Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Home of the Brave Museum is a museum displaying World War II memorabilia, featuring a WWII-themed brewpub offering custom microbrews specifically crafted to honor the service of United States Military forces. The Home of the Brave Museum was opened in 1991 by Glen and Janet Tomlinson as part of the 50th anniversary remembrance of the Japanese attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, which is credited with causing the entrance of American troops into World War II.
The concept for the museum was inspired by Janet and Glen’s experiences with firsthand accounts by survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, and operates today as the leading private military museum in the city of Honolulu. As entrepreneurs with more than 35 years of combined experience in the hospitality industry, the Tomlinsons are owners of the Tomlinson Corporation, which oversees the Home of the Brave Museum, along with its partner facility, the Home of the Brave Brewing Company and Brewseum. Together with their three children, Duke, Baron, and Brittany, the Tomlinsons also operated comprehensive tours of notable Hawaiian battlefield sites, though due to heightened security restrictions on United States Army installations as of 2017, tour packages are no longer offered.
Permanent Exhibits and Attractions
Today, the privately-owned museum has been referred to as “Honolulu’s best-kept secret” by the city’s mayor and contains the largest collection of personal World War II memorabilia on the island of Oahu. All museum collections, including uniforms and military equipment, are donations by World War II veterans. Major items on display include a WWII Jeep and 1942 Army-issue Harley Davidson used in the 2001 feature film Pearl Harbor, both of which may be climbed aboard by visitors for photo opportunities. A miniature Home of the Brave Railroad is also on display above the museum’s exhibit rooms. Veterans are encouraged to share their stories as part of a Wall of Fame exhibit, which contains the names, photographs, and personal anecdotes of thousands of World War II veterans who have visited the museum. Vintage 1940s media is highlighted, including memorabilia from films focusing on Pearl Harbor and the Hawaii area, and World-War-II-era music is played in all exhibit rooms. A gift shop at the museum offers military and Hawaii-themed books, apparel, and art.
Originally housed inside the museum, the nearby Brewseum facility houses a craft microbrewery and Wiki Waki Woo Tropical Bar and Lounge, decorated in the style of classic 1940s military watering holes. Exhibits detail the history of brewing on the Hawaiian Islands starting in 1812, and a 1942 Admiral Nimitz Jeep is on display, along with a tuk-tuk used for transportation in the Vietnam War by B-52 airmen. The lounge is decorated with photographs of early 20th-century nightlife hangouts and showcases a large beer can collection donated by a veteran. Classic American bar fare is offered, along with German-style beer hall seating.
The Brewseum has been rated as Oahu’s top brewpub, serving more than a dozen craft beer options brewed by the Home of the Brave Brewing Company. Since launching their signature Pilot Pale Ale in 2009, the brewery has expanded its operations to both tap and bottle service, utilizing an Electric Brewing control panel, four 2bbl fermenters, and two bbl brite tanks for carbonation. All recipes are created by resident brewmaster Jeff Doyle, former brewmaster for Odell’s Brewing Company in Colorado. Other seasonal beers include the 442 Go for Broke IPA, Troop Train IPA, and Landing Zone Lager. A commemorative beer series, released in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, showcased 12 exclusive brews every month in 2017 intended to honor the stories of World War II servicemen. Commemorative brews included the PT-109 Kolsch, named for the torpedo boat President John F. Kennedy served aboard in World War II, the John Finn Golden Mango, commemorating the first recipient of the Medal of Honor, and the Code Talker Ginger Guava Ale, honoring the wartime assistance of Navajo code talkers in the Pacific Theater. Beer tastings and pints are offered at both the Brewseum and the Home of the Brave Museum’s upstairs speakeasy facility.
As a result of heightened security on United States Army installations in the Pacific, the Home of the Brave Military Base Tour is no longer offered. The museum is currently partnered with E NOA Tours, which offers a variety of tour packages to military sites on the island, including a Pearl Harbor Remembered tour, a Pearl Harbor: Air, Land, and Sea tour, and a Salute to Pearl Harbor tour. Nature and leisure tours are also offered, including excursions to Circle Island, the East Oahu shoreline, and several of the island’s waterfalls.
909 Waimanu St, Honolulu, HI 96814, Phone: 808-396-8112