Thursday, 24 December 2009
Honeymoon in Hawaii
Greetings all and I have to say it’s good to be back. A few of you are probably aware that my honeymoon was (for the most part) in Maui, one of the Hawaiian islands. A Day or two was also spent in San Francisco but this wasn’t nearly enough and we vow to return sometime. Anyhow from what I have noticed (could be wrong here) no beer bloggers I know of to date have covered Hawaii, and it is a rather pleasant place so I thought it would be great to cover it. The reasoning behind our decision to go to Maui was firstly that Helen wanted to go to somewhere sunny, preferably an island where a beach was present, I wanted somewhere to hunt beer and since Hawaii is part of the USA I thought bingo, there’s bound to be some craft brewers.
Beer in Maui
I must first of all mention that 90% of the craft beer available in Maui I found was from ether one of two breweries. These were Kona brewing (from the big island of Hawaii) and the Maui brewing company based in Maui.
Maui brewing company:
The three seemingly core brands are available virtually everywhere on the island on tap or in rather neat sized cans. Apart from these many more quality beers can be found at the Maui brewing company brewpub including the silky smooth chocolate stout, crisp citrusy Puao Pale ale and the liquorishy, Dunkel lager. Another interesting find was the PIA HALE mild ale, which technically could be called a mild, but just seemed a bit wrong served so cold and keg conditioned.
Me and the wife at Maui brewing company brewpub.
Bikini blonde lager.
Bikini blonde lager is great as your everyday session beer, and I did have allot of this stuff. Notably it’s a Helles, and probably the best ive tried. Straw colored and quaffable yet soft and flavorful Bikini blonde offers lush floral herbal hops to the nose leading to a palate of fresh smoothly rounded creamy malt and delicate herbal grassy hops with a slight lime/citric hint. This one went nicely with seafood chowder.
Big Swell IPA.
A bold, brash mouthful of hops is the easiest way to describe this one, with big sappy malts balancing. Pretty orthodox but well crafted American IPA, this one served well with a Hula cheeseburger and Maytag bleu cheese. With a little tobasco sauce this proved a rater intense combination.
Coconut porter is a very intriguing interpretation of the style. The first time I tried this one I found the coconut flavor seemed to build into it as you drank. But it is rather balanced with lots of coffee-chocolate, bready, roast malt notes harmonizing well with the obvious coconut dominated flavor profile. It seemed to pair well with allot of island cuisine, nicely with Kona coffee cheesecake and exceptionally well with banana bread and Pineapple upside down cake.
Kona brewing company.
Sadly I don’t have as much to report on Kona. The amber hued full bodied Fire Rock pale is worth a try, and Longboard lager comes across as a decent clean cut pilsner, but the magic of Maui brewing company beers just wasn’t there. Then again I never got hold of any of the famous Pipeline porter.