Brewery + Distillery # 3 – Maui Brewing & Kupu Spirits

Heading to the islands for our last brewery and distillery combo with Maui Brewing and Kupu Spirits.

Let’s check out two Hawaiian spirits and two beers….

Kupu White Whiskey – “Distilled from Malted Barley and Corn, aged at least 808 minutes in new oak barrels. Use this unembellished White Whiskey in place of vodka, rum, or tequila in your favorite cocktail.”

Pono Life Hazy IPA – “Notes of Juicy Pineapple, Mango, and Candied Tangerine.”

Kupu Gin – “Distilled from grain and a proprietary blend of botanicals including juniper, makrut lime, local oranges, lemon peel, licorice root and hibiscus. Refined to perfection.”

Pineapple Chi Chi – “Nitro Golden Ale brewed with local pineapple and freshly toasted coconut.”

Star Maps

You could probably safely, have a blog dedicated just to collaboration beers. I feel that 2018 has set a new mark for duo brews. And here is another with the local Smog City crew heading from Torrance to Hawaii to make Star Maps Kolsch. This Kolsch is brewed with starfruit and rises to a fairly high for the style 6.1% ABV.

I will assume that it will pour at Smog City taprooms and that it will probably still be warm in LA when it comes out.

Hawaiian Re-Brand

Looks like the re-brand bug is more infectious than Zika. Maui Brewing is now unveiling a new look to their cans and while they are cleaner and easier to read, they seem much more generic now. Less Island and more about color coordination.
I like the band across the neck of the can and the easy to find ounces and ABV area near the bottom but instead of a generic whirly pattern, I would have kept the logos and designs of the beers already there so that people could see what they have bought before and not have to stop and think about it.

Thumbs down from this blogger.

Maui Rye

Looks like Maui Brewing has another IPA heading to the mainland and this new rye IPA is named after the famous Haleakala Crater and the sunrises that entrance visitors to the island. Along with the rye malt, Maui uses Chinook and Zythos hops for this canned offering.

At this pace, I will be thoroughly grounded in Hawaiiaan geography.


It is time to pit one canned Kolsch vs another.


Who will win when Maui Brewing Kihei Kolsch takes on Flat Tail Tailgater of Corvallis, Oregon.  Both new to L.A. shelves.

Design – hands down win for Maui with the striking Germanic colors over a rendering of their Kihei taproom.  Tailgater has the Orange State of Oregon but little else.

Color – slight edge to Maui.  A little more eye candy lacing than the Flat Tail.

Aroma – Tailgater smells more traditional.  A little too much spice in the Kihei. Edge to Corvallis.

Taste  – Kihei is bright with orange notes and spice character much like an orange pekoe tea. Tailgater is crisp and clean with with just the right touch of viscosity and citrus notes.

Verdict – if you are looking for a clean and crisp Kolsch without bells and whistles than Flat Tail is the choice.  If you are looking for a Kolsch evocative of the islands than the Maui Brewing can is for you.