• March 6, 2018

    Jason Patterson

    Like his crewmate Haunani Kane, Jason Patterson attended Kamehameha Schools. The spring semester prior to meeting Nainoa Thompson, Jason was taking the required Hawaiian culture course all freshman have to take and had the opportunity to watch the film The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific. “I remember watching this film thinking how cool it would be to be able to do something like that,” Jason tells us, “and how epic those guys were with what they were able to do, traversing the ocean the way they did. Never once did I think that I would be able to meet those individuals, much less be able to have an opportunity to do what they were doing.” Yet Jason did eventually meet Nainoa while still in high school, and under his mentorship, he was ready to depart on his first sail aboard Hōkūle‘a in 2006. It was a moment in time that changed Jason forever. “It wasnʻt until we were about to push off and I was going to sail in the wake of my ancestors for the first time, did I actually feel the change,” he explains. “It was an actual physical reaction to the transition between the life before Hōkūleʻa to the life with Hōkūleʻa. It was heavy, in the most positive way.”

    Every experience since that sail been related in one way or other to the canoe. Along with the invaluable life lessons Jason has learned from the canoe, he can also thank Hōkūle‘a for his current job at ʻŌiwi TV  -- a native Hawaiian television company co-founded by Hōkūle‘a crew member Nāʻālehu Anthony in 2008. When ʻŌiwi TV  first set out to document the Worldwide Voyage as a Hawaiian story filmed by a Hawaiian film crew from a Hawaiian perspective, Jason was there to help keep them safe on the canoe, find the best opportunities for shooting, and teach them how to be crew members. 

    He was a natural fit to be a documentarian himself. Learning on the job -- trial by fire, as he puts it -- Jason quickly acquired the skills necessary to document the events and emotions on board the canoe. “I owe most of my experience to Nāʻālehu Anthony,” Jason tells us. “He taught me how to frame a shot, use a camera, understand shutter speed etc. Prior to the voyage I knew nothing about cameras! It has given me a skill and a trade to use in the land world.”

    More than just camera skills, Jason has learnt that life on the canoe is not so different to life on land. Essentially, you face many of the same issues. “You are going to get along with people on the canoe who put the group or hui before themselves,” he explains, “And not get along with the people who have a more individualistic perspective.” When he gets asked what he finds hardest on the long sails, it’s this aspect of navigating the more self-centered personalities that challenges him most. Jason tells us, “As Nāʻālehu Anthony once said, “You can place crew members into 2 different groups. Those who put mana (spirit) into the canoe, or those who take mana from the canoe.” You never want to be on that side. Throughout your sails it’s very easy to see who is in which category.”

    For Jason, the voyage is one of self-discovery as much as it is one of literal exploration. He explains how over the course of three to four weeks at sea you see many different situations play out, and you see how people handle themselves when challenged. It’s also a great test of how you, yourself, will react to certain situations. “After your second day at sea everyone is exhausted and the energy required to put up any shield you have on is depleted,” he says. “Eventually you see the unfiltered version of someone. You hope that the version that you put out is as close to what you want to put out daily!”

  • March 6, 2018

    Kaleo Wong

    When you talk to Kaleo Wong, the passion he has for his Hawaiian culture is practically palpable. From his efforts to learn the Hawaiian language, to his work with Hōkūle‘a, he puts a youthful face on the Hawaiian Renaissance. Yet for Kaleo, it is in large part because of Hōkūle‘a that he has dedicated so much of his adult life to Hawaiian traditions and culture. Intrigued by the canoe and its voyages from a young age, Kaleo would follow Hōkūle‘a’s travels on an old computer screen. This was at a time when many Hawaiians were ashamed of their heritage and identity and there had been a push to assimilate more with mainland culture. Yet when Hōkūle‘a was successful in its initial voyage to Tahiti and back, it created a paradigm shift and made people realize that they were capable of so much more. “It made Hawaiians question what else can we do,” Kaleo explains. “We went from being ashamed of being Hawaiian to being very proud of it to the point that non-Hawaiians want to be Hawaiian! That’s what Hōkūle‘a means to me -- the reclamation of identity. We can and we did start to reclaim our identity,” he continues. “We started bringing back different cultural practices, including the revitalisation of our language.”

