comscore Choy brews up a winner | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.
Pau Hana Patrol | TGIF

Choy brews up a winner

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
    Sam Choy's Big Aloha Brewery bartender Glen Motoyama pours a beer.

Some folks might think it’s blasphemy, but making the most out of happy hour doesn’t always mean soaking yourself in alcohol.

Sure, cheap drinks make the worst days on the job a little bit easier to deal with. At the same time, customer service, ambiance and food offerings also play a role in deciding where to go.

Visit Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch and Crab on Nimitz Highway for pau hana and you’ll find that food plays a starring role, with pupu specials available from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Big Aloha Brewery—also known as the small bar hidden in a back corner with a few tables nearby for extra seating options.


580 North Nimitz Highway


Happy Hour:
» 5 to 6:30 p.m. daily
» $3.95 (10-ounce) and $5.75 (16-ounce) Big Aloha beers

Pupu Picks:
» Sam’s Fried Rice ($2.95)
» Spicy Tater Tots ($2.95)
» Kalua Pork Sliders ($3.95)
» Pulehu Steak ($8.95)

Nearly 20 items are on the bar’s happy hour menu, with the majority priced at $2.95 and $3.95. They’re not discounted versions of regular entrees (portion sizes are smaller than plates on Sam Choy’s legendary dinner menu), yet most items are substantial enough to feed at least two people. Local dishes, like a Mini Loco Moco ($3.95), Luau Crab Dip ($5.95) and Ahi Shoyu Poke ($8.95), will keep kamaaina happy, but this place is also great to bring visitors: Garlic Fries ($2.95), Teri Chicken ($3.95) and Babyback Ribs ($5.95) will satisfy those looking for more mainland-style items.

Even though the focus is on food at Sam Choy’s, that doesn’t mean the brews aren’t worth trying. If you consider yourself a supporter of Hawaii-made products—and/or a fan of beer in general—it’s worth ordering a pint or two to go with the pupu here.

Like dark beer? The Kiawe Honey Porter is a tasty choice, while a seasonal dark ale is also available now. I also like the Ehu Ale, and light beer drinkers should enjoy Choy’s Kakaako Cream Ale. If you can’t make up your mind, order a sampler tray ($8.50) to get a 5-oz. taste of five different microbrews.

Pau Hana Patrol is a weekly look at Honolulu bar and restaurant happy hours. E-mail happy hour tips to

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to view ongoing news coverage of the Maui wildfires. Sign up for our free e-newsletter to get the latest news delivered to your inbox. Download the Honolulu Star-Advertiser mobile app to stay on top of breaking news coverage.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up