“Especially on Oahu, being the only independent brewery, we have that luxury of saying, ‘Okay let’s experiment, let’s have fun.’"
Four years ago, Geoff Seideman’s wife, Charmayne, gave him a home brew kit for Christmas.
It was the start of an obsession.
Today, Geoff and Charmayne are the owners of Honolulu Beerworks, Oahu's premier, independent brewpub. Our Kaka‘ako is a long way from Philadelphia, where Geoff grew up. He took a Hawai‘i vacation 15 years ago with Charmayne and they left the frigid weather of the Jersey Shore behind ever since.
With a taste for home brewing, Geoff started volunteering at local breweries. He became the assistant brewer of Aloha Beer's Dave Campbell for 2 1/2 years.
“I was kind of selfish, in a way. I built a place I wanted to go drink at and hang out at. I was hoping everybody else would feel the same way.”
Using retrofitted garages and warehouses in Portland and San Diego as inspiration, he transformed a boarded up, Kaka‘ako warehouse into Honolulu Beerworks, mostly by himself. He built interior walls, a grain room, a walk in cooler and a massive bar. It took about nine months from demo to completion.
“Out of that little collaboration came one of our flagship beers which highlights local ingredients.”
And collaboration is one of the things Geoff loves about being one of the founding makers of Our Kaka‘ako.
“Everybody’s supporting everybody else, which is great. We feel lucky that we’re in this type of neighborhood and community. We’re kind of on the ground floor. Not a lot has been built out yet, but it will be.”
What started in an abandoned warehouse is now growing. Honolulu Beerworks is in the midst of an expansion to increase capacity for future distribution to craft pubs, restaurants and hotels. Geoff’s come a long way since unwrapping that home brew kit not so long ago.
“In five years we want to be canning, we want to have a world class barrel aging program. We want to be Oahu’s craft brewery.”
Learn how to pour the perfect beer with the trusty instructions below. Download it, take a photo of your perfect pour, hashtag #meetourmakers and get entered to win a $50 Honolulu Beerworks gift card.
Winners will be announced the second week of November.
- Geoff says brewing is 90% cleaning and sanitation, 10% actual brewing.
- During construction, Geoff hauled 30 tons of garbage and 20 tons of concrete and dirt out of the old warehouse.
- The Honolulu Beerworks name and logo are based on Kaka‘ako’s old Honolulu Ironworks building. A photo of it hangs above the bar.
- The pub’s brew master and Geoff’s mentor, Dave Campbell, has 25 years of brewing experience.
- Geoff and Dave use a seven-barrel brewing system. This gives them the flexibility to experiment and have 10-12 flavors on tap.
328 Cooke Street
Honolulu, HI 96813