Editor’s note: This is the fifteenth beer in the Beer Advent Calendar 2015 series. Likewise, I’m going to be posting a beer review each day. Some will be Christmas or Winter ales and other selections will be beers I’ve been wanting to review for some time.

One of my favorite vacation spots is Maui, Hawaii. For the last 5 years or so, it’s been fun to watch Maui Brewing company grow and prosper on the island.

CoCoNut PorTeROne of MBC’s flagship beers is CoCoNut Porter and this time of year, it’s a fun beer to take a look at because coconut anything is amazing in December and combined with a fantastic dark ale…yum!

How does it taste?

Coconut Porter pours super dark with a tan head that remains on the glass long after you pour the beer. The brew smells of cold-brew coffee, malty sweetness and a slight toasted coconut smell. One would expect the coconut scents to be stronger, but not with this ale. It’s subtle at best.

To your tongue, the beer tastes exactly how it smells. The roasted malt is the strongest flavor present with a slight coconut back-kick to the porter.  As one would expect, coffee notes and slight bitterness comes forward with this refreshing and Mounds-bar like taste. In fact, this beer tastes like a Mounds bar in a glass.

Honestly, I’d like to see more coconut influence in a beer with the namesake.

Should I buy it?

This is a beer you should pass on.

If you’re in the MBC taproom in Napili, yes buy a small glass to experience it, otherwise skip this beer.

Review: Maui Brewing Company Mana Wheat

Author: Jason Harris
August 4, 2011

I am a huge fan of wheat beer. Because of Widmer Hefeweizen was one of my first microbrews, wheat beer is high on my list. With that said, I bought Mana Wheat from Maui Brewing Company with excitement. As you’ve seen, I’m not well into a series of brews from Maui Brewing Company and so far, so good with the beers I’ve had thus far.

Mana Wheat is Maui Brewing’s unfiltered beer. In fact, to give an interesting Maui twist to the wheat beer, the brewers infused Mana Wheat with Maui Gold Pineapple. Because most wheat beers (including hefeweizen) require lemon or something simliar to sweeten the taste of the beer, the pineapple is an interesting move.

Upon the first pour, this ale is very cloudy, which is normal for a wheat ale. To the tastebuds, Mana Wheat starts off as a smooth tasting beer with zero bitterness. Then the pineapple kicks in and provides an amazingly refreshing and not overwhelming sweet taste. There’s is a nice fruity sweetness that makes this a balanced and very pleasing beer.

As the Oregon summer kicks in and we have some hot dry days, Mana Wheat is an amazing brew that gives a full body but refreshingly delivered taste.  Check out Mana Wheat – it’s worth the price.

Review: Maui Brewing Company CoCoNut PorTer

Author: Jason Harris
July 28, 2011

When I first started drinking microbrews, I wasn’t a fan of dark beer. I found it to be too thick and murky. However, as my palette has grown, I’ve taken dark beers and love them now. I especially love porters as I find them smooth and tasty.

This review continues the series on brews from Maui Brewing Company, a Lahaina-based brewery that is quite popular in Oregon. Today’s brew is the CoCoNut PorTer (I’m not sure what’s up with the capital letters) and I was very intrigued by this beer. Porter is a nice taste by itself, would the coconut add or take away from this experience? Also of note, I hate flavored beers – the ones ‘enhanced’ with berry flavors especially or orange citrus hints…not cool, dude.

Coconut Porter is a strong beer, coming in at about 6% alcohol. According to the web page, it’s made of six varieties of malted barley, hops and hand toasted coconut.

When I first opened the can, I could smell the hints of coconut and it excited my taste buds to see what the first drink would taste like. The experience is supposed to go like this: beginning with a malty-toasted first sip, then a followup taste of coffee and a finish aftertaste of coconut and hoppy spice.

However, when I first tasted the porter, I picked up on the malt overtones and the hoppy finish, but missed out on the coconut altogether. In fact, this could just be called porter in my book with no coconut at all.

With that said, I wasn’t disappointed at all – this is a GOOD porter that has a slight punch that isn’t overwhelming with malt, just enough to make you want more.  I like this porter a lot – not as much as Black Butte Porter, but it’s easily my second favorite, ever.

I hoped to have more coconut taste in this beer and was let down a bit. However, I’m going to pick up another can because maybe I just got a weak tasting batch.

Have you tried this beer?  What do you think?

Review: Maui Brewing Company Big Swell IPA

Author: Jason Harris
July 17, 2011

Editor’s note: This post begins a four part series that will feature four brews from the islands, specifically Maui and the Maui Brewing Company.

I am positively a huge fan of IPAs. It’s likely my favorite style of beer. That said, I’m pretty picky on Imperial Pale Ales and I only have a handful that I get again and again.  Will Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Company join that list?  Let’s find out.

First of all, Maui Brewing Company comes from my most favorite vacation spot on the globe: Maui, Hawaii. I’ve heard great things about Maui Brewing Company and know of the company because they came to the Oregon Brewers Festival last year where I had a brew of theirs. This brewery has some fans in Portland, Oregon, which is why I know of them.

Big Swell IPA has a slogan that I dug from the beginning of the buying experience: “Big, Hoppy, Bold, Smooth, And Hoppy…Did We Mention Hoppy”. I mean, with expectations like that, this brew better own up.

The hops for Big Swell IPA come from the Northwest including Columbus, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe and a few others.Big Swell IPA comes in at an ABV of 6.8%, so it’s a sipping beer and a not so bitter IBU rating of 50+

At first sip, this beer does taste very flavorful. I wouldn’t say bold, but smooth and hoppy is the way to go. Bold to me sounds overpowering and like getting a sucker punch right in the kisser.

Big Swell IPA is smooth and flavorful. As advertised, the malt is the first flavor that your mouth picks upon. Then the hop flavor, a bit floral but more just punchy, kicks and makes for a very balanced drink.

Big Swell IPA is a very nice balance of all the ingredients. I was sad when I finished my can (yes can…this beer is not bottled) I desired more of the flavor of this beer.

I can easily say that Big Swell IPA will make the shortlist mentioned above. This beer is amazing and is a very very good IPA any beer lover would enjoy.