Firestone Walker Brewing: A Match for MauiJanuary 20, 2017, 8:15 AM HST · Updated January 20, 6:54 AM Kiaora Bohlool · 0 Comments
The 805 is descending on the 808.
805, if you weren’t aware, is the area code along the Central California coast, and the name of a new beer, recently released by Firestone Walker Brewing Company, based in Paso Robles. Called an “uncomplicated” blonde ale, 805 has caught on quick…maybe even as fast as the dirt bikes that are an entrenched part of the culture on the Central coast.
“It’s really far from everything,” says Young’s Market Branch Manager Keli’i Heen, who just visited Firestone Walker in the remote community last week. “San Jose is 2.5 hours north, L.A. is 3.5 hours south; it’s a farming lifestyle; hunting, dirt bike riding, low rider community and they’re very proud of that.”
Heen says it’s a vibe that resonates with many of our own local communities here in Hawai‘i, which is partly why Young’s Market is bringing Firestone Walkers brews to our state for the first time.
“We’re not going to have 20 breweries under our distribution; we’re going to have a few select breweries who are doing the right things for the right reasons,” says Heen, who values companies that are authentic, passionate and relatable. “Understand our true lifestyle of being in Hawai‘i, not necessarily what the image is of us looking from outside in.”
Heen speaks from experience. Young’s Market introduced Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing, with its notable Fat Tire Ale, to Hawai‘i one year ago. Since providing the supply, Heen says demand has been off the scales.
“We started off and we didn’t really know where it was going to go, and then we sold three times as much as we thought we would in the first two weeks,” he says. “Same thing in the first two months, and it’s now become the #1 craft beer in Hawai‘i outside of the local beers.”