We're always eager to try beers that don't distribute to New York, so we stashed some cans from Maui Brewing Co. in our luggage after a recent West Coast trip. The popular Hawaii-based brewery, located two blocks from the ocean at what is nearly the westernmost spot on Maui, was founded in 2005 and distributes their canned beers to 11 states, primarily west of the Rockies. Their beers is also available on taps, including at their brewpub, located a few miles down the coast from their brewery.
We sat down to try four of their six canned beers, including their year round Big Swell IPA and CoCoNut PorTeR, plus seasonal offerings Lemongrass Saison and Lahaina Town Brown. Have you tried any of these beers from the 50th state? Leave your own tasting notes in the comment section below!
We're no stranger to saisons brewed with culinary ingredients - check out our Jalapeno Saison - so we were excited to try the Lemongrass Saison, brewed in collaboration with Lost Abbey. A clear pale yellow that was similar to clarified butter, this brew had a pleasantly spicy saison smell. In the mouth it was slightly sweet with corn notes and a wonderful mouthfeel. A highly enjoyable beer!
An American IPA with four different Northwestern hop varietals, the Big Swell IPA was the same color as the varnish on our tasting table. The aroma was dominated by hops, and we were specifically reminded of pineapple. The hops also dominated the mouth; this was one piney hop bomb!
A limited-release brown ale brewed with a blend of munich, dark crystal, and chocolate malts, this clear, iced coffee colored brew had more of a roasted aroma than we expected, along with brown sugar. The roasted flavors continued into the flavor, where we picked up coffee and chocolate notes that combined to remind us of a raspberry chocolate cake. Delicious!
Brewed with hand-toasted coconut and six varieties of malted barley, the CoCoNut PorTeR was a very dark, almost impenetrable, black coffee color. The aroma recalled baked coconut macaroons or, on the other end of the spectrum, coconut suntan lotion. The coconut flavor was present, but not overwhelming in the mouth, along with other roasted earthy lactose flavors.