    Kaleo was one of the Hawaiians who committed to becoming fluent in Hawaiian. He is currently completing an MA in Hawaiian language at the University of Hawai‘i, and represents part of the 5% of Hawaiians who speak the language. He’s not the only one… On his last sail three out of the 12 crew members spoke Hawaiian -- testament to the changing times. But for Kaleo, the biggest challenge is not the language, but rather an internal one, of trusting in the knowledge passed down to him and that he won’t let his crew down. “At the beginning of the Worldwide Voyage, I had to accept the role that I was put into as a navigator and navigation student along with the heaviness of that position,” Kaleo tells us. “I’d been sailing a while, yet the biggest challenge was accepting that and believing I could do it. The more I have done the easier that has got... and I’m a lot more confident now as I’ve done a few legs as head navigator. Yet just today,” he continues, “Uncle Bruce told me that although he’s completed many voyages successfully, the hardest thing on any voyage is to leave the dock... To let the lines go and begin the voyage. Until you do that you will never be ready.”

    Today, Kaleo is conquering life both on and off the canoe. He currently works at the Ulupō Heiau State Historic Site -- a sacred site in Oʻahu -- where he helps host groups who come down to learn the stories of the site, how their ancestors used it, and how it ties back to the idea of community. For Kaleo, this concept of community offers many parallels to the early navigators. “The power of the navigator isn’t gained by what he does on the canoe,” Kaleo says, “But by how they navigate their community.”

    Kaleo is doing a good job of continuing this tradition in his own generation.


  • March 20, 2019

    Kumu Kahi

    Inspiration Stories of 4 Hawaiian Artists

    OluKai proudly partnered with Heath Newsstand in San Francisco to co-host the shop’s inaugural panel discussion event, titled Kumu Kahi. The evening brought four talented creative directors from Hawai‘i to the “City by the Bay” to share their stories of art, inspiration, and how their Hawaiian home has shaped their creative voices. Mark Kushimi (Contrast Magazine), Ara Feducia (Nella Media Group), Dean Song (MŌNO), and Matt Luttrell (trim Hawai‘i) spoke to a packed house with a multi-media presentation that took everyone through their personal stories of inspiration, motivation and design. Matt “Lutty” Luttrell went up first and gave the crowd his personal history, specifically how he fell head over heels for surfing and beach culture after seeing the movie “The Endless Summer”. This led Matt to not only move to Hawai‘i and devote his life to surfing, but to create a magazine devoted to surf history and the culture that surrounds it. Dean Song, the only speaker not directly connected to a specific magazine, shared his vision for design that has both function and beauty. Dean showed the crowd images of his shop on O‘ahu, as well as images and info about the small “design goods to improve your home office and lifestyle” that they carry, many of which are from Hawai‘i and Japan. Ara Feducia, creative director of NGM which publishes many titles including Flux Hawai‘i and Lei magazines, dropped some knowledge about the role of language and rhetoric in design in general and, more specifically, in her work. Walking through her portfolio, Ara showed amazing designs from her earliest works as a musician-designer knocking out music posters and flyers, to her current work leading the charge with the sophisticated and beautiful editorial designs for all of the NMG mags. Mark Kushimi, co-founder and creative director of Contrast magazine, was the only panelist whose work also includes being a full-time, professional photographer. With clients such as Monocle, Nella Media Group, and OluKai, Mark’s skills as a graphic designer are only matched by his skills as an image creator. With his belief that photos are meant “to be seen printed”, and shooting with film whenever he can, Mark’s imagery showed the room what his vision of Hawai‘i really is. It was a portfolio of images that show Hawai‘i through Mark’s eyes – times when the beaches are perfect with stunning blue water, but also when skies (and seas) are stormy and gray. Images of people exploring lesser known parts of the island, and others that show urban scenes that could easily be mistaken for New York or LA. All of them different, all of them beautiful, and all of them Hawai‘i. The standing-room-only crowd stuck around after to get some time with each of the presenters to dig a little deeper, share contact information, and to show gratitude to the artists for sharing their time and personal stories. It’s not a typically Hawaiian trait to stand in front of a crowd of people and say nice things about yourself. It can be uncomfortable and doesn’t always mesh well with humility. But Matt, Dean, Ara, and Mark came to San Francisco because they were asked, not to be honored for their skills or resumés, but to share stories of their home and the incredibly thoughtful and unbelievably beautiful work Hawai'i produces. The guests were inspired because of the speakers’ sincerity, their support for one another, and because of their declarations of love for their origins and how’s it shaped who they are, and what they do, today. Special thanks to Wendy Tsuji and Megan Sanguinetti for all of their hard work in putting on this truly inspiring event.

