Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Big Swell IPA | Maui Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
86
very good
405 Reviews
THE BROS
67
poor
Read the review
Big Swell IPABig Swell IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Maui Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States
mauibrewingco.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
50+ IBU

Added by GClarkage on 01-19-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
405
Ratings:
1,043
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
17.23%
 
 
Wants:
37
Gots:
166
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 405 | Ratings: 1,043
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 3-4-11
Reviewed cold from a can to a glass

A - Poured a nice one finger of foam, a little cloudy, carbonation is present, light orange color

S - Sweet citrus notes, orange and lemon. Hops and don't really pick up any malt

T/M - Medium to lighter bodied, crisp hops bitterness, but smoothed over with a nice citrus blend for a great tasting brew. Hop bitterness pass's quick

D - Overall a great brew. Well done Maui brewing for creating this brew. Excellent blend of hops and citrus. I highly recommend this brew and hope to get more of it!

 556 characters

Photo of Beerbuddha
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer poured a nice hazy amber color with huge white head which disappeared quickly. Lacing present but not long.

Smell: Grass, pine and fruit.

Taste: A nice Chuck Norris hop kick to the mouth with hints of grass, pine and fruit. Nicely balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation with medium body.

Overall: Damn good IPA. And again I love that these beers come in cans.

 390 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Gold with a hint of amber and a little haze. One finger of sticky looking white head.

Smell. Pine and sweet papaya with a little white grapefruit. Awesome

Taste. Bitter, piney hops. Some light toasty grains and a little grapefruit rind. Pretty dry. Not really what I expected from the smell, but NICE.

Mouthfeel. Light-medium body with medium SMOOTH carbonation. Crisp and dry.

Overall. Love this stuff. Thinking of booking a trip to Hawaii after drinking this one.

 481 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a gold/amber tint with a nice white head. Nose is stereotypic fresh pineapple.

Mouthfeel is medium thin and decently balanced but with no real character or appeal.

Flavors are medium full sweet to bitter but without a bright character. A kind of dull fruity bitter that then goes to a grapefruit skin bitter. Not bad - just nothing special. The flavors and character are bold but not all that appealing.

Finish is best character. Long bitter grapefruit that goes on and on.

 485 characters

Photo of joshuasamantha
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprised the brothers gave this one a C! Tried their session beer they did with Stone at the Stone Brewery and I was super impressed with their Coconut Porter with coffee bean and Macadamia nut. So I thought I'd give their IPA a shot- looks like an IPA, slightly cloudy. Tasted pretty good, an easier drink than some of the more punchy IPA that are out there. If you like IPA's and you have a unsure person with you, this would be a good beer to lay on them I think.

 467 characters

Photo of Mages64
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a can into a 12oz tulip glass. Canned 12/3/10

A: clear darker yellow, almost twilight sun color
S: Citrus nose with a slight hint of resin or tree sap
T: largely citrus but not in an assertive way. there is a super sweet finish that I don't care for but it isn't unpleasant. Bitterness follows the quickly fading sweetness.
M: wonderful carbonation leaves a positive impression and although it isn't full bodied by ANY means, it certainly isn't thin. Quite a balanced ipa.
D: due to the unpleasant(to me) finish, I wouldn't go run out to buy more however its really balanced and a beer I'd absolutely bring a 6pk with me to a party due to the well made and non-offensive nature of this beer.

 706 characters

Photo of brew3crew
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can dated 7/21/10

A-yellow. Somewhat orange with white lacing and head.
S-piney hops.and some malt character come out in the taste.
T-alot like it smells. Piney and malt. Not so fresh but still solid
M-medium body and smooth
D-Solidly drinkable. If it were fresh I would imagine it being better

 295 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orangish yellow. A good amount of white head. Lots of lacing. Smells incredibly piney. Tons of pine and hops on the nose. Fairly one dimensional though. Tastes sweet and hoppy. Its a bit old but the hop profile leaves something to be desired. Lots of pine a touch of floral hints but not much in terms of citrus or anything else. The sweet malt profile is pretty nice and compliments the beer well. Very smooth and drinkable but overall not a great IPA

 465 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part of a mixed six pack this is a big IPA that has a great citrus hop nose and settles into a well rounded beer that never forgets the hops. You need a glass to really appreciate this beer but the can is great. With the lager and the porter in the mixed six this shows a real nice range from the brewery

 304 characters

Photo of camp0474
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 2/27/11

A: Pours a pale orange to light gold color with frothy off-white head.

S: Strong citrus hops, tart lemon and grapefruit. Faint sweet malts hide way in back. Somewhat bready. Very hop forward.

T: Strong hops. Biting tart citrus. Mostly lemon rind and some grapefruit. Faint bready malt attempts to balance with little success. Finishes pretty bitter from the hops. I prefer a more balanced IPA but this one gives a good showing of citrus hops. A slight astringent aftertaste.

