Hana Koa Brewing Co.

The Hana Koa Brewing Co. project re-purposed an existing 10,000 SF high-volume warehouse building with an existing concrete mezzanine level into a fully functioning production brewery, restaurant and bar.

The condition of the existing dilapidated warehouse structure and multi-faceted design presented a complex challenge. Preliminary Space Planning & Design treated each facet as a project within itself. The design needs and solutions for the existing structure repairs, kitchen, brewery, bar, dining, retail and support areas each needed to be examined individually and evaluated and re-evaluated against the needs of other design facets. Often, the individual space, utilities, clearances and flow needs conflicted with other facets requiring several rounds to arrive at the best layout solution.

Concept Design for the space commenced by taking cues from the Client’s marketing effort and expressing their message architecturally. 

The literal translation of Hana Koa is strong worker, wood worker or work warrior. We also took into consideration Kakaako’s history of working culture and being known as an industrial district of factories, warehouses and mechanic shops. 

We maintained the connection to this demographic by preserving and celebrating the industrial and rough nature of certain existing components into the design; in order to provide a layer of comfort and familiarity.

“A journey in every pint. At Hana Koa Brewing, we’ve got a thirst for adventure.”

The design philosophy played off these two key words, Journey & Adventure and used them as architectural guidelines throughout the design process.

  • Adventure – explorative and endless, search and discovery, the unknown.

  • Journey – implied motion or movement, meandering pathways and discovery.


“Adventure is the reason and the journey is the experience.”


Each space was given a distinct look and intentional peek-a-boo views were designed to pique visual interest within the main space. Surprise spaces were also tucked away only to be discovered if you move through the space. The meandering suspended bubble light pathway ties the spaces together and leads customers along their journey.

Project Complexities:

  • Mezzanine: the existing concrete Mezzanine is above the allowable ADA 14’-0” height limit for an ADA passenger lift. This required a sloped walkway to be designed into the Mezzanine back of house area.

  • Brewery: roof trusses were modified to scissor trusses in order to provide vertical clearance so the tall brewery tanks could be maneuvered into position.

  • Street Ownership: During the Permit Approval process, a lawsuit was in progress between the City and private Party claiming ownership of Kawaiahao Street. This made any approval for work (driveway aprons, utility connections, etc.) in the right-of-way challenging as we struggled to get permission to perform work and secure approvals required by the Administrative process.

  • Sewer and Storm Drain: It was discovered that the sewer and storm drain had not been maintained for several years and desperately needed attention particularly to handle the increase in demand for utilities. Like above, approvals and delays added to the construction challenges.

CLIENT: Hana Koa Brewing Co.

LOCATION: Honolulu, Oahu



STATUS: Complete



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