  • March 1, 2018

    Fruit Forward

    Shave ice has been around a long time—longer than you think. When Duke Kahanamoku took the gift of aloha and the sport of surfing around the world in 1912, shave ice was already being enjoyed by Japanese plantation workers, who brought the tradition of shaving ice to Hawai‘i’s plantations in the late nineteenth century. They enjoyed the cool, delectable treat on Sundays, the only day of the week they didn’t have to work in the fields. By the 1920s, shave ice gained popularity beyond the plantations and shave ice shops began popping up across the state. Today, it’s safe to say that while shave ice may only last five minutes in your bowl—eat it quick before it melts—enjoying shave ice is a timeless, 100 percent-Hawai‘i experience.

    Waiola Shave Ice on O‘ahu, Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice on Maui, Wilson’s By The Bay on the Big Island, and Wishing Well Shave Ice on Kaua‘i have found the secret ingredients that tap into the history, cultural diversity, and local flavors of the islands, while simultaneously serving up the best shave ice, aloha, and smiles.

    Wishing Well Shave Ice

    Wishing Well Shave Ice has deep roots in the quaint seaside hamlet of Hanalei. Seemingly protected from the ills of the world beyond Mount Wai‘ale‘ale, this iconic shave ice shop was founded by Auntie Diana in 1983. In 2015, two local professional surfers—Jesse Merle Jones and Aamion Goodwin—partnered up and bought the shave ice shop, vowing to honor Auntie Diana’s commitment to quality and her local legacy, “I have memories as a little kid getting shave ice from Auntie Diana,” Jones says. “She used to give us kids a gummy worm on top of our shave ice, something I’ll never forget.”

    Jones and Goodwin have built on Auntie Diana’s favorite recipes and created a new, fruit-forward menu. They serve organic flavors from seasonal local fruit, in addition to the standard list of flavors. They’ve also added some texture to shave ice via fresh fruit. Wishing Well has become a shave ice trendsetter, offering fresh fruit toppings on top of syrup-soaked pillows of shaved ice.Next time you’re in Hanalei, check out Wishing Well Shave Ice. Order up a shave ice with syrups made from fresh, ripe, in-season fruits and you’ll be able to taste why shave ice and Hawai‘i are a perfect match. “Shave ice is more than a treat; it’s an activity that’s filled with fun and delight for people all ages,” Jones says. “We have people that have been stopping here for 30 years. They have great memories eating shave ice and watching the waterfalls in Hanalei. Wishing Well brings people together by spreading aloha, and we are very grateful to be part of it.”

    Waiola Shave Ice

    Waiola Shave Ice can trace its heritage back to 1940 as a mom-and-pop market in the Mo‘ili‘ili neighborhood of Honolulu and was originally known simply as the Koide Store. At the time, numerous shave ice haunts could be found in this blue-collar Honolulu neighborhood. However, when the road was widened in the 1970s, many of the shops were forced to relocate or close. However, the owners of Koide Store, just a block away on Waiola Street, decided to try their hand at shave ice and began selling their now ultra-famous sweet dessert from an exterior window. Today, Waiola Shave Ice is one of the most famous shave ice shops on O‘ahu and has expanded to three locations across the island. It’s consistently ranked in local polls as one of the city’s favorites and has been featured in the Hawai‘i cop-show Hawai‘i 5-O, on the Travel Channel, and gets rave reviews from social media influencers from the most popular food blogs such as Eater, Serious Eats, BuzzFeed, and Bon Appétit. Even President Barak Obama visits Waiola Shave Ice when he’s on island.

