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Big Swell IPA - Maui Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

387 Reviews
THE BROS
67
poor

(Read More)
Reviews: 387
Hads: 955
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 30
Gots: 127 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Maui Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GClarkage on 01-19-2008

50+ IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Swell IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 387 | Hads: 955
Photo of MikeB20
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

P: 12oz can into a perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a nice golden yellow with a big foamy off white head. Very nice looking beer in the glass.

S: Hoppy, pine and citrus with some rind. A little malt but it's subdued by the hops. Caramel becomes present as the beer warms in the glass.

T: A solid malt backbone that's supported by some nice hop flavors. The pine and citrus aroma carries through to the flavor with the citrus hops having a rind-like taste. I like my IPA's to have a nice malt base to support the hops and this beer does a pretty good job.

M: Slick, moderate body and carbonation. It's what I would expect from the style.

O: This s a nice IPA. It doesn't do anything new but what it does is right for the style. I might not actively seek out this beer but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again if I saw it on the shelf.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a nice clean copper pour with visible carbonation, 2 fingers of foamy white head leaving behind nice amounts of lacing. smells of pine, grass, grapefruit, caramel, rum. a sweet malty ipa with an overall piney hop flavor. hints of caramel and oak. medium body with moderate carbonation.. a bit rough on the tongue with the bitter flavor (confuse it with alcohol the way it sits on the tongue).
a solid ipa, but again it feels like the hops are fading and could be a bit fresher. the backbone malt profile of the beer is excellent though.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A mild amber colour with a pinky sized, bubbly white head that halves in size over the course of the first minute and then remains that way for the duration.

Sweet and hoppy with a nice floral base and a good mix pine and grapefruit. There was some citrus and a faint whiff of caramel malts right at the end.

Grapefruit and pine hops to kick things off, along with some nice bitterness and a hint of citrus. Very much like what you'd expect from the style with the hops dominating with some spice and again some light caramel malts.

Lively carbonation and a medium body with plenty of hops on the palate resulting in a slightly dry feel. It's quite a smooth beer and one that goes down well.

A very typical America IPA taste and exactly what I was expecting from this one, strong and in your face hops that are present from the second the can is opened. Definitely one I can recommend and one that I would have again.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a slightly cloudy light golden color supporting a healthy head leaving fair lace. Smell of caramel malt, citrus grapefruit having a nice aroma of floral hops. Taste has a nice balance of sweet caramel malt, grapefruit bitter with the hops definitely present but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. A very nice easy going IPA that I would love to try on tap.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange. Average one finger white head. Decent retention and some lacing here and there.

Aroma: Floral and piney with a nice dose of tropical fruity hops. Some crystal malts take a backseat here.

Taste: Similar to aroma, as far as the hops go. Solid IPA with no real tricks but it's one that I can dig. Malts seems a little more toasty and bready and prevalent in the flavor than in the aroma. Somewhat vegetal. I'm sure would be a bit better if it were more fresh.

Mouthfeel: Average for an IPA. Medium body with a slightly high carbonation. Lingering bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of emerge077
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Canned 8/14/12 on the bottom of the can.

Earthy vegetal hop aroma, slightly floral, a touch soapy. Super bright clarity, jewel tone light orange. Thin veil of white foam, it breaks after the first couple sips. A bit of flat grainy malt in the initial taste with some herbal and floral hop notes toward the end. Mild bitterness. Light bodied and drinkable but ultimately not too hoppy or memorable.

Thanks Chris for sharing this one!

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Photo of Dave1999
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light orange, mostly transparent with a small foamy head.

The smell is Citrus and a little pine.

The taste is bitter, citrus,a little spicy Evan.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a pretty tasty IPA to drink in Hawaii. I preferred this to konas IPA.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light yellow appearance with a thick white head. Nice big bubbles that disappear pretty quickly.

S - Piney hops up front with some biscuit in the back end.

T - Strong hop bite that's pretty bitter. A little bit of floral taste on the back end along with some pine. Not a lot of malt in the taste.

M - Nice carbonation with a hop taste that lasts a while.

O - Very drinkable IPA but there are plenty of better options. I do think this beer drinks great out of the can though.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can(!) poured into a tulip glass

A: Slow pour results in big foamy head, takes a while to subside and leaves sheets of sticky lacing and a bit of a cap. Beer is the cloudy amber IPAs are supposed to look like.

