We all have things we want to do someday. You have your list and I have mine. For no particular reason, I never considered going to Hawaii as something I really wanted to do. But sometimes life presents opportunities that we don’t expect and that happened to my wife and I when some close friends—we actually think of them as family—bought a very modest and nice home in Hawaii a couple years ago and invited us to visit them there. As my wife and I started talking about just the idea of going to Hawaii, the islands became more and more appealing. So we started saving for the trip and then last January—2020, before the pandemic was even thought about—we booked a trip to, first, the Hawaiian island of Oahu where Honolulu is and then to the Big Island of Hawaii, where our friends’ home is.
So what does this any of this have to do with craft beer? Well, wherever I go and whatever I do, beer always ends up being part of my life! And while not a lot of Hawaiian craft beers make it to Maryland simply because of the distance the beer must travel, I have enjoyed several craft beers here including ones from Kona Brewing Company and Maui Brewing Company.
While my wife and I were in Honolulu, on the first part of our trip, we came across the Maui Brewing Company’s Waikiki location and climbed 8 half-flights of stairs to their massive restaurant and taproom overlooking the Waikiki hotel and shopping district. We grabbed a couple stools, sat at the bar and were immediately greeted by one of their beer-tenders. I told him we were from the Baltimore area and that I had enjoyed several of their year-round releases back home. He then immediately recommended I have one of their local, draft-only beers and handed us the beer menu. All of their beers were appealing, but one was especially interesting because it was brewed with lilikoi, a Hawaiian passion fruit. And that’s what I got: Big Island Smash IPA. The lilikoi in Maui Brewing Company’s Big Island Smash IPA added both tartness and sweetness to the IPA—two of the specific flavor profiles associated with the lilikoi fruit.
Although we can’t enjoy Maui Brewing’s Big Island Smash IPA here in the greater Baltimore area, we are able to drink Maui’s Bikini Blonde Lager, Big Swell IPA, Pineapple Mana Wheat and Coconut Hiwa Porter, and all are excellent. And if you’d like to get a little taste of Hawaii, both in authentic Hawaiian cuisine and Maui Brewing Company beer, plan an afternoon or evening at Uncle’s Hawaiian Grindz in Fallston! The menu is filled with many traditional Hawaiian dishes along with some Hawaiian inspired creativity from the cooks in the kitchen. And of course, the beer selection includes Maui Brewing beers as well as some Kona Brewing beers in the can and on draft!
So taste a little Hawaii this weekend with some delicious Hawaiian craft beer!
The Craft Beer Guy