     At Waiola, it’s all about flavor and all of their syrups are homemade and sweetened with sugar cane. Even the ice block is homemade. When you order your frosty treat at Waiola, you’ll find that they mold their shave ice into fluffy layers to create a smooth, creamy texture. You can always go with the classic flavors, like strawberry, vanilla, or banana, or expand your palette with local-style flavors, such as lychee, lilikoi, and mango. Don’t forget to top off your Waiola shave ice with decadent lilikoi cream. You can even pair your shave ice with li hing mui products, snacks, even a souvenir T-shirt.

    Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

    “Shave ice and Hawai‘i have been synonymous for as long as I can remember,” says David Yamashiro, co-owner of Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice on the Valley Isle. O‘ahu born Yamashiro and his wife Ululani—yes, the Ululani of Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice—moved to the Pacific Northwest after getting married and opened a shave ice business. The duo introduced Hawaiian-style shave ice and aloha to the region with great success. But a longing for family and the islands brought them home five years later, this time to Maui. The couple partnered with a long-time friend and opened Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice in a 65-square-foot shop on Front Street.

    Fast-forward 10 years and the Yamashiro’s now have six shave ice shops across Maui. What’s the secret to their success? “Our shave ice is a true gourmet product,” David explains. “We make our own ice and 100 percent of our syrups right here. We use ultra-purified water for our ice and syrups, pure cane sugar, and real fruits. Every flavor is bold and tastes exactly as it should.”

    David’s favorite flavors are lilikoi, calamansi, and coconut. He says that in addition to enjoying a smooth and delicious cold treat on a hot day, his local customers love their crack seed store, stocked full of li hing mui, wet lemon peel, li hing mango, and pickled mango. Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice has become an iconic Maui brand for good reason—extremely fine ice, bold syrups made with real fruit, and a heaping dose of “Alohatude.”

    “That’s aloha with gratitude,” David says. And when you serve that up with shave ice, nothing could be better.

    Wilson’s By The Bay

    Wilson’s By The Bay has everything a legitimate shave ice shop in Hawai‘i should have. They carry an array of homemade syrups—18 to be exact—and local add-ons like ice cream, li hing mui seeds, azuki beans, and sweet cream are routinely added to their delectable treats. They also carry snacks, candy, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and souvenirs as well. And they also hold the ultimate barometer for the best shave ice: a near constant line of customers snake out the door.

    Wilson’s By The Bay, a family owned and operated business, is located in historic downtown Hilo, just around the corner from Hilo’s famous bayside farmers’ market on the Big Island. Owner Leyson Sakai became the proprietor of Wilson’s By The Bay just two years after graduating from Hilo High. Since then, Wilson’s (as it’s known locally) has become a landmark for sweet treats and aloha vibes. “I enjoy doing it. It’s a lot of fun,” Sakai says. “When you get shave ice, the little kid in you just comes out.”

    Sakai has mastered the secrets of making the homemade syrups with fresh, local fruit and keeps the crack seed store filled with treats. She also has something that keeps locals and visitors coming back year after year, affordable prices and plenty of aloha.


    We hope you enjoy the tastes of our Shave Ice Collection!

  • February 18, 2018

    Like Water

    We're proud to announce the release of Like Water, a short film we produced in partnership with The Inertia that pays homage to the bravery of lifeguards in Hawaii. A recent reversal of Senate Bill 462 made Hawaiian lifeguards legally liable for many ocean-related hazards, and their courage deserves our attention.
    Starring Mark Healey, Brian Keaulana, Archie Kalepa, Mark Cunningham, Kamu Davis, Bryan Phillips, and many of the North Shore's elite watermen, Like Water brings awareness to the challenges lifeguards patrolling one of the world’s deadliest stretches of coastline face out of the water.
     "The lifeguards have been consistently attacked by the state," said big wave surfer and former Junior Guard Mark Healey. "Now, they’re liable. They go save somebody, and they go, 'No, I don’t think you saved me good enough, I’m going to sue you.' They’re personally liable."
     Considering the responsibility of keeping civilians safe on the North Shore is already a life-endangering proposition, we felt it was necessary to shine a spotlight on their role as a cornerstone of the community. As it turns out, it’s a big one.
     "Lifeguards in Hawaii are like professors in a college," said Hawaiian water safety expert Archie Kalepa. "They sit on that tower day in and day out. They see the tide change. They see the currents move. That comes from years of knowledge. For the normal person, they see the beauty.

