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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Maui Brewing Company

I drank a lot of Maui on Maui
Bonnie and I recently had the opportunity to vacation sans Syd in Hawai'i. We decided based on past visits to stay in Wailea on Maui and by past visits I'm referring to family trips over two decades ago. While the primary reason for the trip was relaxation and alone time I knew a trip to Maui Brewing (both the pub and production facility) was definitely on the agenda.

I've been a fan of Maui Brewing for several years now after giving there cans a try when I was first getting into beer.  In Bonnie's opinion their Bikini Blonde Lager tastes like Hawai'i and Big Swell IPA was exactly the type of IPA I was into back then. Whenever a new can comes out I make it a point to give it a try and have been presentably surprised more often the not. 

A little background on Maui Brewing Co, they started back in 2005 as a brewpub in Lahaina on the west side of the island. About 3-4 years ago they decided to open a production facility to can some of their best selling beer.  The decision to can was based a lot around the environmentally conscious aspect of cans with a Ball recycling/production facility on the island it was a no brainer for them.  I really got the sense on tour that local and sustainable are very important to them.

Bonnie chilling at the window
The tour at the production facility was great, the guide went into a lot of detail both on the history of Maui Brewing and processed involved in not only just making beer, but making Maui beer.  Some of the fun facts I collected on my tour are as follows: Maui has a contract with their shippers so that the beer the send to the main land is keep below the waterline of the boat which keeps it in the low 50s°F.  The toast all their coconut in house for their CoCoNut Porter. They've been experimenting recently when it comes to when they add it to the beer including in secondary.  Originally they added it to the boil but have recently moved to running the beer over it in a hop back between boil and chilling which has greatly enhanced the coconut flavor. So if you haven't tried it in a while I recommend grabbing a four pack. They date all their cans now (thank you). Bikini Blonde is their top selling beer in Hawai'i while CoCoNut Porter is their top selling beer on the mainland. They really focus on where their beer is sent so they can feel comfortable it's turning over quickly. They are in the process of building their own "destination brewery" in Kihei which will increase their production fivefold. 

The food at the pub was really solid and some of the better food we ate while on Maui.  The tap list was incredible and made me wish they canned more of the brewpub beers as I was absolutely in love with a bunch of them.  I really enjoyed Double Overhead and Black Rock Lager which I convinced the bartender at Monkeypod Kitchen to mix 50-50 with the CoCoNut Porter. This blend, which Bonnie called an Maui Black and Tan (even though they are both dark beers), will be the inspiration for her next brew.  I myself was inspired by my travels to brew what I'm calling a Hawaiian Pale Ale, but we'll talk about that later.

Overall it really made me think about a lot of things and the steps that would be needed to get there...  I have a lot to think about in the next few weeks.  Change is on the horizon.  Till next time

Huli pau!


The Brewpub

The Production Brewery


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