Travelers to the island of Maui have plenty of reasons to visit: beaches, waterfalls, gorgeous sunsets and world class national parks to name a few, and now they can add good beer to the list. Garrett Marrero loved the island so much when vacationing that he decided to stay, and the lack of a decent microbrew ended up being his ticket to paradise. Marrero opened Maui Brewing Co. in 2005, and while relatively new to the craft beer scene, the brewery is the first and only on the island of Maui, and one of the fastest growing companies in the state of Hawaii. In the years since that first batch was brewed, Maui Brewing Co. now cans and ships beer to half a dozen states as well as Japan, Scotland and Denmark with plans to expand further.
Three MBC offerings — Photo courtesy of Maui Brewing Co.
With an eye for sustainability and local sourcing, Maui Brewing Co. is seeking to debunk a few common beer myths. The first thing you'll notice about the beers is their packaging; unlike most craft breweries, the Maui crew use aluminum cans instead of bottles. It's a common misconception that bottled beers are of higher quality than canned, but cans actually protect the beer from light damage and oxidization better than glass. Plus, cans are lighter, easier to chill, locally sourced and help keep broken glass off the island's beaches. The spent grain left over from brewing gets sent to local farmers to use in compost and feed, and the production facility draws power from solar panels. Marrero's car and the beer delivery truck even run off of bio-diesel made from the restaurant's vegetable oil waste.
Coconut Porter — Photo courtesy of Radly J Phoenix
The brewery's signature beer, the CoCoNut Porter, has all the malty dark chocolate goodness of a solid porter with the tropical aftertaste of toasted coconut. The best way to sample the latest brews is the guided brewery tour and tasting offered on Fridays and Saturdays. For $10, the tasting room manager will show you around the facilities explaining the beer-making process, culminating in a tasting of each beer currently on tap and a token for a free beer in the brewery's restaurant.