Hapa is the Hawaiian word for “mixed.” A word very applicable to brewing beer. Hot water is mixed with malted barley to create wort. Hops are mixed with wort during the boil to add flavor and aroma. Yeast is mixed with the cooled wort to ferment sugars and make beer. Hawaiians also use the word hapa to describe people of mixed cultural backgrounds. Taken in this context, the word is also very applicable to the founders of Hapa’s Brewing Company.
Brian and Derek started homebrewing in 2007 after moving back to their childhood hometown in the South San Francisco Bay Area. Friends since their Little League days, the two formed the idea for Hapa’s Brewing Company during that first homebrew in Brian’s mom’s kitchen. Over the course of the next eight years the two would join the workforce, move to San Francisco, and meet their future wives, but never stop making award winning homebrew or thinking about Hapa’s Brewing.
In 2012, the two would meet Peter Burrell, owner and head brewer of Dempsey’s Restaurant and Brewery in Petaluma. In Peter, Brian and Derek had found a mentor; someone who could help make their dream a reality. To cut his teeth in the business, Brian took a leap of faith and left his job in Silicon Valley to begin brewing professionally with Peter. Derek worked to set up the dominos that would eventually need to fall to open a craft brewery.
Slowly but surely, the picture that is Hapa’s Brewing Company began to take shape. On August 24, 2015, Brian and Derek signed the lease for the future home of Hapa’s Brewing. After months of navigating permits, licenses, contracts, and construction Hapa’s Brewing Company opened on a rainy Wednesday in January 2017.
The Hapa’s Brewing Team