Tonight I wrap up the recap of our trip to Hawaii with details of our time spent in Maui.
But first, let’s review some pineapple flavored beer – Maui Mana Wheat. By style, this is an American pale wheat. I would call it a fruit beer myself. This sucker is jam-packed with pineapple…aroma and flavor. And it’s absolutely delicious. There isn’t anything complicated about this brew, a little wheat flavor and a lot of pineapple flavor is all there is. And it frankly doesn’t need anything else. I love that it’s drinkable and fruity, but not overly sweet. Don’t pick a can of this up expecting to get any hop flavor though…
On Maui we stayed in the town of Lahaina on the west side of the island. Our resort, the Honua Kai, was gorgeous. We had a beautiful view of the mountains from our room and the resort had a private beach.
The Maui Brewery was only a couple of miles from our resort. I had absolutely no excuse not to go, so I went! They had a ton of beers on tap, much of which I didn’t see anywhere else on the islands. Our server Amanda was very knowledgeable about beer and I asked that she select four beers for me to try out. She picked:
- Barrel Aged Chinwig
- Lahaina Brown
- Black Rock Lager
- Lemongrass Saison
The Black Rock Lager was super solid and tasted like coffee and caramel. It was deliciously sweet. It was my favorite of the four.
The Lemongrass Saison was light and effervescent and had a translucent color. It was spicy and lemony, as you might expect.
The Lahaina Brown had stinging carbonation. It was a true brown ale through and through with sweet coffee notes and a distinct lack of bitter aftertaste (a good thing).
The Chinwig was the beer I was most excited about, as I love a good bourbon barrel aged stout. It smelled like MEGA bourbon and sugar and it lacked almost any carbonation, which was weird. It had a strong boozy alcohol burn and was also very sweet. It’s 8.5% ABV tasted more like 10% or more. I really, really wanted to like it, but the off-balanced nature of booze and sweetness was not working for me. Note that by the time I had worked my way through the other beers, this one had warmed up a bit and this could have contributed to my perception.
We couldn’t have visited Hawaii without snorkeling. I absolutely fell in love with it and could do it every day. The ocean was full of thousands of the coolest fish. Furthermore, you didn’t have to take a charter boat to go see them, as the reef in Hawaii is only steps from the beach in most places.
We also took a helicopter tour in Maui. It took us over the island of Molokai and then the back to Maui. It was awe-inspiring to see the dense rainforests, the massive waterfalls and the gorgeous coastline. Unless you take this kind of tour, you will never see a large portion of the islands.
We managed to find a vegan luau on Maui…the only one that I’m aware of on any of the islands. Even better, it was right in Lahaina only 10 minutes from our resort. We sat on the beach, enjoyed some delicious food and drinks (beer pairing included!) and watched some traditional Polynesian dancing.
Lastly, we spent an entire day traveling the Hana Highway. The 50 mile road winds through the rainforest along the northern coast of Maui. The roads are very narrow and sometimes only wide enough for one car and as a result the trip takes 3+ hours. Along the way there are many places to stop and take in scenery. We stopped at a number of them including a black sand beach, a clothing optional red sand beach (sorry, everyone was clothed when we were there), some waterfalls, and some natural pools.
For me, the pinnacle of the Road to Hana (and maybe the whole trip) was when I got a chance to do a cliff jump at a secluded ocean pool (see below). I was on an adrenaline rush for hours afterward!
We were very sad to come home from Hawaii. We had a great time and agreed we would return for our 20th wedding anniversary!