Kona Brewing Company is Craft Beer Brewery with a Passion for Sustainability

Some say Aloha means to live in harmony with the natural world and each other, this is the test of our time. Kona Brewing Company is more than just another craft beer company. With a focus on smarter energy, responsible practices, and a dedication to the community around them Kona is embodying the true meaning of Aloha.

On this episode of On Foodable filmed at Foodable.io Seattle sponsored by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, we get to learn a little more about Kona Brewing Company from Parker Penley, Lead Innovation Brewer at Craft Brew Alliance.

“Two just absolutely integral parts of what we do are sustainability and quality. And I always kind of say that those are not mutually exclusive,” said Penley. “Those actually work in parallel beautifully, you just have to, you know, be very conscious about what you’re doing and the impact on those around you and the environment.”

With this mentality and respect towards the Hawaiian Islands, Kona Brewing Company has established sustainability as one of its primary pillars. From building a state of the art brewery powered by solar panels to investing in a new High-Efficiency Brewing System to use less grain and barley, this company is taking sustainability to the next level.

However, Aloha doesn’t stop there at Kona Brewing Company. Besides having a focus on sustainability, their passion and desire fosters not only a high-quality beer but always creates an experience.

Aloha is all about the connection people have to the land and the way they connect with others on the island. Kona Brewing Company embodies that, by connecting local ingredients used to create their product, connecting with the community, and relaying the spirit of Hawaii and paradise to their consumers.

Watch the episode above to learn more about Kona and its sustainability efforts and the challenges faced in doing so on the island.

Looking for more beer and wine brands that are putting sustainability first? We recently interviewed Rob Bigelow, Senior Director of Wine Education and On Premise Development at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, about Villa Maria Wine Estate—a company in partnership with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

Anheuser-Busch Announces Reorganization Plans

The American brewing company has announced that it's making some reorganizational changes.

Last month, the beer giant announced that it would be splitting its high-end craft and import division into two separate business units. 

“Today’s announcement is an important step to better align our commercial structure with our new long-term business strategy, specifically as it relates to premiumization and innovation,” said Josh Gold, A-B’s senior director of corporate communications said to "Brewbound" in July. “We are encouraged by the early signs of growth that have been reported, and believe this new structure offers us the best opportunity to build on the momentum." 

Now, about a month later, the company is elaborating on its plans.

The marketing teams will be divided into five segments, including Premium & Super Premium, Core + Value, Beyond Beer, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra.

Anheuser-Busch, known as Anheuser-Busch InBev since 2008 when the company merged with the Belgian-Brazilian brewer InBev, has over 400 beer brands in its portfolio. However, it's most popular beers include Budweiser, Corona, Beck's, O'Doul's, Shock Top, and Goose Island. 

Besides reorganizing the departments, the brand is making personnel changes. The former Vice President of Marketing for Stella Artois brand, Harry Lewis will be the Vice President of "New Brands." Lara Krug, the former vice president of regional imports, will move into Lewis' previous role for Stella Artois. 

Find out what other structural changes the beverage mogul is making at "Brewbound."

Taco Bell's Urban Store Plans and Latest Menu Items

Latest news about Taco Bell are proving the brand’s tagline, ‘Think Outside The Bun,’ still fuels corporate’s decisions. The Tex-Mex QSR chain is breaking its mold by shaking off drive-thrus and adding alcohol to their future locations, in their latest push to expand into urban areas.

According to “Business Insider,” the company that brought to you the Naked Chicken Chips and, most recently, the Naked Egg Taco, had been testing its Taco Bell Cantina concept in seven locations and was slated to open four more by the end of 2017.

Now, they are expecting to open 300 to 350 “cantina-style” stores by 2022.

According to “Food & Wine,” the brand is “zeroing in on big cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York (including a plan to open at least 50 locations around the city’s five boroughs.” Each store will be somewhat unique with designs aligning with the local city culture, while featuring digital menu boards and open kitchens.

Taco Bell is known to push the envelope with its menu offerings. Take, for instance, the forbidden bowl and burrito, featuring forbidden rice, being tested in their Irvine location. According to “Thrillist,” a spokesperson told them “No other [fast food restaurant] has tested a black rice product like this." Claiming to be the first to test a dish with a grain product only eaten by royalty in ancient China, hence the name— ‘forbidden.’

That’s why it comes at no surprise that the chain will finally offer boozy drinks like beer, wine, sangria and Twisted Freezes with tequila, rum or vodka at their new urban, cantina-style stores. 

In their Las Vegas flagship location, for example, Spring Valley visitors continue to post pictures with their favorite spiked slush.

I came to Vegas just to get a bacardi baja blast

A post shared by Ava Lavalle (@avalavalle) on

I think I speak for everyone when I say: It was time, T-Bell! It was time...

Cocktails Are a Work of Art at Liquid Art House

Mixology lovers often believe crafting the perfect cocktail is an art, but this Boston concept takes that idea to a whole new level. Liquid Art House is not only an innovative restaurant — it's a fully-functioning art gallery. From the pieces adorning the walls to the furniture, down to the glassware and plates, everything is for sale. 

"We have a curator that comes in and they rotate about every two to three months, so like a typical art gallery would," bartender Matt Noonan explained, the various styles of the art pieces, whether graffiti or classical, almost dynamic as LAH's menu.

In this episode of “Across the Bar,” we take a seat with Noonan and get a closer sip behind the brand through three signature drinks.  

Resonating with the restaurant's artistic theme, there is a drink in the lineup called the "Blank Canvas." It always changes, as bartenders put creative cocktail concoctions together and pitch them to customers. When those same drink choices become a popular crowd order, that's when they know they're worthy of adding into LAH's impressive portfolio of beverages. 

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Cocktail No. 1: Bloody Orange

This citrus flavored cocktail is not so much sweet as it is nicely blended.

Recipe:

  • Muddled blood orange

  • 1.5 oz Absolut Mandarin

  • .5 oz lemon

  • .75 oz simple syrup

  • Crushed Ice/Rocks

  • Slice of blood orange garnish

Cocktail No. 2: Smoke N' Brew

This drink uses dehydrated orange, fresh juice, and an IPA to bring a unique, smokey, and bitter taste to the table.

Recipe:

  • Muddled dehydrated orange

  • 1.5 oz Old Overholt Rye

  • .5 oz Honey Simple

  • 3 oz Mayflower IPA top

Cocktail No. 3: Loose Talk

This cocktail name was inspired by one of the pieces at the concept, bringing together the idea of art to the art of mixology full circle.

Recipe:

  • 1.5 oz Bullet Rye

  • .5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

  • .5 oz simple syrup

  • Pinot Noir top

  • Orange peel garnish

Want to learn more about how Liquid Art House brings art to life through their beverage menu? Watch the full episode now.