S: Grapefruit, citrus, pine - the classic smells of an IPA.

T: Sadly, doesn't live up to the promising beginning. Some citrus, some pine, lots of hops, but very unbalanced. Despite medium alcohol content, you pick up quite a bit of it.

M: Good at the beginning, but quickly leads to a bitter dryness. Pretty highly carbonated as a result of being in the can and fresh. Quite drinkable, though.

O: Taste really knocks this down; they need to work on the overwhelming bitterness and meld it with the other flavors. It's still quite drinkable and refreshing and I like the can for IPAs, but this is a long, long way from Heady Topper territory.

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Photo of NudeManOnPatrol
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this little gem of a can at the BierKoning in Amsterdam.

Pours out with a thin white head that lingers. Pretty decent lacing throughout. Grapefruit and lots of pine notes are in the taste. Also got a bit of lemongrass. The carbonation is about perfect, which gives the beer some body. Bitter aftertaste.

Overall a pretty nice IPA, but could use a bit more malt to round it out. Some of the flowery/fruity notes could be a bit more balanced.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Paul for passing this along to me. From a 355 ml can. Pours out a slightly hazed honey apricot hue, tall dense off-white head that slowly settles.

Grapefruit rind and pith at first in the aroma, some dry grainy malt, dry herbal and pine notes, and some tangerine citrus.

Dry clean flavour, at least up front. Dry grains at first, then a bready/honey-like sweetness pops up in the middle while tangerine, grapefruit pith and pine join it. Sweetness lingers into the finish, with more orange and some dry earthy and pine hop character.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, thick texture with moderate carbonation.

A nice diversion when it comes to this style, some interesting tweaks, although to my palate it doesn't all quite gel together to set it apart from the crowd moreso. Still a good offering, I wouldn't say no to more.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Nearly fully clear medium orange color. Two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is a hair short of average and only a few whisps of lacing are left.

3.5 S: Floral foremost, then citrusy, then spicy and grassy. Powerful and pleasant. Just a light neutral maltiness and a touch of crystal malt. Quite clean overall.

3.5 T: The hops in the taste take on a more spicy vibe, which is then followed by a bit of pine, grass, and then citrus. Light sugariness. Again there's just a bit of neutral malts and a touch of crystal. Clean overall and tasty.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess and super smooth.

4.0 D: Super easy to drink with no negatives and some good flavors.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just got back from Oahu Yesterday, had a pretty fresh 2 beers from the can, then a pint at the Yard House on Lewers street.

Big on the Grapefruit, weird hop spice to it, and on tap...it was a bit bready. The Torpedo I sampled in a taster was much better than the pint I had of Big Swell. Don't get me wrong, the pint of Big Swell was fine, but too bready.

Not a bad representation of the style. Enjoyable actually. But coming from California and having Fresh PtE, Blind Pig, Union Jack and Sculpin as regular offerings...this was a "good" IPA.

Better fresh out of the can than on Tap IMHO. If I were reviewing a fresh can, a 4.0 might have been dealt, but I'm reviewing a pint for appearance issues and what I thought would have been fresher and better, so here ya go...

Glad I tried it both on tap and in can. Not a bad IPA by any means...

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Photo of AdamBear
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark gold with a big cream colored head.

S-great smell. Fresh grassy hops. Medium strength. 

T-comes in with a very mild taste of sweet grassy hops an a decent amount of bitterness. The after-taste is mostly bitter. 

M-medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-it's a very mild ipa, one for the distance. The flavors are good but subtle. It's a good beer to drink, very tasty, just not something I'll lust after.

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Photo of TechTriumph
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes on 04/17/12:
Canned: 09/07/11; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - One inch off-white, lightly fluffy head with decent retention; Light caramel/copper in color with a slightly hazy appearance; Pretty good webs of lacing left behind

S - Nice, hoppy aroma with a good amount of citrus and lighter amounts of floral, piney, and tropical fruit hops; Just a bit of caramel comes through

T - Like the nose, there's a solid, hoppy punch here, though I think the malts hold their own more in the taste; Citrus hops are fairly dominant with a lighter dose of pine, pepper, and onion; Nice amount of toasty character and subtle sweet caramel compliments the hop flavors; Mild wave of peppery bitterness comes forward and lingers

M - Moderate, lively carbonation; Medium bodied; Pretty smooth going down and leaves the mouth feeling fairly dry

O - I really enjoyed the level of drinkability from this Maui Brewing offering. It's got enough hops and bitterness to bring some satisfaction to that craving, while also supplying some nice toasty character to bring a bit of balance. I would definitely consider grabbing this beer again when in the mood for a solid canned IPA.

