The Great Beer Cocktail


Story by Becky Speere

Beer cocktails as luxury drinks? You bet your tankard! The refreshing, ice-cold bubbly from Maui’s craft breweries can stand up to some of the continent’s best craft beers. This we know, thanks to the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, held in Denver last October. Out of 7,300 beers judged, Maui’s own brought back two coveted awards, including Maui Brewing Company’s Imperial Coconut Porter, which captured the gold in the Field Beer category. This January, the Grand Wailea’s Humuhumunukunukuapua‘a restaurant debuts Shore Break, an upscale beer cocktail with a tiki-bar touch, featuring Maui Brewing Company’s Big Swell.

Shore Break Recipe

Courtesy of Grand Wailea’s Humuhumunukunukuapua‘a

  • beer cocktails2 oz. Tanqueray gin
  • 3/4 oz. falernum*
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • Big Swell IPA to top off
  • garnish: pineapple slice and mint sprig, optional

Fill a 16-oz. glass with ice. Add first 4 ingredients, slowly topping off with Maui Brewing Company’s Big Swell. Garnish with a slice of sweet Maui Gold pineapple and a sprig of mint.

*A sweet syrup used in tropical drinks, falernum contains flavors of almond, lime, ginger and/or cloves, and sometimes vanilla or allspice. It is an irreplaceable ingredient in mai tais — and now, beer cocktails. Learn how to make it at Imbibe

A Whale of a Launch

Koholā is the Hawaiian word for humpback whale, but when Koholā Brewery received a bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, it was for the company’s German-style Lokahi Pilsner.

It’s been less than a year since Koholā Brewery opened in Lahaina. (Until the bottling plant’s complete, you’ll find the company’s craft beers exclusively at the brewery’s tasting room and at restaurants around the island.) But Koholā’s not waiting to jump on the beer cocktail bandwagon. Named after the “beertender” who invented it, The Seth is a refreshing drink combining 6 oz. 88 Light Rye IPA and 2 oz. Lokahi Pineapple Pilsner in a pint glass.

Brewery owner Christine Elumba says, “It’s fun to mix and match. For people who want a healthier drink with less alcohol, Secret Bastard Child is the answer: a pint glass filled 50/50 with Kai Ala Saison (Belgian-style farmhouse ale) and VitaliTea kombucha.”

Check Koholā’s website for information on monthly pop-up beer-pairing dinners.

Koholā Brewery | 910 Honoapi‘ilani Hwy., #55, Lahaina | 808-868-3198 |


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