Hawaii Beverage Guide is an independent monthly trade publication devoted to the beer, wine and liquor industry in the entire state of Hawaii.
Every so often a brand, regardless of how old, needs updating. Sometimes it’s because of change in visual design. More often, it’s a change in culture. As Hawaii Beverage Guide moves into its 69th year of business, it looks to remain current and provide readers with relevant information in an ever changing marketplace.
In 2018 Hawaii Beverage Guide’s logo has undergone a transformation. It pays homage to logos of the past, while being current in design. Interestingly, today’s design trends are a throwback to yesteryear. The word Hawaii, was hand lettered. The color, a blue gradient pays homage to the transition between the sky and the ocean of Hawaii, which is also part of the view out the window of the magazine’s Ala Moana Office. Aqua Vitae, or water of life is also fitting to describe this. The “Beverage Guide” is in font ITC Kabel Bold to give a clean feel to contrast the more complex “Hawaii”. Finally the usage of the islands are done in homage of the original 1949 Hawaii Beverage Logo.
70th Anniversary Publisher’s Letter
Changes to the original letter are in Red
As Hawaii Beverage Guide moves into its 70th year many things have changed, yet many things remain the same. The following is an updated version of the very first Publisher’s Letter by Mrs. Esther Smith. To you members of the Beverage Industry: This is the first 840th issue or the HAWAII BEVERAGE GUIDE - we hope you will read it carefully and keep it handy tor every day reference. For years the trade hasalwaysneededfor a publication of this sort; licensees were not only inconvenienced by not having such a book, but actually lost sales because it did not exist. Every dispenser and retailer knows the difficulty they've had maintaining an up-to-date price list from all suppliers; how impossible it was to find out where to purchase those hard-to-get brands. This 840th issue, and succeeding ones, of the HAWAII BEVERAGE GUIDE should help you. For the retailer and dispenser it means a quick answer to many questions -- "Who carries the brand?" We feel the HAWAII BEVERAGE GUIDE will become a very necessary part of your business just as similar publications are in every part of the Mainland. Only through the willing cooperation and assistance or the manufacturers and wholesalers was it possible to make this first issue as complete as it is. We regret that because of time and circumstances there have been a few items omitted but trust the next, and each succeeding issue, will be as complete as you would like to have it. We invite your suggestions as to how the HAWAII BEVERAGE GUIDE may be improved to better serve and assist you. Just drop us a line. It will be appreciated. This 840th issue gives me the opportunity to thank all of you who have been so generous with your assistance and cooperation, for without it this, your guide, would not have been possible. We sincerely hope that each succeeding issue will be of even greater help to our industry. Again, may I say Thank You!
Esther Smith Publisher
Christopher Teves Publisher
Mahalo for your support of Hawaii Beverage Guide!
In 1949 a 757ml bottle of Hennessy V.S.O.P Cognac had a suggested retail price of $10.25 and a 24 x 11 oz bottles of Primo were $3.05 with a Suggested Retail price of $0.25 per bottle. It wasn’t until August of 1958 that Primo became the first American Brewery to package beer in aluminum cans. All the while Hawaii Beverage Guide’s three editors founder Mrs. Esther A Smith (O’Toole) (1949 to 1985), Campbell Mansfield (1987 to April of 2005) and current publisher Christopher Teves have helped guide the industry.
As Hawaii Beverage Guide moves into the 70th year and into another decade, the publication is reimagining Mrs. Esther Smith’s goal of helping the hospitality industry make efficient purchasing decisions. Assisting with this project, has been Your Dapper Consulting, a Hawaii based, food, beverage and design focused firm. In this reimagination, two shortcomings of the program became apparent. The first is the lack of a digital presence including a website with an easily searchable digital brand index. The second is a lack of focus on Hawaii’s beverage producers including the growing beer and spirits producers as well as the inclusion of other local non-alcoholic beverage producers. Over the past year, these changes have been slowly occurring and include updates to the website and new columns of Hawaii Aina Brewing and Hawaii Aina Distilling which focus on Hawaii’s producers.
To introduce myself, my name is Brent Nakano and I am the managing partner of Your Dapper Consulting and the new editor of Hawaii Beverage Guide. My journey through culinary writing started in high school when I assisted my grandmother, Helen Nakano, with the cookbook section of the Hawaii Book Publishers Association Ka Palapala Pookela Award winning book by the Japanese Women’s Society’s, Kokoro, Cherished Japanese Traditions in Hawaii Culture. This involved typing up recipes for her in Microsoft Word and accompanying her to “research” dinners at some of Hawaii’s top Japanese restaurants to taste test recipes which were included in the book. My grandmother’s love for restaurants and elevated dining was passed on to me, through this and similar dining experiences. However, my personal understanding of how to create flavors evolved in college as elevated dining experiences were limited to making them myself due to a lack of funds. For guidance, I cooked through parts of Alan Wong’s New Wave Luau in my fraternity house kitchen in Greencastle, Indiana and utilized FoodNetwork.com. My college beverage understanding was shaped by beers including my staple Leinenkugel's, the occasional Goose Island due to lack of availability as they were still independent, and still one of my favorite beers, the Duck Rabbit Milk Stout. I learned cocktails through trial and error batches for house parties and included two ingredient vodka drinks using Jumex mango, guava and strawberry--banana juices and an apple martini variation consisting of a vodka base, apple martin mix, lemon lime soda to stretch, ice cream and a dash of cinnamon to create an apple pie ala mode.
It wasn’t until returning home after graduation, and learning the magic of muddling and bar fresh concepts that opened my eyes to the craft of the cocktail. This all stemmed from one experience: Christian Self’s Strawberry Fields cocktail. The realization that fresh fruits and herbs could be utilized to make drinks instantaneously unlocked flavor combinations that were obtainable simply though muddling. Prohibition Nights at thirtyninehotel in Chinatown further drew me into my craft cocktail kick. This event involved a guest bartending gig on Thursdays by the OG Hawaii craft bartenders including: Tim Rita Jr, Chandra Lam (now Lucariello), and Danny Lucariello, Kyle Reutner, Jonathan Schwalbenitz, Titus Nakagawa, Jennifer Buxbaum, Joey Gottesman, Dave Newman, Dave Power and Justin Park. It also helped provide the catalyst for Hawaii’s Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild. I then brought into operations side of the cocktail scene by Tim Rita Jr, who at the time was Chapter President. I assisted him with organizational structure and started my first writing gig, a column on behalf of USBG Hawaii in Hawaii Beverage Guide. Through the organization, I have also competed in cocktail competitions and learned from a multitude of visiting brand ambassadors. I also did communications consulting work for Hawaii Cocktail Week.
As professionally I’ve worked in finance and run a traditional consulting firm, my perspective for this magazine will always be about long run profitability for your business. However, I do understand the craft of the cocktail and view creativity and culinary artistry as being an essential part of the business as it is something that guests will pay a premium for, and something that helps differentiate one place from another. As a business consultant, however, this does not mean needing to use the most expensive ingredients but rather using the ingredients that provide the most value at the price point. Hawaii Beverage Guide’s editorial goal will be to help identify these products, through our in-house research which focuses on understanding how a product is made, and the decisions behind the production process. This, we believe, is lacking in the beverage writing industry nationally, yet tells everything about a product’s quality and value.
To achieve these goals, we are actively seeking to have more industry involvement and are open to feedback including editorial suggestions. As possibly, we can help do some of your product research for you. In business I believe in the Public Transportation model. That is, if you’re going pretty much to the same place as someone else, then share resources until you have to get off the bus and find your own way to the final destination. Hope to see you on the bus!