A space for a taste

LIHUE — There is a space for work. There is a space for home.

“And there is a space in between — it just happens to have good beer,” said Jim Guerber of the Kauai Beer Co.

Guerber opened the doors to the Kauai Beer Co. on Rice Street near the Kalena Street junction just a few weeks ago, limited to seatings on Wednesday and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.

“We’re ready to put some meat on the bone, now,” said Larry Feinstein who has been helping Guerber with the operation of the second brewpub to recently open on the island.

Starting Monday, the Tasting Room — aka the space between work and home — will be open Monday through Saturday from 3 p.m. until pau.

“We’ll be closed on Thanksgiving so the staff can enjoy family,” Guerber said. “But all the other days we will be here.”

Rachel Ellenburger, who helped open the Dolphin Restaurant at The Shops at Kukuiula, takes care of the front of the house, noting they’ve enjoyed a steady stream of people who happen to drive by and see the sign.

“We’ve already had people who fly in, come here, and after doing business all day, stop here as the last stop before the airport,” Ellenburger said. “This is the in between space.”

He said the microbrewery setup, partially visible from the picture window behind the bar, is an expanded version of the set up he used to make beer at home. It is also accommodated in a space which can be easily expanded if need be.

“Beer has been around for about 7,000 years,” Guerber said. “It’s not new. When they passed legislation allowing people to do home brews, that’s when I started doing beer.”

Black Limousine, or Black Limo, is described as a “surprisingly refreshing dark beer” and headlines the beer menu.

Lihue Lager is a light lager with a subtle tropical fruit flavoring which appealed to the palettes to the point of selling out when it was first released.

A Hoppy Accident is a lager spin on a pale ale, and the house suggests trying it with a shot of lilikoi, or passion fruit.

His brewers include Justin Guerber, Eric Burda and Nate Yahnke. Rocky Reynolds is the manager of the Kauai Beer Co.

Guerber said in addition to the house menu, they pump two other beers from Paradise Beverage, the Great White of Lost Coast Brewery, and Pau Hana Pilsner from the Maui Brewing Co.

Beers are available in sample (4 oz.), glass (12 oz.), pint (16 oz.) and as refills (64 oz.) for the growler.

“I like the growlers,” Guerber said. “When I saw this one, it really motivated me to try and get open so I could share this with our beer community.”

Guerber hopes to get the Kauai Beer Co. up to a full-service brewpub serving meals.

Using logs from Norfolk trees that needed to be felled near the Kahili Adventist School entrance, Guerber said more tables are being created. Computer hookups are being installed so people are able to get work done outside of the office and before going home.

They will be open Dec. 6, the night of the Lights on Rice holiday parade, starting at 3  p.m.

 “We have the KauaiBots robotic team coming in to serve up sandwiches, hot cocoa and other goodies as a fundraiser,” he said.

Info: www.facebook.com/kauaibeercompany

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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