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Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a clear Donegal mug. 121511 stamped on the bottom of the can. Received from my good NDN Walker.

A: Slightly hazy golden with 2-finger white foamy head with decent retention and sticky lace all over the glass.

S: Very caramel malty aroma with spruce/pine and floral hops.

T: Overly malty with too much caramel maltiness, almost meaty. It seems like a super-powered APA. The hops have definitely faded with some pine and floral character, a little fruity orange citrus.

M: Solid medium-bodied mouthfeel with low carbonation and medium-dry finish.

O: Time has been not that kind to this beer. Too much maltiness still regardless of age. Doubt this could be too fresh coming from thousands of miles aways.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz aluminum can with a fantastic grip (seriously, every can should feel this way in your hand - just check out the top) served into a generic stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of fair thickness, fair cream, and below average retention. Colour is a nontransparent fairly vibrant copper. Non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Floral hops. Clean malts. That's it. An average strength aroma.

T: Floral hops and clean malts. Maybe some cream and slight caramelization. Unbearably simple and bland. I guess hardcore IPA fans might enjoy it, but I find it rather mundane. Not at all complex or subtle. Not particularly fresh either. It's alright. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequate carbonation. Okay thickness.

Dr: A drinkable but very unremarkable IPA. I wouldn't get it again. Horribly boring and bland. A disappointment from Maui brewing. IPA fans can safely skip this offering.

C-

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml can with a canned-on date of April 2012. Picked up recently from my local beer specialist (they have a bunch of Maui beers hidden in a fridge at the front). Time to catch a wave....

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A golden-amber hue with faint haze and decent carbonation. Forms a smallish head of white foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of sharp grapefruit and citrus, underpinned by sweet, grainy malt and earthy yeast. Nice.

Tastes of tangy citrus with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of grapefruit, citrus, subtle pine, grainy malt and earthy yeast. Considerable bitterness upon swallowing. The alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is pretty dry and tingly, but rather thin and feels overcarbonated. Highly astringent. Aftertaste of sharp citrus and yeast.

A tasty IPA, though not the best I've tried. The biggest let-down is the mouthfeel, which just seems too watery and prickly. The aroma/flavour are good but lacking in depth - the hoppy character seems monotonous. However, it's tasty and goes down easily. If it was cheaply available I'd probably grab another. Worth sampling if you come across it.

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Photo of Duff27
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very nice looking head just short of an inch in height. Body is a light orange. Drink-by-drink step lacing. Great head retention throughout.

S- Whiffs of orangey citrus.

T- Citrus/hop bitterness is there but not overpowering in the least. Thirst quenching. Hides it's 6.8%ABV very well.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation fits the bill.

D/O- Very drinkable IPA here, one that I wouldn't mind sippin' on a whole 6 pack throughout the course of a long evening. Consider this kid impressed. Worth checking out.

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Photo of HoppySailor
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a New Belgium snifter. Canned date of 12/15/2012.

A- Pours a pale gold/straw color and has a nice-looking off-white froth that dissipates quickly and leaves a decent lacing. The brew is cloudy and I am told it is can conditioned, but I do not know for sure. Need to look that up.

S- Yum. It smells like someone just sliced open a fresh grapefruit and splashed juice everywhere. I love it when an IPA smells like grapefruit.

T- The taste is terrific. Very refreshing with a mixture of citrus (grapefruit and pineapple, maybe orange peel) and biscuit. Maybe a hint of malt sweetness but mostly just hoppy citrus. There is some pine in there, but the citrus chases everything else right out off the tongue.

M- The mouth feel is NOT true to IPA style, but I cannot give it bad marks all things considered. It has a LOT of bite, instead of the usual IPA "flat" feel. (I wouldn/t classify this one as "medium body" as many here have) This beer is traditionally enjoyed in warm climates on beaches under hot sun, and this bubbly bite would be a great asset there. I still prefer the real ale feel of traditional IPA, but this one could be enjoyed after an hour of yardwork or while sweating buckets under and umbrella on the beach whereas a normal IPA would not be suited for such conditions.

