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Hawaii Craft Beer and Regenerative Tourism

Updated: Apr 29

Hawai‘i’s Regenerative Tourism Movement is a response to the various challenges brought about by traditional tourism practices, aiming to go beyond sustainability by actively contributing to the renewal, revival, and growth of the local environment, culture, and community's well-being. This approach acknowledges the strains that over-tourism has put on Hawai‘i’s delicate ecosystems, infrastructure, and local communities and seeks to redefine the relationship between the tourism sector and the resources it depends upon...

The movement is driven by the recognition that the islands' natural and cultural resources are finite and that the traditional model of tourism, focused on continual growth and often leading to exploitation, is unsustainable. Instead, regenerative tourism in Hawai‘i encourages practices that regenerate and revitalize the cultural heritage, natural habitats, and community spirit.

Well known for its vibrant culture, natural beauty, and unique agricultural products, craft beer has the potential to be a significant contributor to the islands' regenerative tourism efforts. By integrating locally grown ingredients, while respecting the values of the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian people) and proper community involvement, local craft breweries can offer an authentic experience that supports environmental sustainability and cultural enrichment.

10 things for breweries to consider:

  • Native or Local Ingredients: Breweries can create beers using a mix of local and introduced/invasive ingredients such as passionfruit, coconut, or even coffee, highlighting the islands' unique flora and supporting local farmers.

  • Sustainable Brewing Processes: Implementing water-saving techniques, renewable energy, and waste reduction practices, breweries can minimize their environmental footprint, crucial in Hawai'i's delicate ecosystem.

  • Educating Visitors: Through brewery tours and tastings, guests can learn about traditional Hawaiian agriculture, local ingredients, and environmentally conscious brewing, fostering a greater appreciation for the culture and natural landscape.

  • Supporting Local Economy: By sourcing locally, craft breweries keep more funds within the state, bolstering smaller businesses, and agricultural workers who reflect the real Hawaiʻi.

  • Respect for Hawaiian Culture: Seek education and consultation before incorporating Native Hawaiian heritage into branding and storytelling for commercial purposes. With proper consideration, labels designed by native or local artists or names referencing places can share and celebrate the rich cultural tapestry with visitors.

  • Environmental Initiatives: Breweries can take part in or initiate local environmental projects, such as beach clean-ups, forest restoration, or protecting native species, aligning with the larger goals of regenerative tourism.

  • Community-Centric Spaces: Establishing breweries as community venues for local musicians, artists, and cultural practitioners to showcase their talents creates authentic encounters between tourists and residents.

  • Collaborative Partnerships: Partnering with local restaurants, tour operators, and accommodations to create craft beer experiences (like trails or food pairings) can encourage tourists to explore broader areas of the islands, reducing local congestion.

  • Responsible Consumption Education: Encouraging responsible drinking, understanding of alcohol limits, and respect for local customs and norms, breweries can contribute to the respectful atmosphere regenerative tourism promotes.

  • Investing in Local Workforce: Providing good working conditions, fair wages, and skill-building opportunities for local employees reflects the principles of regenerative tourism by ensuring the industry contributes positively to the lives of Hawaii residents and native people.

By actively contributing to Hawai'i's environmental preservation, celebrating and sustaining the cultural heritage, and supporting local communities and economies, craft beer can be a flavorful and enriching strand in the lei of Hawaiʻi's regenerative tourism tapestry.

Read more about Hawai‘i’s Regenerative Tourism Movement from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority at


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