Recently, I visited one of Oahu’s best-kept secrets in Kakaako. If you haven’t been to the Brewseum on Waimanu Street, you are missing out! The Brewseum is a family owned business operated by the Tomlinson Ohana. The Tomlinsons also founded the Home of the Brave Tour in 1991, and their museum was the last stop on the tour which is next door to the Brewseum. I remember going on their WWII Military base tour in 2005. It was the best military tour on the island which took you to Pearl Harbor and all of the military bases that were attacked on December 7, 1941. The museum was filled with great history and displays on Hawaii’s involvement in WWII.
The Brewseum is located next door to the museum. I met Duke here, who is one of the Tomlinson’s sons. He came up with the idea of combining a museum and brewery together when he attended college in Colorado. He and his siblings made the idea come to life and the rest is history (literally)! Duke and his family were so knowledgeable about history, hospitable and extremely friendly. You feel like you’re part of their Ohana!
When you enter the Brewseum, you don’t know where to look first. The Brewseum has an unbelievable war, Hawaiiana, and beer memorabilia collection! Everything is placed perfectly in the rooms. The walls are lined with old photographs, maps, signs, and 1940’s telephones. You will also find model bomber planes circling overhead and a model train chugging around the room. The back of the room houses a military jeep which many of the patrons use as a photo prop. It’s fun watching them all pile in the jeep to take selfies! A lot of the military memorabilia and relics were donated by many people who took the Home of the Brave Tour and the rest has been collected by the Tomlinson family over the years.
The Brewseum has domestic beers on tap, bottled beers, and their own Home of the Brave Beer. The menu is limited to pizza and warm pretzels, which are reasonably priced. There is also complimentary popcorn in a tall vintage popcorn cart.
Be sure to visit the museum next door too! The upstairs has a 1940s speakeasy! It’s fun as you feel like you are transported back in time to the 1940s! Mrs. Tomlinson gives you the secret password to enter the speakeasy, and her husband, dressed in the old fashioned military uniform, is behind the tiki bar mixing tropical drinks! You’re having fun before you even order a drink!
If you love beer, history, friendly people and having a good time, this is definitely a stop you must make in Oahu!
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