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Hana Hou: Primo Beer Returns to the Islands

Primo Beer Island Lager 6-pack bottles, $8.99 (sale price) at Foodland in Aina Haina

Back in January of this year, I wrote about the return of Primo Beer to the Hawaii market. But what I think was a blunder is that either the bartender or server at The Shack Hawaii Kai screwed my order up (very rare to happen there) and brought us something else on tap in that draft pitcher.

Reason I say this, is that recently I returned to The Shack and ordered Primo on tap again to retry and received this…

And this second time around was WAY BETTER and far different than that first time try in back in January. This one was much “fruitier”, with a smooth bite, neutral finish, while being slightly sweet, zesty and fragrant. Nice, nice, nice. It tastes more like a hand-crafted microbrew than a mass-produced product.

So recently while in Foodland Aina Haina, I noticed they (finally) brought in 6-pack bottles of Primo, which were on “sale” for $8.99/pack (regular 11.99.. ouch!), which puts it a few bucks more (sale price) than green-bottled European brews.

This is also the only size available in stores, as there are no “cold packs” (12 bottles) or cases. That is, unless you ask the clerk for a case from the stock room.

Thankfully, upon tasting this bottled version, it tasted exactly like that >second< draft pitcher I had from the shack, and looked the same in color, sans the “head”…

Notice I poured it into a collectible “Triple 777” glass I got from my recent trip to Vegas at the microbrew restaurant in Main Street Station Hotel & Casino where we stayed. This is fitting, as if you stay there, all you see is locals who will likely know what Primo Beer is. lol

Along with the great new recipe (I really like it!), another appealing selling point is the cool label and classic logo they retained on the brown bottle…

That is one cool beer label! And if that ain’t cool enough for you, check out the cap!…

I’d like to see one of these added on to Zack (Ozzy Osbourne) Wylde’s Les Paul!…

And you don’t think I’d have a Primo beer without pupus, do you?…

Smoked Tako…

Dry Ika…

Smoked Ika (squid rings)…

From Tamura’s Market…

So next time you’re in the supermarket, swing by the liquor department and see if they have the new Primo Beer 6-pack bottles in stock. If get, pick one up and give it a shot, then let us know what YOU think!

And if you’re on the mainland or elsewhere around the world asking how to get this beer, my only answer is to come to Hawaii. Apparently the production (it’s brewed and bottled in California, so go figure) is currently limited and available to our market only. Hey, think of it as a good excuse to take a Hawaii vacation!

Post Edit – 2/09: Sited parked in front of a hotel in Waikiki this past weekend, Da’ Primo Beer promotional VW Van!…


7 thoughts on “Hana Hou: Primo Beer Returns to the Islands

  • June 22, 2008 at 2:34 am

    I’m coming to Oahu this August. A six pack is going to be one of the first things I buy at Foodland!

  • June 22, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Can’t wait to try when I visit at the end of August. Unless you drink it all!

  • June 23, 2008 at 3:06 am

    I’m so glad they kept the logo and I love the blue label! I still remember the old Primo commercials and how they ended with someone yelling, “Chance ’em!”

  • August 31, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Recently I went to dinner at Back to Lahaina Restaurant in Manhattan Beach. I went on night that they were having a beer tasting event. I asked the server what beers they were featuring and she said they had several beers from the Kona Brewing Company and Primo. I was really surprised that Primo was making a comeback. I had a bottle of Primo and was very satisfied with the taste that I ended up buying a 12 pack of Primo Beer to take home with me. Okole maluna!

  • August 31, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Paul, glad to hear you liked it.

    Over here on Oahu, Costco so far is the cheapest, selling a case for $26.50. Most supermarkets have them on “sale” for $8 to $9 per SIX-PACK.

    My favorite of the Kona Brews (on tap) is their “Castaway” Pale Ale. Good stuff. Next time you come to Honolulu, check out their Hawaii Kai pub. Nice place on the marina waterfront, and they offer a “sampler” beer set for a good price.

    Okole Maluna!

  • November 28, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    I remember drinking it back in the 60’s and 70’s. Is there anyone out there, who knows if appearel Hawaiian Shirt Companies are still making/selling those Primo Beer shirts?

    If so, please email me the company’s name so I can have one of my friends in Honolulu buy a few for me. I live in California.


    Billy Lee

  • March 18, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Hawiian Island Creations (HIC) c lothing co. carries “Primo” styles from time to time.
    Look up their website & check them out.
    Also, any stores that carry the HIC label might have current Primo styles in stock.

    Good luck,


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