Pride of Place–Sort of

The craft beer market continues to surge, and this being America, that means a burgeoning market for litigation. Among the lawsuits that have been brewing is a case filed last month accusing Walmart of peddling as “craft” beer the product of an industrial-scale brewer. Now comes another class-action writ, one accusing the Kona Brewing Co. of selling ostensibly Hawaiian-made beer—brews with names such as “Longboard Island Lager” and “Big Wave Golden Ale”—that are actually suds produced and bottled on the mainland.

If so, Kona joins a prestigious list of prominent beers that are not from where they appear. If you have a taste for Japanese beer, you’ve probably noticed that your can of Sapporo is made in Canada. For the U.S. market that icon of British beer, Bass Ale, is made in New Hampshire. Guinness is setting up a brewery in Maryland.

Of course, anyone who has lived in Hawaii knows that the real Hawaiian beer is a brand called Primo. As a youth, we’re not too proud to admit, The Scrapbook learned the essential island craft of making hats by crocheting together sections of Primo cans.

The Primo brewery long ago was shuttered—a victim of the brand being sold from one holding company to another. But now Primo is available again, part of the large stable of orphan brands owned by the Pabst group. Could it, at last, be real Hawaiian beer? Well, the Primo website doesn’t exactly say where the stuff is brewed, but if you want more info, you’re welcome to contact the Primo Brewing & Malting Company at their P.O. box—in San Antonio, Texas.

This post originally appeared on Weekly Standard


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