I love discovering a great new-to-me brewery or beer. Last month I was in Maui for our wedding. I had previously had, when on the Big Island and Oahu, beers from the Kona Brewing Company, sadly now owned by InBev (they don’t deserve a link). Kona makes some good beers. I really enjoyed last time having their Fire Rock Pale Ale on tap. While planning our trip this time, I learned about the Maui Brewing Company. I knew nothing of them, so I had no expectations. The day we arrived, I had a can of their Big Swell IPA and was extremely pleasantly surprised that it was fantastic. Their brew pub was pretty close to where we were staying in Lahaina, so it was a must-visit. In fact, I ended up going there with my male friends the night before the wedding. About as close to a bachelor party as I was going to get. They had lots of beer on tap, including two collaborations, with Dogfish Head (Liquid Breadfruit) and Jolly Pumpkin (Sobrehumano Palena ‘Ole). I got a flight of both of those, plus the Pueo Pale Ale and Dawn Patrol Black IPA. The Sobrehumano Palena ‘Ole was kind of weird, but I liked it. The Liquid Breadfruit I thought was great. As were the Dawn Patrol and Pueo. I also tried someone’s CoCoNut Porter. Pretty good. And for good measure I had some Big Swell on tap (still excellent) and a guest beer, Hopportunity Knocks, from the Caldera Brewing Company from Ashland, OR. Pretty crazy IPA, but very good. Two days later, the day after the wedding, we went back there to meet a couple of beer buddy friends who were leaving the next day. This time I tried another of their IPAs that was newly-tapped, the Freight Trains IPA. Heavier than the Big Swell, but very good. The winner for me of all the beers I tried there was the Big Swell. Just an all around fantastic IPA. I even drank enough of it (in a row) throughout our stay on Maui and then Kauai to get the Untappd “Six Pack” badge.
I don’t expect to be seeing anything from Maui around NYC since they’re pretty small, but I’m hoping. I’ll just have to savor the cans of Big Swell I brought back with us.