Introducing Erick Russ, and New Beer Collab for Kīkīao with The Tao of Tea

Get to Know Pono Brewing Cofounder and Head of Sales, Erick Russ

Erick Russ with Kegs

Erick Russ, cofounder of Pono Brewing, is a world traveler who is constantly seeking deliciousness to satisfy his palate, whether it is in the Greater Portland Area or abroad. Although he shares his experience in consumption whenever Brew Master and cofounder Larry Clouser develops recipes, it turns out Erick is not too shabby at being head of sales. He says it’s easy because he knows that the product he’s about to serve to a potential client is a high quality, creatively and beautifully balanced, beer. Erick represents passionately. And let’s just say it – he’s his own best customer. Don’t be fooled by this photo though, because this is as serious as he gets. You’ll know Erick is headed your way to talk beer when you see a dude with a maniacal grin walk through your door with a cooler full of Pono for you to sample.

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Kīkīao is Back, Thanks to The Tao of Tea

Kīkīao (pronounced kee-kee-ah¢-oh) means burst of passion, and ever since this beer’s release at the 2016 Portland Spring Beer and Wine Festival where it took first place, people have been eagerly anticipating a re-release. When we wanted to go into full production the supplier of a key ingredient – a unique green tea blend – couldn’t meet the volume we needed. We kept getting asked by bars, restaurants and the drinking public about when we would make Kīkīao again, so we kept searching. It took about a year to find a new supplier, and as luck would have it, they were in our own backyard. What makes this collaboration special is that it brings together two great local businesses and has Portland’s leading tea expert, Veerinder Chawla from The Tao of Tea, who worked side by side with us to develop the perfect blend of tea specifically for this beer. The Tao of Tea is an icon in this town and we are happy to collaborate with them on this and future brews as well. Kīkīao, a South Pacific Farmhouse Ale, has a blend of green tea with passionfruit and mango. As close to the islands as you can get without getting on a plane!

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