CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Gordon Biersch's wort goes through the heating, clarifying and cooling process.
Biersch’s man studied brewing in germany
Dan Gordon was a frequent Oahu visitor prior to opening one of his namesake breweries here.
Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.
Aloha Tower Marketplace
» Owner: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group
» Beers: Golden Export, Hefeweizen, Märzen, Blonde Bock, Dunkles, Dunkelweizen (March through June), FestBier (August through October)
» Open since: 1994 at Aloha Tower Marketplace; its Honolulu International Airport location opened last month
» Size of brewery: 15,000 square feet, including restaurant; 1,800 square feet at the airport; 35-barrel system
» Production: 2,000 barrels a year
» Employees: In brewery, brewer Jeff Liles; 130 in the restaurant
» Open: Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight; and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
His parents owned a house on Ewa Beach before he made Aloha Tower Marketplace the fifth location for his namesake brewpub in 1994.
Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. is now the only brewery in Hawaii that was born outside the islands, but Gordon insists that the majority of its beer lovers are locals.
"One of the things that is specific to our success are that German-style lagers are perfect for warm weather," he said.
His beers are brewed according to strict purity laws he learned while studying the craft in Germany. He opened his first brewery restaurant in Palo Alto, Calif., with restaurant-owner Dean Biersch 20 years ago.
Now as the owner of one of the country's 50 largest craft breweries, he stops on Oahu every two to three months. It is one of the top five Gordon Biersch restaurants in terms of sales out of 25 locations in 17 states and Washington, D.C., he said. In bottles and draft, Hawaii consumes about 7,000 barrels of Gordon Biersch's 75,000 barrels produced each year.
"We are still small in the brewing world," he said. "We haven't had to make any compromises."
Jeff Liles, who can be seen brewing eight to 10 times a month at the Hawaii brewery, said the traditional process makes the product distinct from more mainstream brews.
"We are one of the only companies nationwide that adheres to the German purity law," he said. "I've made older German gentlemen cry because they were drinking beer from their childhood."
COURTESY GORDON BIERSCH
A worker loads cases of beer for distribution.