Slang for “mixed” in Hawaiian, Hapa is a colloquial term used to describe people of mixed descent or heritage. It seems fitting then that Derek Tam and Brian Edwards are not only of mixed Asian-American heritage, but their new craft brewery and taproom, Hapa’s Brewing Company, also intends to mix classic brewing techniques with new flavors, appealing to beer geeks and amateurs alike.

“Hapa’s is not only a play on words with hops, but the process of brewing beer also involves mixing together ingredients at different stages,” says Tam, who manages the business side of the operation. “So it all tied together nicely when we were thinking of a name.”

Along with Edwards, the brewmaster, the partners chose to quit their jobs in tech and finance to share their passion for beer with the South Bay. The taproom, located in an industrial cannery warehouse bordering light rail tracks, has an airy and inviting atmosphere that’s welcoming and adaptable to both large and small parties. Massive barn-style doors connect the indoor and outdoor spaces, offering plenty of communal-style seating, board games, a shuffleboard table and bean bag tosses. The space is set up for interacting and hanging out, and the two barside flat screen TVs make it comfortable for watching a Warriors or Sharks game. Best of all, the taproom joins a growing number of establishments that fall under BYOF: Bring Your Own Food. Food trucks also frequent the space on weekends, offering dishes like tacos and sliders.

Hapa’s currently has three beers on tap: Barbie’s Blonde, a blond ale; Hungry Dog, an India pale ale; and Little Angel, a mocha porter. While it’s a relatively short list, three beers go a long way in terms of taste and appeal.

Barbie’s Blonde ($5) is a softly carbonated, smooth ale with slightly sweet undertones and a refreshing aftertaste, making it a seriously drinkable beer for even the most casual beer drinkers. The Hungry Dog is golden in color with a complex and full bodied finish, and a must-try for any IPA fan. The mocha porter is the standout, however, and manages to balance rich and decadent coffee and chocolate flavors without being overpowering or acidic. Patrons can try a flight of all three brews ($6) before deciding on a favorite, and can even take home a “crowler” of their favorite beer ($10-12). Tam and Edwards plan to expand the beer menu to five standard drafts and three rotating seasonal brews.

Hapa’s Brewing Company
460 Lincoln Ave, Ste. 90.