    The lifeguards, they see the beast. Sometimes the beast is sleeping, but the beast is there, and they know that."

     "Everyone who walks on our beach, everyone who swims in our ocean becomes part of our family," said ocean safety pioneer Brian Keaulana. "We’re not divided by land. We’re connected by water."
    Blog written by The Inertia's Zach Weisberg
  • February 17, 2018

    Q&A with Da Rulk

    Elite Functional Training Specialist


    Q: Hi Rulk, thanks for joining us! Could you please share a bit about yourself, your upbringing, and your passions growing up?

    "I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology. I have always been fascinated with strength and conditioning. More specifically how our mind can push our body to exceed that which we believe we can do. I also gravitated toward biomechanics to learn how to deconstruct movement patterns and design efficient sequences to optimize performance. Many people would be fascinated with the 300lbs man that could lift 2000 lbs...where I would be more interested in the 90 year old woman that lifted a car off her trapped grandchildren.  I wanted to understand how that was people are able to accomplish remarkable feats when they don’t seem possible. Full commitment and conviction to purpose.   In Hawaii there is a saying...”If Can, Can. If No Can, Still Can.”  Always Can. This is my life mantra and something that I preach to my own sons and everyone that I work with."


    Q: You have a very unique, very practical approach to exercise. How did you get into training and how did you discover your focus?

    "I designed my own body weight training curriculum called Raw Functional Training or RFT®.  It focuses on our foundational movement patterns and a systematic approach of sequencing these movements together to enhance core stability, joint mobility and overall functional strength and conditioning. When training waterman, first responders or competitive athletes I also integrate the sensory system to help them learn to manage their nervous and adrenal systems."

    Q: You’ve had the honor of training some very honorable clients, can you name some of the individuals and groups you’ve worked with?

    "I have been blessed to work with many elite Olympic and professional athletes in a myriad of sports and genres.  I also have worked with elite military teams, SWAT, Fire, and Search and Rescue units.   I have specifically enjoyed working with many waterman including Big Wave Surf Champion Makua Rothman and members of the North Shore Life Guard Association."

    Q: You’ve had the opportunity to combine your training with the functionality designed into the ‘Eleu Trainer, can you tell us a bit about the trainer and how it worked for you?

    "I love the glove like feel of the ‘Eleu Trainer and it’s responsiveness regardless of the terrain I am training on.  I do a lot of my training outdoors and they allow my feet to feel both secure and comfortable when transitioning from ground work to running."

    Q: Getting a bit more personal, what do you love most about what you do?

    "I love helping people do more than they believe they can do.  Exceeding limitations that we all tend to place on ourselves.  Although I love working with my elite athletes and it is extremely rewarding training our military and first responders, every single person I have the pleasure of working with is a blessing and I am honored to navigate them on their journey.  There are no restrictions to my RFT® training curriculum.  Age, Gender, Level of Fitness, not matter.  The only two things that are required to succeed are focus and effort...and we control both of those things.  My mission is to show everyone that they are unstoppable if they can commit to purpose."

    Q: Lastly, we like to end our Q&A’s by asking our friends of the brand what your 3 favorite OluKai’s are. Other than the trainer what do you like to wear?

    "I like to wear the Kia'i IIKipi, and Kohala Boots"


    Thank you to Da Rulk! Check out his training tactics on his Instagram @da_rulk

  • February 10, 2018

    Introducing Kamea Hadar - Muralist

    Hawai’i has a small town feel. If you went to high school with someone, there’s a chance you’ll be crossing paths later on in life. It’s no surprise then, that two local artists from the same Oahu high school ended up coming back together later in life to create Pow! Wow! — the global street art festival with its roots in Hawai’i.

