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Good Beer Hunting

May 20, 2023

Beer has never been “just beer.” It can divide as well as it can unite. Some efforts to use beer as a force for good have resulted in initiatives that call for an end to sexual violence, raise money for lifesaving medical research, and even promote literacy. 

Among those leading the charge to use beer as a force for good are the duo behind Hana Koa Brewing Company in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Head brewer Josh Kopp and director of operations Chrissie Pinney launched Hana Koa in 2019, and from day one, focused on goals of sustainability, community building, and social good. Their most ambitious initiative, called Shine a Light, supports survivors of sexual assault and seeks proactive change to prevent sexual violence from occuring in the future. In this episode, you’ll hear from Chrissie and Josh as they outline the brewery’s origins, their own backstories, and how their upbringings led them to want to do good wherever they can, using the brewery as a conduit to make the world a better place.

In the conversation you’re about to hear, we do discuss things like rape, assault, and other potentially triggering topics, so please use caution when listening. But you’ll also hear how the pair balances a responsibility to their community with self-care and where they manage to find joy, even when carrying heavy burdens of trauma and struggle. Chrissie says beer is much more than a beverage, and I tend to agree with her.