Tag Archives: maui brewing

7pm Gonzo

Maui‘s wee heavy which Scott the barkeep thinks he’d like if it was just a Scottish ale. I agree. So just pretend it’s a Scottish ale!

It’s a good thing to still be able to pretend.

The Maui is solid, it has that malt sugar bite I would expect from as Scottish but it’s maybe two percent alcohol and a hearty malt stickiness away from the wee heavy. I do like it, but it’s no coconut porter. I can pretend it’s a Scottish ale and be happy though.

I am thinking of Gonzo today. For some reason this song has been in my head today and, as songs go, that’s pretty damn good.

Gonzo always was the best: nobody else really threw themselves into things for the love of them the way he did, insisting that their weird way was fine. Loving chickens, thrilled to get shot out of cannons, dreaming of getting to that place where everyone loved him for his weird genuineness.

Don’t get me wrong: I always wanted to be Kermit (you have to aspire to and I always loved the color green) but I identified with the weirdo.

I think my biannual melancholy has come to rest upon my mantle. Nothing too serious, of course but I can tell that my glasses have been tinted with azure and venom. I recall friends lost and chances never properly taken. Nothing to do now but hope things worked out for everyone.

I suppose the election could be part of this, too. We’re all exhausted by it, I’m sure. Day after day of words and not deeds, the gridlock of verbiage flowing though our collective unconsciousness like so much effluvia needing to be flushed out to sea.

No wonder I want a beer.

So where the hell were you?

Oahu, actually. Visiting my girlfriend’s family-but don’t think I forgot about the beer. Oh no.

Kona Brewing, probably the most well known brewery to come out of the island state, was freely available and I availed myself of their Longboard Lager, Fire Rock Pale and even a Big Wave Golden ale. They were all perfectly serviceable beers and although I didn’t get to try it, my companions all had the Wailua Wheat ale and raved.

shocktop beerI tried a Shocktop beer…to my dismay. There are all kinds of things wrong with this beer, some of which should be obvious from the photo but one which was not; this is brewed by Michelob. I didn’t know this before I ordered it but now that you know, dear reader, that should tell you everything you need.

Advised to go to the Yardhouse, I scoured their menu for other local beers. Generally I’m not so fond of chain restaurants and I certainly have some reservations still, but they had a broad selection on tap served in glasses that weren’t frozen and during happy hour the appetizers were cheap and tasty. If you don’t know where else to go, try them out I say. I selected two beers from Mehana Brewing: the Mauna Kae pale and the Volcano amber ale. They were both quite tasty however when later I selected the Mauna Kae in the bottle, my experience was not so positive. I heard from the locals that there had been issues with their bottled beers in the past so get it from the tap if you can.

There’s also a pretty broad selection of Japanese brews in Hawaii; not really surprising but nice to see since they aren’t as available in Oregon. I tried two of Hitachino Nest Beer’s brews; the Japanese Classic and Red Rice ales. The Japanese Classic was a good pale ale but the Red Rice had a queer sweetness at the end of it that turned me off.

maui brewing cansThe real surprise for me was Maui Brewing Company. First off, they were the only craft brewery to have their product in cans. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like beer in cans for a couple reasons. First; cans are lighter and easier to lug from point A to B, which is useful if you’re walking to the store a lot. Second, beer in cans will stay fresher for longer because no light can get in, and I think they’re more airtight as well (but I could be wrong on that last point). Finally, they’re a hell of a lot easier to recycle overall. This should mean less environmental impact but I’ve been told that the process to line the cans so they don’t affect the taste of the beer might negate that. Something I’d like to know more about sometime.

All of that would be fairly meaningless if the beer wasn’t good-but the beer is quite good. The Big Swell IPA is just this side of a pale, but that’s OK because it’s still tasty, the Bikini Blonde is crisp and refreshing, and the Coconut Porter was something I didn’t think was going to work in part because of how warm Hawaii is but it was great. I have been informed that some of their beers have made it to Portland and I hope to seek out and find them to share with other aficionados. I hope other breweries follow them and Caldera and start producing more beers in cans. This is one of those cases where it’s what’s inside that counts. (And the outside is so shiny!)