    Back in 2011, Kamea Hadar and Jasper Wong set out to create a collaborative art event in Hawai’i. They wanted to put their island on the map for art, and create a setting where talented Hawaiian artists no longer needed to leave for bigger cities to pursue their career. By inviting artists from across the world to come and paint murals for a week in Oahu, they were —unknowingly — laying the building blocks for a global art festival that would eventually reach countries across the world, from Taiwan to Israel, and Japan to mainland US. Yet back in its early days, it was a self-funded, grassroots event, where the biggest challenges were finding walls that could be painted and accomodation for the incoming artists.

    Photo by: Jonas Maon @jonasmaon
    Photo by: Jonas Maon @jonasmaon

    In fact, it was this need for a roof over the artists’ heads that led to Kamea becoming an intrinsic part of Pow! Wow!. “Daniel Ito called me out of the blue one day and asked if I remembered Jasper from high school,” Kamea tells us. “He told me he wanted to do this art event in Hawai’i but needed a house for the artists. My dad is a contractor (and an artist) and had literally just finished building a big house on our property on the North Shore that he was intending to use for artistic retreats. It was one of those meant-to-be moments!” For the next four years the artists of Pow! Wow! would crash at Kamea’s house, creating a family vibe that seems to have continued through the Pow! Wow! events, even if today the artists stay in hotels.

    Kamea’s own artwork has grown as the event itself blooms into an international art phenomenon. During the 2013 Pow! Wow! he painted his first large scale mural — an image of his wife’s face — that he considers the true starting point of his mural career. Ironically, it almost didn’t happen. He was offered the wall on the Thursday and was exhausted from his work putting the event together and considered turning down the opportunity.  But with the help of fellow artist and good friend Rone, he worked for two days straight and created what he now classes as his all time favorite mural. If you are lucky enough to walk through the streets of Kakaako, you will still see this mural today.

    The event has taken Kamea far and wide, and even back to his family roots in Israel in 2017 where he organized a smaller scale event reminiscent of Pow! Wow!’s earlier days. Yet nothing beats Hawai’i. “I grew up here,” he explains. “ I love everything about Hawaii! I love exposing outsiders to its beautiful places and people. I really care about the place and I want to better the art scene here. When I grew up I was told I could either be an artist or live in Hawaii - not both. I want to change that.

    The 808 Urban and POW! WOW! Hawaii School of Art mural (2013)

    It would seem he is well on his way to achieving that goal. This year’s Pow! Wow! is once again attracting super talented, well-known artists from across the world, including Daniel Arsham and Tokidoki co-founder Simone Legno. Yet no matter how large and impressive the event becomes, it will always stay true to its founding principles: Process is just as important as the finished product, and Collaboration.

  • February 3, 2018

    Dan Ito's Guide to Pau Hana

    Blog by Daniel Ito - Photos by Austin Kino


    What they call “Happy Hour” on the mainland, we call “Pau Hana” in Hawai‘i. “Pau” means “done” and “hana” means “work” in the Hawaiian language. So when Iʻm done with the 9 to 5 that means itʻs time to have a beverage. My day job as the digital media director at Hawaii Business magazine has me stationed in the epicenter of Hawai‘iʻs business community, Downtown Honolulu. So when it’s Aloha Friday my “Pau Hana” starts at downtown’s classiest bar: Bar Leather Apron.

    Bar Leather Apron

    Address: 745 Fort Street Mall Suite #127 Honolulu, HI 96813


    There is something magical about a great, handcrafted cocktail. When done properly the alchemy of premium alcohol and ingredients make an intoxicating concoction. Combine this with an enchanting atmosphere of muted-lighting, exotic wood furniture and intimate seating for only 25-30 people, and you have the magic of Bar Leather Apron.

    The magicians behind this craft cocktail destination in downtown Honolulu are Justin Park and Tom Park. Despite having the same last name they are not related, but both bring the experiences of their travels around the world and a mutual desire to make Bar Leather Apron a world-class and unique experience. The first cocktail I usually order is their signature drink, the BLA Ol Fashion. Itʻs still the best Ol Fashion Iʻve ever had!