M: Light to medium body with medium carbonation. Lots of hops resins linger for a while. Goes down slick.

D: Good showing of hops but quite unbalanced. But this is a good hoppy IPA.

This beer tasted extra good sitting on the beach in Hawaii.

 743 characters

Photo of Beernf
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cans purchased at BevMo in Santa Monica, CA

I dig this beer. A very unpretentious IPA that isn't overpowering with hops. Well balanced and goes great with burgers. Can is good for drinking out of, and you get a lot of conversations started when people see you drinking from a can. Usually goes something like, "Hey man. I thought you were a beer snob, what gives with the can?" And then you get to educate them all about the upcoming can revolution and how it really seals the flavor of the beer in better, etc and they think you are really cool. I can put several of these down in a row and feel good. Very drinkable and not skunky like some IPAs. I have pals who are very anti-IPA but will occasionally drink this one.

 721 characters

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice one finger head, the body is very light, it almost looks like a lager. Looks like it is leaving good lacing. Smell is very hoppy and citrusy, it smells very good. Hmm, very interesting flavor, I don't get the hops as much as I thought I would. I pick up some hops for sure, but also a bit of malts. Regardless, it is very smooth, easy drinking. For sure a lighter IPA here, but they pull it off, it's a good beer and they did a good job on it here!

 461 characters

Photo of herman77
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden, darker yellow with a thin white head that dies off pretty quick. Okay lacing.

S: Mainly citrus hops and a bit of carmel malt. A little weak on the nose. Not too old canned 12/15/10

T: Pretty damn hoppy. Starts out a bit hoppy, mainly citrus, pine and a bit of grapefruit with some carmel malt sweetness. The hoppiness progresses and intensifies as it goes across the different tastebuds.

M: Medium to lighter body. Moderate to soft carbonation. Feels pretty smooth.

D: Decent drinkability. Reminds me of summer. How I wish it was summer...

 554 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to THECPJ for this one.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with a solid 2 finger head. Dissipated in a few minutes to layer of white on top. Very nice lacing around the entire glass.

S: Very heavy on the citrus, lots of grapefruit and some orange. A little bit of bready malts break through, but mostly hops here.

T: Citrus up front, but not overwhelming. A nice sweetness in the middle is very nice, some caramel malt as well. Slightly bitter finish, but overall the flavor seems to drop off a bit at the end.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Crisp and clean, nice balance. Overall, an easy drinking IPA. Doesn't do anything to make it stand out, but its solid. If it was available to me, could be a fridge staple, especially in cans.

 755 characters

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber with a slight chill haze. The head on this sucker is foamy and loves to leave lacing all over the glass.

S - Dank hop resin, earthy hops and a little bit of citric hops... I think I know what this beer is going to be all about.

T - Mango, citrus, pineapple right on the tongue without an overwhelming sensation of bitterness. The finish is slightly harsh with a touch of astringency. Not my favorite hop-bill, but pretty decent.

M - Lighter than expected with a decent amount of carbonation in order to get those hops to really pop on the tongue.

D - Very refreshing, I can see that Maui wanted to go with a very beach-ready IPA, and they delivered. I love trying new IPAs and am glad I traded for this one.

 721 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 1/13/11. Can, Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A: A lighter colored IPA, a golden straw color. Looks refreshing. Slightly hazy and effervescent. Minimal half-finger head and some lacing.

S: Citrus hops on the nose. Smells clean and floral, with a little carmelly/bready sweetness from the malts.

T: Subdued grapefruit and orange/orange peel, very pleasant hop presence, really only slightly bitter. I think I can taste the bready malt backbone too, a little doughy and sweet. The flavors are quite level and even, nothing is overwhelming. Very pleasant.

MF: Only slightly biting, with a light crisp & carbonated mouthfeel.

Pretty darn drinkable IPA.

 659 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz can. Pours a clear yellow gold with a thinnish white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts with fruity piney hops.

The flavor is some sweet malts with solid fruity (grapefruit, orange), resiny, piney, hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation, slightly watery.

Overall, a very solid IPA, albeit a bit pricey at $11 a 6 pack. It was brightest cold...as it warmed it faded some IMO.

 465 characters

Photo of angelmonster
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big 1 inch white head, body is a clear dark gold. Head retention and lacing were mediocre.

Smell is of floral, earthy hops. Sweet malt and honey is also there. For only 6 percent abv, no alcohol is detected.

Taste is of sweet, caramel malts mixed with grassy hops. Getting lots of herbs, fresh cut grass, and finishes off with some bitter citrus. No alcohol is present.

Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Head didnt last too long which knocked down the score a little.

Drinkability was high with this beer. Very sessionable and since it comes in the can, could knock down 3 or 4 of these by the pool without having to worry about breaking any rules. Biggest downside to this beer was that since its coming from Hawaii, it's a bit pricey compared to the tons of other Ipa's available in Colorado.

