KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Ola Brew, a Hawaii-based employee and community-owned brewery, continues to expand their operations and distribution reach as they near completion of their fourth equity crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $1.07M to innovate new products, distribute in new regions and build a new taproom.
Ola Brew has become a household name to Hawaii residents, known for its innovative and locally grown and made beers, ciders and hard seltzers. As they continue expanding their production facility, and launching new products in new regions (all driven by consumer demand,) the brewery is also set to open a new taproom in Hawaii in January 2021. With a founding mission to grow Hawaii’s agricultural economy this team of entrepreneurs, led by Brett Jacobson and Naehalani Breeland, continues to grow Hawaii’s beyond beer palate by sourcing locally grown ingredients and incorporating them into their brews.
Growth – From 4,000 to 40,000 Barrels in just two and a half years!
Since opening its doors in December 2017, Ola Brew has grown rapidly, launching traditional beers and innovating in the exciting beyond-beer categories like ciders, hard seltzers and more. Beginning their brew-story with a capacity to produce 4000 barrels per year, the Island’s appetite for Ola Brews expedited growth plans by tenfold to their current 40,000 barrels a year facility in just thirty-six months. Partnering with Hawaii’s largest beer distributor, Paradise Beverage of Topa Beverage, in early 2018 allowed them a wide reach for distribution, landing large box accounts such as Costco, Whole Foods, Safeway, Target,Walmart, and local chains and independent stores as well.
Ola Brew amplified their visibility when they launched the first Hawaii-made hard seltzer in August of2019, tripling their packaged sales as well as their produce purchases from local farmers almost overnight. Mainland store buyers took notice of the astounding sales in their Hawaii accounts, and encouraged the island brewery to quickly acquire Southern California distribution. And so Ola made its mainland debut in July 2020, launching their hard seltzers exclusively in 47 Whole Foods stores. With a successful mainland debut, Ola Brew is actively expanding to new regions along the west coast to share more island flavor with eager consumers.
New Taproom Location to Open January 2021
While Ola Brew’s current taproom is the face of their production brewery and canning facility, they have just begun renovations for a second taproom, with plans to open to the public in January 2021. “We strategically chose our new taproom location for a couple reasons,” says Brett Jacobson, CEO andCo-Founder of Ola Brew. “Not only is it an underserved market with people eager for something new and exciting, it is also three times-population of our current brewery location.”
Since its inception, Ola Brew has been entirely community-focused in its operations, and community-owned in its funding. The Hawaii Island brewery opened their fourth crowdfunding raise in September 2020 on Start Engine. While its first three rounds were promoted mainly within the localHawaii community the latest round has opened up nationally and raised over $830,000 to date, welcoming in over 825 new investors to the group. To-date, Ola Brew has raised $1.7M across four equity rounds and 1,450 individual investors.
“It is so much more satisfying to build a brand for our community of beer, cider and hard seltzer lovers that see the ethical value in our business model” says president and co-founder Naehalani Breeland.“These values mirroring community empowerment and regenerative agriculture are so deeply rooted in the DNA of Ola Brew that when consumers purchase our products, or shareholders invest in our company, they are truly voting with their dollar to create more sustainable, environmentally conscious opportunities for one another.”
As the brewery continues to expand to new regions and with additional product offerings, they will continue to welcome new investors to join in on the opportunity along the way.
Ola Brew is a force in the beyond beer space with traditional beers, ciders, and hard seltzers in Hawaii and most recently in Southern CA. Ola Brew understands the value of a reciprocal partnership between a business and their surrounding community with its core mission to support local farms while being community funded and employee owned. The brewery has a growing number of over 1500 shareholders, raising $5.7M for the project to date. In line with their mission, to build Hawaii’s agricultural economy, Ola Brew has purchased over $650,000 in Hawaii grown produce, botanicals and livestock for their beverages and taproom menu.