    The handcrafted cocktails at Bar Leather Apron are delicious and strong so I usually downshift to beer because a good Pau Hana is a marathon and not a 40-yard dash. I like to head to Kaka‘ako, which historically has a great craft beer scene. One of my favorite watering holes in this zone is Village Bottle Shop and Tasting Room, affectionately known as Village Beer to the locals.


    Village Bottle Shop and Tasting Room

    Address: 675 Auahi Street Honolulu, HI 96813



    This is Honolulu’s first bottle shop and tasting room, and features over 500 carefully curated beers. I’ll usually ask Village Beer co-founder and fellow journalist, Timothy Golden, what is the latest local brew on tap, and order a pint of that to start. I also like to get one of their tasty pot pies, which are similar to Aussie meat pies, as a pūpū with my beer. Golden writes the “On Tap In Hawai‘i” column in the Honolulu Star Advertiser and is good surfer as well. I covered surfing for the newspaper for years so I really enjoy talking story from one journalist to another about beers and barrels with him.

    Perhaps, one of the best parts of Village Beer is its close proximity to Pow! Wow! Headquarters, Lana Lane Studios. This gives me a chance to twist the arm of artist Kamea Hadar to leave his studio and have a pint with me. Since we’re both fathers of young children we talk extensively about how to balance career with fatherhood while keeping our wives happy, and a nice glass of craft beer helps the conversation flow. Moral of the story: it takes a “Village Beer” to raise a child and keep friends in touch.


    Maui Brewing Co. Waikīkī

    Address: 2300 Kalākaua Avenue Honolulu, HI 96816 (Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber) Website:

    Currently, my all-time favorite beer is Maui Brewing Co.’s Bikini Blonde so when Kamea has to get home to his daughter I call a Lyft and head to the Maui Brewing Co. Waikīkī. I look up to the way Maui Brewing Co. designed their business to be environmentally sustainable and how they’ve championed Hawai‘i nationally and internationally.

    I’ve been fortunate to make friends with their owner Garret Marrero, who was named the 2017 National Small Business Person of the Year by the Small Business Administration with his wife Melanie. If you’re ever on Maui I highly suggest taking the tour of the Maui Brewing Co. brewery because if you’re a craft beer lover like me then that is your chance to be “Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.” But, when I’m in Waikīkī I’ll always try to make it a point to stop in Maui Brewing Co. to get a pūpū (I suggest the nachos) and order a flight of beers.

    I order the flight to find the Maui Brewing Co. beer that I want to take home in a crowler. Maui Brewing Co. Waikīkī Brewpub is the only place I know on O‘ahu where you can get a 32 oz. crowler made to order. Since, I usually have a sixer of Bikini Blonde stocked in my fridge so I’ll usually cop a beer that isn’t sold in stores. This Pau Hana has me going home with their tasty POG IPA.

    Okay, so I’ve got a good buzz going and I haven’t received a “where you stay, babe?” text from my wife yet so it’s time to squeeze in a night cap on the way home. I live in Kaimukī –which is 10 minutes away from Waikīkī– and we lovingly call our neighborhood “The Shire.” One of the best places to get a cool cocktail and a locally- sourced bite to eat is Mud Hen Water.


    Mud Hen Water

    Address: 3452 Wai‘alae Avenue Honolulu, HI 96816


    Chefs Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero curate an amazing menu of locally-sourced food at Mud Hen Water, but by the fourth quarter of this Pau Hana I’m looking for something greasy and tasty. To go with the spicy Vishnu’s Vice cocktail in my hand I order the Preserved Akule (big eye scad) that is served with organic pickled vegetables, soda crackers and butter infused with limu (seaweed). Couple that deliciously fishy pūpū with the beet poke (beets, avocado, gorilla ogo and smoked macadamia nuts), and it’s an amazing way to cap the night without bogging yourself down with greasy processed food.

    My friend and Hawai‘i Business magazine colleague, Jeff Hawe, lives down the street from Mud Hen Water so I hit him up to join me for the ending of this Aloha Friday Pau Hana. Although this is the start to our weekend, we can’t help but to talk about our jobs and other passion projects we plan to tackle on Saturday. When you’re a creative in Hawai‘i even though you’re “done with work” you’re still always working – even when you’re drinking.


