Brewing Beer as Big as Their Aspirations at Maui Brewing Company
This was not what I was expecting when we arrived at the Maui Brewing Company tasting room and production facility in Kihei. I’m not sure why, but the Maui Brewing Fortress is massive and cranks out hundreds of thousands of beers a day. With a good sized taproom, and a spanking new kitchen on its way, this massive production facility will be a fully operational one-stop shop in the near future. This place already sees a ton of traffic with the 2 million plus tourists that visit Maui each year. But, that hasn’t kept these guys resting on their laurels. They’re growing, creating interesting, delicious craft beers, and distributing 4 core beers to several Mainland states in the US. They are even being distributed internationally.
Tour Maui Brewing Company in Kihei
You can take a tour of the production facility to see how Maui Brewing Company makes their brews. With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, you get an up-close look at the massive production facility. This really gives you a feel for how much beer these guys are making. What also comes through is that everyone from the owners and brewers, to the yeast propagation specialists and beer tenders, has a passion for craft beer at the heart of Maui Brew Co. The tour ends with a tasting of their 4 flagship beers: Bikini Blonde Lager, Pineapple Mana Wheat, Coconut Hiwa Porter, and Big Swell IPA. With the price of your tour, you get a token redeemable for a pint in the taproom. For a great look at the taproom, check our video!
While the place is massive, Maui Brewing Company still puts out a laid-back island vibe. The taproom is slick and hip with a nice patio to enjoy an island breeze. It’s the best place on Maui to enjoy an array of craft beers.
Soooo Many Good Beers and a Good Place to Drink ’em
While they keeping the feeling of the place small, the tap list is anything but…it’s massive! On the day we visited they poured us 21 house brews. Plus, they hosted 8 (maybe more) guest taps. You won’t go thirsty here and if you can’t find a beer you like, I’m not sure myself or anyone on Planet Earth can help you.
Bellying up to the bar and getting down to the reviews, here’s how I rated the 21 beers we sampled during this beer tasting marathon at the Maui Brewing Compay, Kihei taproom!
(Scores are based on my opinion and are rated on the Untappd rating scale 0-5)
Bikini Blonde Lager – ABV: 5.1% IBU: 18
This beer’s a beauty. It’s the “girl next door”. Pretty, modest, dependable. This is a great flagship beer that tastes good on any occasion. I really liked sipping the Bikini Blonde while baking in the Maui sun. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.75
Pineapple Mana Wheat – ABV: 5.5% IBU:18
Hand this beer to your buddy who says, “I don’t like fruity beers.” Then, after he takes a sip and says, ‘It’s not that bad,” take it away from him and keep it for yourself. A perfect hint of that island pineapple flavor in this smooth bodied light wheat beer. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.0
Coconut Hiwa Porter – ABV: 6% IBU: 30
A perfect example of a light bodied island porter. The coconut and chocolate flavor are subtle but present throughout. Perfect for the beach bum who enjoy a dark ale…which is what I’d like to be when I grow up. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.0
Big Swell IPA – ABV 6.8% IBU 82
For a low 80s IBU count, it’s incredibly smooth. This is a good anytime IPA with 6.8% ABV, it’s got some punch. But as I mentioned, it’s pretty smooth. With citrusy hop flavor, the beer tastes like it’s quite at home on the Island of Maui. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.75
Pau Hana Czech Pilsner – ABV: 5.7%
I don’t love beer with Czech Hops and I don’t love pilsners, but I have respect for this beer. Well made and smoothness for days. This has won medals at the Great American Beer Festival. So, you know it’s good. Maybe it’s me that just doesn’t get it. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.5
Barefoot Brew – ABV: 5.5%
Made with Big Island honey, this beer is for the non-beer drinkers in the group. It’s good and it’s light, but I wasn’t in love with the flavor. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.0
Pueo Pale Ale – ABV: 5.5%
“Pueo” is the name of a species of owl endemic to Hawaii. My mom was born and raised in Hawaii and I used to have this sweet kiddie record that had a song about “pueo”…so, that’s a story. This beer is good. Smooth with a hollow finish. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.5
Pilialoha Belgian Red – ABV: 5.6%
Another perfectly balanced beer. The Belgian style brings a sweetness to the nose. On the tongue it’s got a smooth mouthfeel and the sweetness is balanced out by some slight coffee notes giving it an enjoyable bitterness. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.0
Mosaic MO’Betta IPA – ABV: 8.0 IBU 75
