Long before he made any beer, Pono brewer Larry Closer had merchandise—a situation that led to lots of ribbing about "Portland's Only Non-Operational brewery." Well, the South Pacific-themed operation is real now. Until recently, Larry Clouser worked with Culmination Brewing, and that's where the beers were brewed. But after Pono Brewing became fully licensed last year, he worked out a contract-brewing arrangement with Lents' Zoiglhaus brewery.
Now Pono beers are showing up on draft lists here and there, and the Pono crew is busy doing in-store promotions at places like Uptown Market. Early experimental brews had Belgian-style underpinnings flavored with tropical fruits. More recently, the beers most often seen are Pineapple Express Kölsch and the fruity Tropical Thunder IPA, Pono's biggest seller so far.
Drink this: Pono’s Tropical Thunder IPA is pleasant and nicely balanced.
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