When you think of famous Hawaii beverages, most would think of a “Mai Tai” featured at the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider Hotels back in 1953. Or an authentic “Blue Hawaii” introduced in 1957 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and later showcased in Elvis’ movie of the same name. Now in 2008 there is a new award winning Hawaii brew called “CoCoNut Porter”.

Launched by the Maui Brewing Company, the local business is hoping to create three unusual signature beers that are 100% brewed and canned in Hawaii. Headed by brewmaster Tom Kerns, Garrett Marrero and wife Melanie Oxley, the Maui Brewing Co, microbrewery and restaurant was created just north of Ka’anapali, in Maui. The trio created three signature beers and began distributing them throughout the island. They increased production, and within two years, Marrero saw the need to expand his seven-barrel brew pub.

As Marrero, stated in the Honolulu Advertiser, when the opportunity came up to own a microbrewery on Maui, the former investment consultant jumped at the chance. In December 2004, he and Oxley packed up their belongings and moved from Sacramento to the Valley Isle to take over the former Fish and Game Brewing Co. and Rotisserie in Kahana. Last February, Marrero opened a larger, 25-barrel production and canning facility in Lahaina and distributed his first cases a month later. “We’re on track to do over $1 million in business this year,” he said. “If we include the brew pub, we’re on track to do over $3.5 million.”

Maui Brewing makes three main brews: Bikini Blonde, a light German-style lager; Big Swell IPA, a pale ale; and CoCoNut Porter, made with toasted coconut. The Advertiser noted that the CoCoNut Porter was awarded a gold medal at the 2006 World Beer Cup, and honors also were given to Maui Brewing at the Great American Beer Festival and other events. The brewery also makes 25 different styles of beer throughout the year. The company hopes to expand distribution to Japan and California. So if you are in Maui, stop by and experience an authentic local Maui brew.

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