As the name indicates, this beer is made with the trendy Mosaic hop. While I’m more of a trend-bucker, I gotta say this beer is gorgeous. The flavors are complex and I think no matter what kind of beer drinker you are, you can find something in the flavor bouquet of the Mosaic Mo’Betta IPA. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.5
Imperial Coconut Porter – ABV: 9.4%
Dude….Dude….Dude….this beer is awesome! And I don’t even like coconut! It’s just a perfectly made porter, a bigger bolder version of the Hiwa with richer and more complex flavor. Dark beer drinkers will fall in love with this porter. An absolute perfection. Bobby’s Brew Review – 5.0
Maui Lager – ABV: 4.6%
The Maui Lager is made…Hapa Style with Hawaiian rice. It makes for a very clean easy drinking beer. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.0
Lahaina Town Brown – ABV: 5.1%
Normally, we’re fans of brown ales, but there was something about the Lahaina Town that’s off for us. Too malty, so it ends up being bitter…not a beer that I’m going to drink again. Bobby’s Brew Review – 2.5
Valley Isle ESB English Pale – ABV: 4.7%
I’m not a fan of ESB beers. English ales are very hit or miss for me. This one was off target in comparison to the lineup of awesome beers. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.25
Waimea Red American Red Ale – ABV: 6.5%
This was a hot topic in the taproom when we visited. MBC is considering sending this one to the Great American Beer Festival and is possibly going to add this to their core beers. Meaning they believe they’ve got a winner with the Waimea Red. I agree 100%! Balanced malty flavors throughout a smooth mouthfeel. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.5
Double Overhead DIPA – ABV: 8.5% IBU: 85
Incredible smoothness for a beer with 8.5% and 85 IBU. Love the balanced flavors. It’s a really well-made beer. For me, this is a drinkable Double IPA. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.5
Saint Damien Strong Belgian Ale – ABV: 10.7%
Do I like Belgians? Yes. Do I like barrel aged beer? Yes. Do I like high ABV beers? Yes. Sooooooo guess what? I like the Saint Damien. 6 months in the barrel brings this puppy out packing a punch and mellowed and smooth for the 10.7% ABV. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.75
Ali’i Imperial Pilsner – ABV:6.8%
In Hawaiian “ali’l” means King or Ruler…Imperial even…giving this 8.5% pilsner it’s name. I like the idea of the high ABV pilsner, but I didn’t love this one. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.0
Da Hi-Life American Light Lager – ABV: 4.6%
Another great offering up to the Session Beer Gods. This is a beer I could drink throughout a day. I’d love to take this beer to a tailgate or have on a nice outdoor day drinking sesh. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.0
Suck ’em Up Session IPA – 4.8%
When you hear a Hawaiian say “suck ’em up” that means it’s good. And this holds true here. A great session IPA for any beer drinker. It’s got as much malt flavor as it does hops. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.5
Moofasa Milk Stout – ABV: 6.5%
Big, bold, silky, smooth…everything you’d want in a milk stout. This is one to save for the evening in Maui. I wouldn’t want to tip back too many of these in 90-degree heat. It’s a bit heavy but very well executed. Maybe take one up with you to the top of Haleakala to help fight off the cold during sunrise. Bobby’s Brew Review – 4.5
Mango Hefeweizen – ABV: 5.5%
This is a nice beer and I appreciate the attempt at the island flavor. However, this isn’t a blockbuster mango beer. I will say, it’s a fun change up in the pallet if you’ve been drinking traditional beers. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.0
What we Used Our Pint Tokens for?
We actually saved our tokens for another day since we had already had a fair helping of MBC beers. So, we returned a couple nights later to find they had another beer on tap that that we hadn’t tried during our tasting…Perfectly Resigned IPA. We ordered one of those and a favorite from our tasting, the Waimea Red. Here’s our review of the Perfectly Resigned IPA.
Perfectly Resigned IPA – ABV: 6.3%
I found this to be the fun and experimental take on IPAs we’re seeing at a lot of breweries nationwide. Super smooth on the tongue with amazing hints of cotton candy on the nose. A really fun India Pale Ale. Bobby’s Brew Review – 3.75
Should you visit Maui Brewing Company? ABSOLUTELY!!!!
If you’re visiting Maui and you like beer, you’re going to find your way to the Maui Brewing Company taproom and in 2018 they’ll have a full-on brewpub. Until the restaurant opens, there are regularly scheduled food trucks on site. It’s a great place to break up the vacation hustle and just sit back and enjoy a beer from a place that’s taking craft beer by storm.
There’s a sweet video of our time at Maui Brewing Company!
To see some of our other Brew-ventures, check out more Bobby’s Brew Reviews!
If you’re looking for some awesome places to photograph on Maui, Kari’s got you covered with this awesome video of the best places to take pics on the island!