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 Named Largest Craft Brewer in the U.S.

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When you think of craft beer, you probably don't think of the beer giant Anheuser-Busch. 

This American brewing company, which is known as Anheuser-Busch InBev after a big merger in 2008, has over 400 beer brands in its portfolio. 

It's most popular and well-known beers include Budweiser and Corona, which are not craft beers. 

According to the Brewers Association, a craft brewer is "small, independent and traditional." Craft beer is defined as a beer made the traditional way or non-mechanized by a small brewery.

With that in mind, it's surprising that Anheuser-Busch is now the nation's largest craft beer company in the U.S. 

This is mainly because the craft beers (many of which were acquired by the beer giant) in Anheuser-Busch's portfolio like Goose Island, 10 Barrel, Elysian Brewing Co., and Wicked Weed Brewing are readily available at stores. 

"In terms of dollar sales, A-B has surpassed Boston Beer as the nation’s top craft brewing company, the Chicago Tribune reports. The High End portfolio grew 20 percent to $107.3 million, while Sierra Nevada was up 2 percent to $100.7 million. Boston Beer lagged behind, down 6.5 percent to $94.4 million," writes "VinePair." "The surge in sales refers specifically to grocery, big box, drug, and convenience store sales. Boston Beer likely remains ahead of A-B’s High End in its volume and dollar sales when factoring in draft sales as well as sales from liquor stores."

Read more about Anheuser-Busch being named the biggest craft brewer in the nation at "VinePair" now."

Like we said, Anheuser-Busch recognized the potential in the craft beer industry and acquired some of the most popular ones on the market. However, some beer enthusiasts passionately feel that when the big beer guys acquire the small craft brewing companies, it just diminishes the meaning of "craft." The craft brewers are now often called sellouts for agreeing to be acquired by the big beer companies. 

So what do you think? Do you think they are sellouts or success stories?