A Weekend on Mau’i

 Mau’i was my last principal Hawaiian island to visit and it far surpassed expectations. The island has so many distinct geographic areas: hot arid scrub land, fields of sugarcane, mountains, jungles, and Haleakala volcano that feels like you’re above the world. Not to mention the gorgeous beaches and views of other islands. While the main point of the trip was to see the natural splendor, we also made it a point to do some beer touring!

Friday we visited Kohola Brewery in Lahaina for a tour and tasting. While still small, they’re making a splash with tons of special events and excellent beer. Be sure to look for their upcoming collaboration with Revision called Owyhee, an Imperial IPA.  The brewery is hot and real; a full production facility with a bar area.  The tour includes a flight of their four flagship brews and a sample glass to take home.

That evening we stopped by Maui Brewing Company‘s Lahaina tasting room.  Located in Ka’anapali, it’s unassuming from the outside. The interior took me back to the high-ceiling brewpubs of California; this place feels spacious and comfortable. They have a huge selection of Maui beers, guest taps, as well as an extensive food menu. It’s a fun restaurant in a beautiful area, worthwhile to stop for a meal.

Sunday we booked a tour at Maui Brewing Company‘s new main Kihei brewery. The facility is amazing; huge compared to all others in the islands. Everything was designed for increased production and expansion. The facility is the most sustainable in Hawai’i and aims to be fully off the grid in a few years.  I was interested to hear they’ll be distilling spirits as well.  After the tour, we had a tasting of their four flagship beers and got to keep a full-sized glass here as well. We met local friends who joined us for the tour and a few beer tastings afterwards.  I’m excited to return once their restaurant opens in the new year!

Beer souvenirs were the last things we picked up from Safeway, Foodland, and Whole Foods. Maui has a different distribution network than the rest of the state due to the Maui-Stone partnership. I scored some Oskar Blues, Pizza Port, lots of Stone, and others to enjoy at home.  I was only sad I couldn’t carry more!  There’s always next time!