Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Drinking Beer in Paradise

By William Brand
Monday, August 29th, 2005 at 1:02 am in Uncategorized.

LIHUE, KAWAI, HAWAII — As we walked toward the Whalers Brewpub entrance, I peered in a window of the brew plant and I realized there was trouble in paradise: The brew house was a shambles; insulation around pipes was crumbling; there was a pool of water on the far-from-spotless floor.

The copper brew kettle was tarnished and discolored. Well, maybe this is an Hawaiian lambic brewery, I thought.

Wrong. Jennifer DeLaRosa, the only staff person on the premises, late this Sunday afternoon, explained there hadn’t been a brewer at the Whaler’s in a year and a half. They did have Keoki Sunset***, Keoki Gold** and Kona Longboard Lager**, on tap, plus a half-dozen bottled beers. I’d already tried all three and really liked the Sunset, so I ordered it.

She brought me half a glass. “That’s all there is,” she said. Surprisingly, unlike the derelict brew plant, they must keep the beer lines clean; even this little dab was fine, not an off-note.

OK, don’t get me wrong. Whaler’s may not be a brewpub these days; the beer list may be slim, but this place is indeed paradise. It’s located on a promontory, at the edge of Hanapepe Bay. From the long patio, beside the pub, you can see forever out into the Pacific. Look west and it’s all tropical lushness. Coconut palms; bougainvillea bushes, plumeria trees with their wild white flowers and incongruously, the carefully manicured Kaua’i Marriott Resort & Beach Club.

Whaler’s is incredibly hard to find. It took us two family fights and directions from a local resident to locate the place. It’s at the back the Kaua’i Marriott. Take the main Marriott entrance off Rice Street and thread your way back, about a half-mile of tourists, golfers and tropical lushness. But it’s worth the journey.
Sunsets here, I’m told, are the best on this side of the island. I believe it; gorgeous view and maybe they’ll have Keoki Sunset back on line.

Jennifer told us the place rocks, especially on holiday weekends and when a cruise ship calls at the harbor below. A three day blast is planned Labor Day Weekend. There’s a DJ from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. on Mondays and Thursday.

Whaler’s, 3132 Ninini Point Road, Lihue, Kawai, Hawaii
(808) 245-2000, Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m. Closing times vary.

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