on changing base
liquid gold also
| Put the Lime in the Coconut
Any survival expert will tell you that if you’re stranded on a tropical island, you can survive on
coconuts. You can drink the coconut milk to stay hydrated, eat coconut meat for sustenance and
use the coconut oil to protect your skin form the sun’s harsh rays. Shortly after our wedding my
new bride and I found ourselves on the island of Maui. Ok, so maybe we weren’t stranded in the
middle of the south Pacific, but the coconut provided us with the sustenance we so desperately
desired. Since my sweetheart wouldn’t let me take her to Belgium for the honeymoon, I had to
make the best of things on Maui. Well, I guess I can deal with that; After all I’m a survivor!
Before we left the mainland, a friend of ours raved about Maui Brewing Company’s Coconut
Porter. Once we landed on Maui I searched the beverage section of store after store until I stood
face to face with a six pack of the tan 12 ounce cans. “Eureka, I’ve found it!” I proclaimed in as
several patrons turned their head with puzzled looks on their faces. I quickly grabbed a six-pack up
to the register. Not more than a few minutes later I opened the first can and took a large sip.
Hmmm…. Ummm…. Something wasn’t right here. Was this the same beer my well-respected
friend had described so lovingly? This was trouble in paradise.
When it comes to beer, my motto is “You owe it to the brewer to taste at least two pints/cans
before forming an opinion”. I must be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the coconut porter, or so I
thought. Having traveled this far I wasn’t ready to give up on Maui Brewing Company, so my wife
and I decided to take the tour. “Aloha and welcome to the Maui Brewing Company”, said our tour
guide. We each paid our $10 each for the tour, which included a flight of Maui’s finest brew and
one wooden beer token. To my surprise we were informed that Maui Brewing Company packages
their beer exclusively in aluminum cans. When I asked if the brewery did any bottle conditioning, the
guide explained that no glass is used for several reasons:
1. There is no glass recycling facility on the island of Maui
2. Aluminum is approximately 90% recyclable-able
3. Aluminum cans are allowed at sensitive environmental areas such as beaches and forests
4. Light cannot penetrate aluminum (an important factor when your brewery is located in a tropical
Along the way, the tour guide explained how Maui Brewing Company utilized island grown
produce such as coconuts and pineapples in their brewing process. He showed our group the
process of toasting the coconuts and was kind enough to share some of the details of the
equipment, temperature and duration used in toasting process. He even divulged the brewing stages
that the toasted coconut chips were added to the brew. What a guy. He’s a true home brewer
through and through! For the sake of Maui Brewing Company’s continued success I will keep these
details a secret. He went on to explain that Maui Brewing Company has a deal in place with the
shipping company they use so that their beer will always be kept below the water line. While this
quality control measure doesn’t ensure that the beer is refrigerated during the entire shipping
process, it will guarantee that the beer stays at or below 70'F while it resides in the hall of the ship
transporting it between islands and to the mainland.
He went on to explain that Maui Brewing Company has a deal in place with the shipping company
they use so that their beer will always be kept below the water line. While this quality control
measure doesn’t ensure that the beer is refrigerated during the entire shipping process, it will
guarantee that the beer stays at or below 70'F while it resides in the hull of the ship.
At the conclusion of the brewery tour we were provided with a flight of beers including the Bikini
Blonde (Munich Helles Lager), Mana Wheat (Wheat Ale infused with Maui pineapple), Coconut
Porter (Porter with hand toasted coconut), Big Swell IPA and an English Strong Ale (limited
release) – pictured from right to left.
There is no better place to test the merits of a brewery than at the source. Much to our delight we
found each of the styles included in the beer flight to be smooth and well balanced with a clean
finish. Tasting the coconut porter at the brewery convinced me that this beer was something you’re
not going to find everyday. The roasted malt flavors played so well with the toasted coconut. Kathy
and I enjoyed the brewery tour so much that we decided to visit the Maui Brewing Company Brew
Pub the following night. Once again we were delighted to sample additional brew styles which felt
were brewed with skill and attention to detail. If you ever find yourself on the island of Maui, stop in
to the Maui Brewing Company for a tour or to their brewpub in Lahaina. This is the best beer you’ll
find in Hawaii.
I find the best way to enjoy a Maui Brewing Company beer is at a luau. We recommend the feast
at Le Le (the old word for the island of Maui).
Stay tuned for a new Ale-chemy by Jay Eichberger next month!
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