Lager Chicken Wings

 Lager Chicken Wings

December 10: National Lager Day 

Islander’s Uncle Ernie B. loved lager for pau hana time and parties. His particular favorite was Primo beer, one of a few Hawaiian-style lagers made on the islands (a brewery used to be near his house in Aiea, Oahu) with a touch of sugar cane from the local plantations. So he and his other beer buddies were disappointed when Primo was discontinued for a decade.

“Hawaii’s original beer” has an interesting history. The Honolulu Brewing and Malting Company was formed around 1898 and launched the Primo lager brand in 1901. Prohibition during 1920-1933 halted operations. Since then, Hawaiian Brewing Corporation, Schlitz and Stroh brewing companies, respectively, acquired ownership of Primo. In 1997, Stroh stopped manufacturing the beer and, two years, later was bought out by Pabst.

Pabst brought back Primo in 2007. The lager sold in-state is produced on Kauai by Keoki Brewing Company, which was later  acquired by Hawaii Nui (formerly Mehana) Brewing Company. Today, Primo is an iconic beer brand and is a sponsor at surf contests and supporter of Hawaiian culture conservation organizations.

For National Lager Day, we used Primo beer and Hawaiian honey in a marinade to make Lager Chicken Wings. Okole maluna!


(Adapted from


  • 8 chicken wings
  • 2 cups lager (we used Primo Hawaiian beer)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (we used Big Island Bees brand Macadamia Nut Blossom flavor)
  • pinch of salt (we used Hawaiian black lava salt)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


Soak wooden skewers in water then spear them through the chicken wings. In a bowl, pour the lager. Season with salt.

Lager Chicken Wings

Add the honey, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Lager Chicken Wings

Grill the chicken wings, basting with a bit of the liquid from the marinade, until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Or broil the chicken in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, basting occasionally with the marinade and turning once, until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken from the grill or broiler onto a platter. Remove the skewers (optional) and serve hot.

Lager Chicken Wings


  • We halved the recipe above to feed just the two of us. Other chicken pieces (legs, thighs, breasts, etc.) instead of wings may be used with or without skin.
  • The original recipe for Lager Chicken Wings is a bit bland. Seasoning the skewered meat with salt (we use Hawaiian sea salt) and pepper during grilling helps to improve the taste somewhat. Also brushing lightly with soy sauce (we use Aloha Shoyu brand) adds flavor and a brown beer coloring to the chicken.