 813 characters

Photo of katan
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light golden color with a few orange highlights. Light pearly white head formation, breaks down to a film. Small amount of lacing. Lightly bubbly. Very clear.

S - Very strong citrus hop nose, very potent. A floral and fruity lean, not edgy or piney. Grapefruit, orangey.

T - Starts off very balanced, some 2 row sweetness but also a big bitter bite. Lots of fruit like hop notes. Maye some caramel here, but it is a secondary flavor. Mid-stream a huge piney edgy note, almost fresh hop like, comes in. Bitterness is strong. Aftertaste is a sticky bitterness.

M - Moderate body, strong carbonation. Lots of bubbling textures. Finishes very oily and clinging.

D - Moderate drinkability. The ABV is not out of line for a good American IPA. The bitterness is pretty palette wrecking. Somewhat filling.

A pretty aggressive IPA - good to have in the rotation.

 892 characters

Photo of freeboard
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this at a restaurant in Waikiki during the holidays and I really liked the sweet and bitter taste of this IPA. Both seems to balance out after a few sips of the beer. At first the sweet and fruity taste / smell seemed strong however; after you drink the beer the bitter and sweet balance out. This is a good beer on tap in Hawaii, so, I can't speak for the cans or bottles. This is similar to the Kona Castaway however; you can only purchase the Kona Castaway at a Kona brew Pub. It's good to see this Maui Brew is sold to the public and worth a try if you like Hawaii IPA beer. We don't get a large choice in Hawaii, so, this IPA is on the top of my list for local brews and it's FRESH out of the tap.

 708 characters

Photo of treyrab
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Usually Maui doesn't make its way into PA, so when I saw a fresh, sole can on the shelf, I swooped up it. The only other Maui beer I have had was Coconut Porter. That is one of my favorite porters, so I had high expectations for this.

A: As I crack the can, foam seeps out of the aluminum and down the side of the can. My hands got sticky as I grabbed the wet can and poured into a Great Lakes Brewing Co pint glass. A nice, clear light amber with a two finger sticky white head. While it is clear, it seems a touch hazy, almost as if looking with a film on your eyes. Very nice look.

S: Smell is very nice. Predominantly citrus (mango and orange) with a touch of tart grapefruit. Nice dry scent with loads of fresh fruit bitterness.

T: Surprisingly very good. Nice and sticky mouthfeel, which I like in my IPAs. So much hop resin that yields a blast of orange and grapefruit bitterness. Not the most bitter IPA, but very well integrated with the malt backing.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. A very pleasant IPA that I would buy more of.

 1,042 characters

Photo of alli4051
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a SA perfect pint.

Pours a dull, hazy, burnt orange with an off-white head. Head is frothy and rocky, dissipates slowly and leaves tons of lacing. Scent is pleasantly hoppy, lots of citrus. Taste is piney, citrusy and resiny. Definitely very hop forward but not quite hop bomb level as there is a hint of malt in the finish to kinda round things out. On the lighter side of medium bodied and well carbonated. Not sure if it was the fact that I'm a sucker for new arrivals or the fact that the first major storm in Colorado implored me to buy beer from a warm tropical location but I am glad I picked this one up. Probably will again too.

 667 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice yellow color, looks delicious. Good lacing on the glass and a very hoppy aroma, clean. The flavor is bitter and hoppy, very clean and right up my alley. Unfortunately it costs $11 per sixer and the value just isn't there for me. There are several other IPAs I can buy for $8-9 so I won't be buying this again.

 314 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour into a half-pint glass at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Hay, sawdust, and faint black pepper make up this beer's weak and unimpressive smell.

T: Begins off-dry, with pilsner malt and spicy/minty herbaceous hop aromatics that pack a definite snap. Flavors become more dry in the middle, which can be described as brief but very clean. The finish demonstrates restrained bitterness and a whiff of honey.

M: Thin viscosity, wet on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: This is an interesting beer that struggles with its style identity. Between the noble character of the hops and the honeyed finish--not to mention the overall clean, smooth character--it could pass more easily as an imperial/extra pilsner than as an American IPA. Despite the underwhelming aroma qualities found here, this is a beer that tastes good and keeps the attention of the palate, all while staying crisp and refreshing.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kk73 for another Hawaiian treat.

12oz can poured into standard pint.

A- Pours a light copper that is completely transparent. A nice bubbly two fingers worth of head dies down quickly but leaves some good lacing.

S- Big west coast hops. Nice and tropical which fits the locale. Some sweet malts are also present.

T- Pretty much the same as the nose. Big, tropical hops and a strong malt backbone. A little bitterness but nothing overpowering. There is also a slight bready quality as well.

M- Medium bodied with a dry finish. Some good carbonation but doesn't really tickle the tongue.

D- Fittingly enough it comes in cans so it can be taken onto the beach. Like a few other brews, I enjoyed a bunch of these in Hawai'i. Good tropical flavors and good balance make this a pretty good offering on the Island.

 823 characters

Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,043 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe