Brewing in Paradise – Maui Beer & Breweries

If making the leap to purchasing your piece of paradise on Maui has been held up by a concern for the lack of fresh beer available on island, hesitate no longer!

We now have two official breweries on Maui (and one ‘unofficial’ – see last paragraph).

Back when I made the fantastic decision to move to Maui (what are you waiting for?), there was only one place you could get fresh brewed beer – Lahaina Fish & Game Brewery and Rotisserie (which was actually located in Kahana). They had a great happy hour ($3 pints) and I often stopped by after a surf session at D.T. Flemming Beach or Little Makaha.

Gone but not forgotten – Lahaina Fish & Game Brewery and Rotisserie

Maui Brewing Company

Lahaina Fish & Game Brewery and Rotisserie was purchased in 2005 and has since become Maui Brewing Company. MBC owners Garrett Marrero and Melanie Oxley have done an incredible job of growing what was a small brewpub restaurant into a modern state-of-the-art brewery, with beer now available in several states and countries.

All the while, MBC has kept to its goal of being a locally grown, owned, and run brewery. They sponsor many great charitable events on island and are always giving back to the community. ‘Brewed with Aloha’ indeed. MBC still has the brewpub restaurant in Kahana and it is a great spot to check out for food and the largest selection of locally brewed craft beer on Maui.

A barrel aged brew from Maui Brewing Company

After a short stay at a production facility in Lahaina from 2007 to 2014, MBC moved their production brewery operations down to Kihei, where there is an amazing tasting room and brewery tours of the facility and brewing process.

Kohola Brewery

That is where Kohola Brewery enters in. Taking over the former MBC Lahaina production facility, Kohola Brewery is the newest addition to the Maui brewery ohana. I stopped in on their opening day at the end of December 2015 and have to say, they run a class act with excellent beer. Kohola is the Hawaiian word for ‘whale’ and their brewery is named after the thousands of humpback whales that migrate every winter to Maui from Alaska. Smart whales…

That’s quite a grain silo! Kohola’s operation in Lahaina – tough to find, but worth the effort.

There have been other breweries on Maui in the past. When I first moved to Maui in 2002, there was a place on Front Street in Lahaina called Hop Tomato Italian Bistro & Brewery. As luck would have it, it was already closed and never re-opened. With the momentum of the craft beer industry growth in the 1990’s, there were three breweries on Maui – Sharktooth Brewery in Kahululi, Trade Winds Brewing, and Pacific Brewing Company, both in Wailuku. Sadly, none of them are with us anymore.

The ‘Unofficial Brewery’

Oh yes, the ‘unofficial brewery’…

Unofficially known as the ‘Carport Brewery’, it serves up locally crafted lagers and ales. You won’t find it on the shelves or GoogleMaps, as it is in a top secret location in Lahaina. Very hush-hush. Some of the local favorites are Shark Pit Pale Ale and, of course, Langer Lager.

Owen Langer, R(B)

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