, the state can expect to see another open early next year in brewmaster Thomas Kerns' Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea.
"A brewery adds a lot to the success of a restaurant," he said. "Combined together they work really well as a business -- people tend to take pride in things local."
Down a thin slice of hallway off the main entrance of the Brew Moon pub in Ward Centre lies what might be one of Honolulu's most sizable repositories of bar swag.
Bar swag gives brewpub different flavor
Metal bottle openers hang from one wall, and at least a hundred coasters coat another. Bumper stickers reading "Fizzy yellow beer is for wussies," and "Think Oregon, Drink Oregon" cover a door. Mugs line shelves, along with literature such as "Brew Chem 101" and "Travels with Barley."
Welcome to the corner office of Greg Yount who brews a half-dozen staple beers, as well as small batches of root beer and barley wine, found only at the pub.
Patrons filtering in and out can spot him brewing weekly through panels of glass windows that line two stories off the restaurant's entrance.
"I really love brewing more than anything," said Yount, who started brewing for now-defunct Alii Brewing Co. in 1996. "There's so many directions it takes."
David Pierce took over Brew Moon in October after a decade at the helm of a San Diego computer company. The Boston native found the listing through an online real estate broker last summer.
"I saw so much potential in the place," he said. "The menu, the quality, the ambience."
Pierce decided to offer six varieties of domestic and import beer, but outsells everything with Yount's locally made suds.
"The reason why I did that was to give it more variety," Pierce said. "Heinekin is very huge on this island. I have three different restaurants right next to me, and they all have Heinekin, so instead of my customer getting up and leaving, they can stay here."