Maui Brewing Company: 5 Essentials

5 Essentials by | Feb 2015 | Issue #97

On Christmas Eve 2014, Maui Brewing Company opened the doors to its new taproom in Kihei, Hawaii. Bigger, greener and complete with an outdoor patio and the island’s well known fleet of food trucks parked on the curb, Maui is poised for the future. Having outgrown its previous space in Lahaina, owner Garrett Marrero moved his production facility south almost a decade after winning two silver medals at his first GABF. “South Maui is a great community and has welcomed us kindly,” he says. Maintaining his focus on the environment—including packing his beer in lightweight, recyclable cans made in Hawaii—as well as a commitment to supporting local business, these are the five things that Marrero finds essential to the operation of his 10-year-old company.

1. The Pacific Ocean
Spend any time in Hawaii and it’s obvious how tied everyone is to the water. “If you live on Maui, you love the ocean. It’s the source of so much in our daily lives,” says Marrero. Both the new brewery and the Lahaina brewpub are short distances from the beach, making it easy for employees and customers to access. “Our team spends a lot of time on or in the water whether it be spearfishing, standup paddleboarding, scuba diving, surfing and more.”

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2. Sustainability
Brewing on an island has its share of challenges, especially when supplies, like hops and malt, have to be shipped in. That’s why sustainability plays such a big part in everything Maui Brewing does, from reducing waste to sourcing things locally. “This year we’ll use over 2 million pounds of malted barley. And this will all become spent grain and go to local farmers for composting and cattle feed,” Marrero says. One of those local farmers is Maui Cattle Co., which supplies Maui’s brewpub with high quality island beef to complete the sustainability cycle. The brewpub also serves up other local ingredients including onions, sweet potatoes and house made condiments.

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3. Renewable Energy
The sun is one of the most abundant resources available in Hawaii, and Maui takes advantage of it with a newly completed off-grid 200kW solar array with battery backup and four Electric Vehicle Chargers. At Kihei, they’re investing in solar energy for both heating water and generating power. “We feel this is not only an important responsibility to the environment but also has a significant impact financially as our company grows,” Marrero reasons. With a dream to move the brewery completely off the grid, Maui Brewing is well on its way.

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4. A Centrifuge
Along with an upgrade in space and resources, Maui installed a centrifuge to improve its filtering ability. The centrifuge separates out solids, like yeast, by spinning the fermented beer at high speeds. Marrero says it’s already become an important part of production in the few short months that it has been in use. Replacing the eco-friendly paper pads that Maui previously used to filter beer, the centrifuge will mean less waste and more control over efficiency and quality. All of which adds up to more Bikini Blonde Lager, Maui’s Munich-style Helles.

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5. Pau Hana Time
Meaning “all done with work,” pau hana is when brewers and staff hang out and have a few beers together at the end of the work day. “It’s common to see the team in the tasting room with other guests having a few brews together enjoying the camaraderie that exists among our craft beer family,” Marrero says.