Island investors come together to save Lahaina’s Kohola Brewery
LAHAINA – In a time of shut downs, canceled events and Maui institutions going out of business, there is a bright spot here in Lahaina.
Kohola Brewery has always had a passionate local and Mainland following. When the devastation of the pandemic hit the islands, this small, independent brewery was hit extraordinarily hard.
Not only did the company have to close its Lahaina tap room, the demand for beer fell by about 90 percent.
In May, Kohola closed its doors, stopped making beer and laid off all employees. Three months later, the company has found new island investors to infuse capital and avoid bankruptcy.
A developer from the Big Island and a West Maui resident teamed up to inject enough capital to address past debts, restart operations and have a cash reserve to last through the pandemic. Several suppliers and partners also contributed substantially to the recovery of the company.
“Kohola Brewery makes excellent craft beers and has a strong local following. The products quickly became some of our favorites. We didn’t want to see a loss of the startup work, nor the loss of a popular local brand. We see this as an exciting opportunity to fund the next phase of growth for Kohola,” said Mary Anderson and Greg Lang from Lahaina.
“We’re excited about helping Kohola recover and expand its presence to the rest of the state and beyond! Our decades of experience doing business on the islands will ensure the company can truly scale,” said Julie and Greg Brown.
Kohola will start brewing beer in the next two weeks and prepare the tap room to welcome guests once again.
On Aug. 21, the company reported that it’s targeting a re-opening in approximately three weeks.
Stay tuned to social media and the brewery’s website for the latest updates.