Beer Syndicate Blog

Brewery Tour: Maui Brewing Company

Props to Bruce for a great tour of Maui Brewing Company today. Aloha was in the air! The company’s strong commitment to the local economy and concern for the environment was evident. Their beer is packaged solely in aluminum cans (made locally from recycled aluminum). They use local ingredients such as coconut & pineapple, and their spent grain is given to local farmers, helping contribute to local island sustainability.

The brewery, located in an industrial area just across the highway from Old Lahaina Town, is nothing fancy. Brewing since 2005 at 100% capacity, it’s just what they need – nothing more, nothing less. Although, they are expanding operations to a new Brewery and Brewpub in Kehei, about 45 minutes south east. They just broke ground three months ago. The new facility is expected to open in June of 2014 (Phase 2 in 2015).

Kihei Brewery, Brewpub, Distiller & Cidery


They aren’t hiding anything. We saw every corner of the brewery – the small commercial ovens where local coconut is toasted, their temperature controlled fermenters, the lagering room (where they also keep all of their hops, 300 gallon vats of fresh pineapple juice, and other ingredients), and their canning machine that processes 700 cans a minute. The canning system is even recycled – originally built for a Coca-Cola® bottling facility in Atlanta, GA.

Commercial Ovens For Roasting Coconut

Mash Tun and Temperature Controlled Ale Fermenting Tanks

Canning Machine

Most of their beer is consumed in the islands, however it’s now available in 4 countries and 9 states in the US. Consider yourself lucky if you can find it. Their distribution is tight, only appearing on the shelves where they know it will get drank quickly. Over the years, they have been refining their recipes, processing methods, and distribution channels to enable them to ship their beer out of the islands – the biggest challenge. For example, when it comes their Coconut Porter they’ve found that filtering the beer (post boil) through the roasted coconut gives them a perfect balance of flavor while prolonging the shelf life – which I remind you has to travel 2,500 miles, at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, by freight, to the mainland.

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While everyone at Maui Brewing Co. seems very laid back and nonchalant on the surface, don’t let them fool you. They are growing and they have a lot planned over the next two years, so keep your eyes peeled. Empty kegs from the mainland arrive only to be filled and shipped back. Why would they arrive empty? What a waste. I foresee a new distribution channel that will help bring a wider variety of craft brew from the mainland to the islands. In the Fall of 2015 look for Phase 2 of their expansion in Kehei when their Cidery and Distillery is expected to open. You heard it right…a Cidery and Distillery…coconut vodka, pineapple cider – the possibilities are endless.

Yum…Fresh from the source.

Next time you’re in paradise make sure you hit up the Maui Brewing Company Brewery Tour at 910 Honoapiilani Highway #55 Lahaina, HI 96761. Call them ahead at +1 (808) 661-6205 to make a reservation. Tours cost $10 and include 2 oz tastes of their most popular brews along with a free pint at their Brewpub. You simply can’t beat a fresh pint of their Coconut Porter, Mana Wheat, Lahaina Town Brown or most popular Bikini Blonde – treat yourself. Aloha!

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