  • January 27, 2018

    Introducing Wooden Wave

    Walk through the streets of Kakaako in Honolulu, and you’ll find yourself in one of the world’s most inspiring, unofficial, outdoor art galleries. Home to Pow! Wow! — the global street art festival that attracts artists from all corners of the world — the murals that are created live on long after the event, providing pedestrians and passers-by with a constant injection of art in their lives. Keep walking, and eventually you will stumble upon Lana Lane, a warehouse building that is home to a collective of creatives, from lettering artists and oil painters, to videographers and graphic designers. It’s also where you’ll find Matthew and Roxanne Ortiz , a husband and wife team who make up Wooden Wave.

    With a background in fine art, you’ll find pieces from Wooden Wave as far afield as galleries in Washington D.C., but it’s their signature treehouse designs that are synonymous with their name. They use nature as their guide, add in a dose of the fantastical (inspired by a love of Peter Pan and the movie Hook) and build sustainable elements into the designs. The resulting artwork brings out the child in all of us, both young and old.

    Recently, they took one of their projects directly to children, in the Sunset Beach Elementary School. With hands-on help from the 400 students in the school, Wooden Wave recently painted two murals; a mauka-themed wall that depicts a sustainable treehouse landscape, and a makai-themed wall with a sustainable ocean dwelling. The ocean dwelling carries a theme of `ahupua`a—the traditional land and ocean tenure system of Hawaii.  The goal is to help local children understand their environment, and the plants and animals that they live amongst. The result is a mural that inspires, educates, and triggers a sense of community for the school. No Wooden Wave treehouse is complete without its sustainable elements, however, so you will find rain catchment systems and green roofs alongside the more playful skate ramps and tire swings.

    In fact, whether they are painting neighborhood walls at Pow! Wow! — (this year they will be collaborating with Lana Lane Studio-mate Gavin Murai, who is a letterer and graphic designer on a wall on Cooke Street) —penning fine art drawings for galleries, or creating fantastical murals for school yards, sustainability is the common thread through all of Wooden Wave’s work. Growing up in the resource-challenged island of Hawai’i’, they understand the importance of considering the environment and its long term health in everything you do, and they try to incorporate these ideas into their art in a fun way. If it manages to inspire even a handful of the island’s future architects, policy makers, and engineers, then as far as they are concerned, it’s mission accomplished!

  • January 19, 2018

    Meet Austin Kino - Ocean Voyager

    Austin Kino is a native Hawaiian with one foot in the past and the other in the future. Aware that some of Hawai’i’s culture and traditions are at risk of being lost forever, he has endeavored to bridge the gap between old and new, playing the part of both student and storyteller.

    It all started when he was invited to become part of the crew on the Hōkūleʻa in 2006, an iconic voyaging canoe whose journeys have revived the 2000 year old legacy of exploration, courage, and ingenuity that brought the first Polynesians to Hawai’i. Austin was chosen as one of a small group of young students  — the Kapu Na Keiki(meaning Keep the Children Sacred) — who would learn the ancient skill of celestial navigation. His love of the ocean and life spent surfing and paddling made him the perfect fit.

    Over the next 10 years, Austin’s life was spent in large part as crew member and apprentice navigator on the Hōkūleʻa. All the while, he never forgot a thought passed on to him by Master Navigator, Nainoa Thompson, that, “If you don’t have a vision for your future, someone else is going to impress their vision on you.” So, with a newfound knowledge and understanding of the ocean and Hawai’i’s navigational history, Austin pursued his own vision of sharing the past with the current generation. He founded Holokino — a traditional Hawaiian canoe adventure tour on O‘ahu’s south shore — where locals and tourists alike can experience first hand the ingenuity of Polynesian wave finding. His hope is that Hawai’i will continue to be known for its legacy of great ocean explorers.

    It seems to be working. Austin was recently named as one of the 20 people who will positively impact Hawai’i for the next 20 years. We’re guessing his impact will go way beyond that!

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