Posted by: Nick Jiorle | September 3, 2009

Maui Brewing Company


maui brews
Three Beers brewed with Aloha (From left to right: Mana Wheat. Big Swell IPA, Coconut Porter)



             I had the opportunity to go to the lovely island of Maui this summer and I did not pass up the opportunity to seek out the local brewery. While the island was very laid back and relaxing, The Maui Brewing Company was all business when it comes to brewing original craft brews. I was able to sample three very different beers while I was there. The beers were the Mana Wheat, The Big Swell IPA, and the Coconut Porter.

             The Maui Brewing Co. was started in 2005 in the town of Lahaina, on the Valley Isle. They are dedicated to fine craft brews made with Aloha to give it a distinct Hawaiian look and taste. It’s very tough to find on the mainland, especially the east coast, but if you do it will be in cans, which might throw you off.  The taste will get you hooked. It’s worth the trip out there. These guys are very young but on their way up. They have made some noise in the U.S. Brew Championships by taking 5th.

             The Mana Wheat was an interesting and original tasting wheat beer. What makes it so original is it’s pineapple taste (Maui is known for their pineapples). This was a sweet, refreshing beer that felt light without tasting light. For those who hate overpowering fruit flavors in their beer, have no fear because this one goes down just right. This is a beer I could drink all summer. A great idea for a beer and well executed. Sadly, this is only a guest beer and is not on their full-time roster.

            Next up is the Big Swell IPA, their flagship beer. This beer is canned and is available on the mainland in California, but that’s about it. This is a very solid IPA. It started with a white foam head that had some staying power. An interesting flavor that was hard to settle on at first. It is dry-hopped and starts nice and malty, but finishes strong with plenty of hops. Almost explodes like a huge wave of hoppy goodness at the end. ABV 6.2.

           We will end with the Coconut Porter, another of their canned beers. I was lucky enough to try a special version of this called “The Black Pearl.” It was the porter after it was aged 3 months in a rum barrel. Maybe this made the difference because I was never a porter drinker, but i enjoyed this porter from the Valley Isle. It had a heavy malty nose, with a taste of caramel up front, and a head the color of a coconut shell. I got a bit of the sweet sting of the rum at first, but then the coconut takes over. I have never drank a beer like this. Very original taste and  shows why they are making waves out there. Hopefully they will ride that momentum to the east coast. If you want to try some great Hawaiian beer you’re going to have to make the trip or look for beer from the Kona Brewing Co. from the Big Island. You can find that bottled on the east coast.

               But if you’re out on the island of Maui, Maui Brewing Co. pub is located just north of Lahaina and has a great happy hour with some tasty food to boot. Aloha.

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