Portland’s Pono Brewing will launch their first ever packaged beer with Isolation Hazy IPA in 19.2oz cans. Pono is one of the small local operations with no obvious way to sell beer after the Coronavirus shut down bars and restaurants. Before the pandemic hit, Pono Brewing sold all of their beer by the keg and brewed everything with a special license through Zoiglhaus Brewery.
After rushing to get a door-to-door home beer delivery license and find a crowler machine, Pono got out 32oz crowlers for delivery a few weeks ago.
“Our focus has always been on our accounts and with those beloved taprooms, bars, and restaurants operating at limited capacity or closed entirely, we knew it was time to turn our gaze to packaged products,” wrote Pono sales manager Erick Russ in a release.
Pono had originally planned to launch one of their flagship beers for their first canning run but the shutdown meant their recently expanded hazy IPA program would be first up. With advice from Zoiglhaus’s Alan Taylor, the Pono crew decided to shift towards canning after recently upping their 10bbl batches to 20bbls. Rewriting the business plan, Pono was able to switch from draft to seaming crowlers to a full canning run.
Isolation Hazy IPA was made with this year’s Pink Boots Blend. More than 100 members of the women beer industry trade group designed this blend of Azacca®, El Dorado®, Idaho Gem™, and Loral® hops with Yakima Chief. $3 from every pound purchased of the 2020 Pink Boots Blend are going to the non-profit Pink Boots Society social and education grants.
The word ‘Isolation’ in the Pono Isolation Hazy IPA is not meant to highlight the feelings of being cut off from the world, but rather to reinforce the idea that we’re alone together.
The flavor hits all our favorite notes in a hazy. Grapefruit, melon, and stone fruit up front, as well as an extremely silky texture paired with orange/tangerine notes in the middle. Pono Brewing recommends drinking on a front porch in the gorgeous spring sunshine, air cheers’ing neighbors, dog walkers and joggers trying to blow off some steam in these trying times.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.