Beer + Hawaii + Social Media = Great Connections

14 07 2009
World HQ of the Hawai'i Nui Brewing Ohana

The vintage Mehana sign marks the world headquarters of the Hawai’i Nui Brewing Ohana

Does Hawai’i care about its nouveau coconut wireless? Apparently so.

Big Island blogger Damon Tucker visited the Hawaiʻi Nui Brewing brewery in Hilo last week and spent some time talking story with John Walsh and Keith Kinsey

Damon put up a photo-story of the visit, showing pretty much every step of our brewing and bottling process. Mahalo!

My first thought on seeing the Damon’s post on Twitter was, “Yikes, we need to get a new sign!” Outside the brewery in Hilo hangs a sign with the beautiful (to us) Mehana brewing logo. This is a piece of Hilo history because the the founders of Mehana Brewing have been brewing carbonated beverages in Hilo for four generations.

Everybody here knows through the coconut wireless that Hawaiʻi Nui Brewing and Mehana Brewing joined forces back in January to brew and bottle all nine of our craft beer styles in Hawaiʻi. If you live in Hilo, you already know that you can taste Hawaiʻi Nui brews in the Mehana tasting room.

We never thought our tasting room signage it might be confusing till we saw Damon’s blog. He does have a way of stirring things up!

Same thing about our year-round “Monday Night Football” special on growler refills. Everybody here knows that our President Keith Kinsey was a quarterback in college. I was a cheerleader. So football is never far from our minds. When we’re talking 52 weeks a year about the Monday Night Football special, it never occurred to us that we sound like dopes on Twitter during those weeks when there actually is no Monday-Night Football. Facing one’s foolishness is key benefit of online feedback.

Andy Baker "in conference" at the Big City Diner in Honolulu

Andy Baker “in conference” at the Big City Diner in Honolulu

Anyway, it’s great to be able to meet people like Damon Tucker and the Two Beer Queers, Bully O’Sullivan and Russel Kealoha, who are active in the Hawaiʻi’s “nouveau coconut wireless.”

And its great to find valued partners like the Big City Diner appearing on Twitter @BCDlane.

The Big City Diner is a great place to have a meal or a meeting. Our VP of Sales, Andy Baker, often uses BCD as a conference room.

Don Ho’s Island Grill is on Twitter as @DonHos. The restaurant will be hosting one of the popular Hops & Grinds events on July 24. Join the Hops & Grinds community to learn about beer-and- food pairing from Don Ho’s Chef Robert Denis, Kyle Nakayama of Excessive Celebrations and Beer Kumu Andy Baker. We will be pouring Mehana Humpback Blue Beer and Volcano Red Ale.

The Willows Restaurant in Hololulu is also on Twitter @Willows_Hawaii. Right now The Willows is tweeting about a special on all Hawaii Nui beers through July 17. On Friday August 7, the Willows is holding its 10th anniversary party.

Most fascinating for me is how worlds are converging via ideas exchanged through social media.

For example, the other day I picked up a few road-warrior-tested iPhone tips while perusing Ed Morita’s Baker’s Hours Blog. Ed, who was nominated for a Shorty Award for his “Nocturnal Beast” microblog, @NctrnlBst, is a pastry chef in Honolulu.

As if his culinary creations were not enough, Ed has been immortalized at WordCamp for his WordPress tatoo, and served as a Twitter case study for his employer, Longi’s restaurant, at a Social Media Club Hawai’i event organized by the Bare Feet Studios.

Social media like blogging and twittering are changing the way the world works. Because there’s no barrier to entry, everyone can participate. Unlike in past days, there’s no blocking of news or filtering of opinions. (We can think of some who would like to silence Russel and Bully for hanging their beer by a noose. Too bad! The notorious pair cannot be stopped. )

Blogging and twittering most often are narrow-cast media, centered around a local community. What’s cool about Damon Tucker’s story is that — coming from nothing but his own desire to make the Island a better place for his son — he’s “broken through” the clutter.

Damon Tucker’s blog has been picked up on Alltop, the online aggregator for all topics online. This is true of some other Hawaiʻi Blogs, including The Right Blue, Planet Kauaʻi, and The Hilo Living Blog. Check this out on Alltop’s Hawaiʻi page,

Alltop was founded by high-tech legend and twitter phenom Guy Kawasaki. An Oahu local, L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine, bred, born and raised in Hawaiʻi, is the Chief Evangelist for Alltop. Her personal my.alltop.neenz page is a great collection of links for those interested in social media.

Neenz, founder of Pono Media, has started a site called Hawaii Tech 5.0. This is a clever name for a site that celebrates research, science and technology development in Hawaiʻi’s emerging innovation industries. Did you know that the University of Hawaiʻi has a special place in the history of the Internet? Yes, ALOHAnet, created by the University of Hawaiʻi, was a fore-runner of ArpaNet, a fore-runner of the Internet. Check out the history of ALOHAnet is on Wikipedia. If you’re a mainlander reading this, you might not be aware that wiki wiki, from which Wikipedia is derived, is the word for quick in the Hawaiian language.

So what does all this talk of community building have to do with craft beer?

Simple! It’s the new way to continue the craft beer tradition.

From the early days of the monastery guest house, the road-side stagecoach tavern, and the English public house, brewing and sharing craft beer has always been associated with:

  • Hospitality
  • Local News
  • Talking Story
  • Conversation
  • Community

With things changing so rapidly in the field of social media, we want to stay very much in the “Beginners Mind” about all this.

Follow us on Twitter @HawaiiNuiBrew.





4 responses

14 07 2009
Damon Tucker

Nice blog posting.

It is kind of confusing the sign on the outside of the building but I understand the concept of a long term image.

How about two signs on the front?

I’ve really been digging your guy’s beers and it’s been a real pleasure trying to figure out which one I like best since they are all so good.

I just wish Pahoa Cash and Carry had room on their shelves to carry your entire line.

15 07 2009
Roxanne Darling

Nina – this is a fabulous blog post! Mahalo for the full discussion, all the link love, and embracing people across the beer and social networking community. It truly is changing business daily. I hope to meet you all on my trip to the Big Island. Plus, we do live stream our monthly meetings of Social Media Club expressly so our neighbor islanders can join us. We hope to take the meetings on the road too, so be on the look out for us!

16 07 2009
Grounded « Sunset Moment

[…] been blogging and tweeting on behalf of Hawai’i Nui […]

23 07 2009
How to get started with Twitter? «

[…] then, I found out that Hawaii is a hotbed of social networking. More about this […]

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