Primo Brewing & Malting Company

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Primo Brewing Company
IndustryAlcoholic beverage
Founded1897 in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi,
United States
HeadquartersLos Angeles, CA
OwnerPabst Brewing Company

Primo Brewing Company is a Honolulu-based beer brewing company. The company claims the title "Hawai’i’s original beer".[1] The brand is currently owned and operated by Pabst Brewing Company.


Primo 12-oz bottle at Kaimana Beach, Oahu

Around 1897 or 1898,[1] the Honolulu Brewing & Malting Company was formed by Honolulu industrialist Alfred Hocking, launching the Primo lager brand in 1901.[2] From 1920 to 1933 prohibition caused Primo to halt operations.[3] Other important milestones include:

  • 1933: After prohibition, Primo reopened under ownership of Hawaii Brewing Corporation.
  • 1963: Schlitz Brewing Company acquired Primo
  • 1966: Schlitz built a new brewery for Primo and other brands in Aiea on Oahu.
  • 1979: Schlitz closed the Aiea brewery and moved production to Los Angeles, California.
  • 1982: Stroh Brewery Company acquired Primo when it bought Schlitz Brewing.
  • 1985: Stroh ended production of Primo in the brown bottle and switched to green ones.
  • 1990: The company returned to the brown bottles.
  • 1997: Stroh discontinued manufacturing Primo beer.
  • 1999: Pabst Brewing Company acquired the Primo brand when it purchased assets held by Stroh.
  • 2007: Pabst decided to bring back the Primo Beer brand.[1]

Primo and its parent company revitalized its distribution and marketing since 2007, making it an icon of sorts on the islands. Primo is a key sponsor at many watersport events such as surf contests, and appears in many bars and stores throughout the state of Hawaii.[4] Although the front office is located in Honolulu, the main Pabst headquarters is in Los Angeles.

In May 2007, Keoki Brewing Company was bought by Hawaii Nui Brewing Company.[5] Portions of the island-based proceeds go to the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation and toward preserving Hawaiian culture, land, and heritage.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rick Daysog (November 18, 2007). "Primo is back". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2009-06-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Robert C. Schmitt (1997). "Hawai'i's Beers and Brewers". Hawaiian Journal of History. Hawaiian Historical Society. 31: 143–150. hdl:10524/604.
  4. ^ Primo Beer sponsors 26th Ann. Longboard Classic
  5. ^ "A Look Back in Time..." Hawaii Nui Brewing Company web site. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  6. ^ Patricia Chang (December 10, 2008). "The holiday spirits! Honolulu Weekly". Retrieved September 14, 2010.

External links[edit]