We recently enjoyed a little beach vacation time in Hawaii, which meant the good fortune of checking out the Maui Brewing company facilities first-hand, (both their brewery and their brew-pub). We heard the owner speak at a GABF event two years ago and have been intrigued by the company’s deep commitment to local production and sourcing ever since. Maui-made is something in which the islanders have a great deal of pride and they should, especially since many “Hawaiian” products are brewed or manufactured on the mainland.
The biggest surprise though during our visit was the shear quantity of beers the brew-pub had on-tap. In took three visits, but we managed to sample all 22 of their ales, lagers, and specialty beer. They’d organized their menu into the categories of “hoppy,” “regional releases,” “dark and malty,” and “lagers,” which made each visit and tasting flight distinct.
This diversity was astounding for the obvious reason that here in Colorado, we don’t benefit from the vast array of delicious beer that Maui Brewing Company creates; shelf space, limitations on distribution, and the volume of production make this impossible and understandably so. While we enjoy a few of their brews via can (Coconut Porter and the Big Swell IPA), their most exciting and interesting beer demands a long flight and some dedicated beer tourism.
The whole point of making this observation is to say, we’re damn lucky to live in Colorado. Even the largest micro-breweries in the state with expansive production have restrictions on the variety of beer that crosses state lines. As Rocky Mountain beer connoisseurs, we have access to varieties and styles of beer straight from the draught in our favorite breweries that others do not. Enjoy that privilege this weekend . . . dare to try something that you have access to because it’s local!