This is the coaster that’s served with the new Primo Beer
It’s back! Yes, Primo Beer is back on the market, complete with that familiar Hawaiian Warrior logo, although with an all-new recipe.
Primo Beer has a long history in Hawaii, dating back to 1898 when Honolulu Brewing and Malting Co. started it. Then going through several owners throughout the century through sales acquistions, including Schlitz and Stroh’s Brewing Company, who finally capped off production in 1997.
In 1999 Pabst Brewing Company acquired Stroh’s, who owned the Primo label. Now fast-forward to 2007-’08, we have the return of this household Hawaii brand.
What’s interesting is that Pabst has sub-contracted Keoki Brewing Company in Lihue, Kauai to produce Primo’s draft and bottled products for the islands. Which is nice, as it gives them the right to say “Made in Hawaii”. Always a good thing!
Well speaking of Warriors, I got to sample a draft pint of the newly-formulated Primo beer over at The Shack Hawaii Kai this past New Year’s day while watching the UH Warriors Sugar Bowl smackdown.
So how is it? Well it’s labeled as a “premium lager”, so I was already expecting quite some character to it. On the first sip, it hit me as being a little dry and bitter, but it smoothed out after becoming acclimated to my palate. It reminded me of a lighter version of Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Lager, if that’s any help to you. Certainly nothing like, say, Heineken. I’d say this new Primo is more for the enthusiast, but not so sure if the masses will accept it. Having that slight bitterness, the wahines especially may shy away from it. You know how they like their sweet stuff. At least the ones that I know.
Primo claims it’s made with raw Hawaii’an Cane Sugar (where can you get THAT nowadays?), but I didn’t taste anything “sweet” about it. Or this could be part of the fermentation process, and not intended as a flavor element in the finished brew. Also, being from the tap, the draft version may not reveal all those little nuances that the bottled version might. I’d like to try the bottled version to see if this is so.
The draft certainly packed more alcohol punch than most domestics, as I was “feeling” it even on the that first pint, which I started with for the game (we had a designated driver, of course!).
You’ll have to try it for yourself and compare it side-by-side with one of your favorite beers.
Perhaps with that familiar brand name and logo, smart, aggressive advertising, and acclimation by the people to the new brew’s taste, the new Primo Beer will find success.
Underside of the coaster that’s served with the new Primo Beer
Post Edit – 6/21/08: I did a follow-up taste test of the new Primo Beer, including the bottled version here:
Re: Primo Beer Returns to the Islands
Post Edit – 2/09: Sited parked in front of a hotel in Waikiki this past weekend, Da’ Primo Beer promotional VW Van!…