O- As this one warms the bitterness of the simcoe and cascade hops starts to come out in the finish. Two things would prevent this from becoming my new "go to" IPA - The price (12.99 for six) and the mouth feel. That said, I will still invite this great IPA to any tastings I host and will feel obliged to enjoy it in the future, especially when outdoor activity in warm weather is involved. This is a top-notch brew. It should have it's own class - "warm weather IPA".

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Photo of kemoarps
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw colour. Bubbly white head that dissipates but sticks around just enough to lace the sides beautifully.

The nose is almost a honey sweet with that citrusy/floral hop background bringing it along. This is a delicious smelling beer. Good balance on the aroma.

The taste follows the smell fairly well, expanding on the themes presented and filling out to be a well balanced IPA. The hops are somewhere between floral and grapefruit bitter, with an earthy maltiness running along underneath. The more I drink of this beer, the more I like it.

Smoothe. I'm drinking it on a 100 degree day, and it seems just about perfect. Well balanced and drinkable, though I feel that if I had more than one or two in a sitting it might get overbearing and lose some of its enjoyability. Definitely pick it up if it's available in your area and you have even a passing interest in it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Maui Brewing Big Swell IPA. "Big, hoppy, bold, smooth, and hoppy…did we mention hoppy?" ALC 6.8% by VOL.

Hazy, bright golden hue, Small tight ring of white foam, leaves some lace.

Aroma: pungent and hoppy, plenty of pine and citrus, lemon and orange ahoy! Plenty of bitter, with a hint of sour, and a touch, just a touch, of the sweet. Wonderful complexity.

Taste: Mmmm. Yeah. Boom, there it is. Citrus zest all over the palate, but never too much, not too bitter, not too strong. Hangs on the palate long, slight astringency, but, yeah, smooth, drinkable, and delicious. So nice. Medium-bodied. Tasty tango of bitter and sweet. Downable, indeed, full of hoppitude and hoppiness. Nice stuff.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

retired, really? seems like some recent reviews and the can is stamped canned on 01-31-2012. thanks to my suitcase carrying friend for providing this night cap post tasting! enjoyed from an urthel oversized tulip.

a - brew poured a transparent orange with the classic huge ipa head and mega milkshake like chunky lacing.

s - somewhat musty with some citric hops and a nice malt backbone...bearing in mind that this was canned just over 3 months ago, still relatively nice hop presence, but definitely tamed back, as expected for the age.

t - some faded citric hops...great malt backbone, bitter finish. kind of barleywine like.

m - body is medium and a bit syrupy. some bitterness in the finish.

o - overall, a nice IPA, although i bet this was better fresh...the malts are more prominent and the hops are in the backseat...but a nice flavor profile. would prefer a bit more fresh, but i'll take it...great night cap. assuming that this was more hoppy fresh and considering the age, this is pretty good. thanks for the tick!!!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can. Not making it to this particular island on this trip, so best I grab one from the ubiquitous local convenience stores in Waikiki.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber colour, with two fingers of foamy and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves a pretty consistent array of webbed, bike-chain lace around the glass as it lazily sinks away.

It smells of bready caramel malt, decent grapefruit and orange citrus, with a surprising, but quite enjoyable, biscuit cereal aroma wafting up in the middle of it all. The taste is nice biscuity caramel/toffee malt, a little more coy citrus hops than in the nose, but still holding the room with their zippy goodness, aided in part by a slight herbal/pine sideshow. No excess sass from the big (for a straight IPA) ABV either.

The bubbles are pretty agreeable as they go about their pedestrian job, the body a sturdy middleweight, and delectably smooth, even with those prickly hop interlopers. It finishes good and hoppy, the citrusy, leafy, and piney notes turning out for a last hurrah, but not without a serious sidelong glance from the attendant bready malt sweetness.

A pretty swell (I kid, I kid) IPA, really. And big, did I mention that? Anyways, awesome in a can - and I'm really allowed to bring these to the beach around here? Gonna sure as hell find out soon!

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Photo of Zimbo
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good ripe raw grapefruit nose at first which it quickly extinguished, this builds an fairly easy one inch head (which surrrenders no lacing at any point) and gives a gold to slightly orangy colour.

Bit fizzy, medium bodied with surprisingly well balanced and integrated malty centre and a nice bitter end makes for well bitter integrated whole. Nice ripe aftertaste too.

Can't help but think if this was brewed on the mainland it would be much more highly regarded. Instead its just 'mookalokakiki come on you wanna lay me'.

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Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.