Grind Time: ‘Brew Dogs’ roam free on Maui
BY JASON GENEGABUS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Craft beer fans around the United States will get to learn more about Maui Brewing Company on Wednesday when Esquire’s “Brew Dogs” airs an episode filmed on Maui earlier this year.
Airs at 6 p.m. Wednesday on Esquire Network (Oceanic Digital Ch. 550)
Maui Brewing’s Garrett Marrero joined “Brew Dogs” hosts James Watt and Martin Dickie in May when the pair were in Hawaii to “taste distinctive craft beers” and “create their own outrageous, locally-inspired drafts.” Each episode of the show, which is now in its second season, finds the two Scottish master brewers in a new city working with new ingredients and local brewers each time.
“It’s always good to be selected,” Marrero said by phone earlier this week of the “Brew Dogs” invitation. “James and I have been friends for a while. … (He) called me up and said they were finally allowed to shoot in Hawaii.”
The episode follows Marrero, Watt and Dickie as they come up with a concept for an imperial golden ale that incorporates coconut and Maui cane sugar. In a twist, they turn to an alternate heating source to help produce the special batch of beer.
“Instead of heating the wort using a traditional modern method, we used burners to super-heat lava rock,” said Marrero. “I think we got them up somewhere between 1,000 and 1,300 degrees, which helped to caramelize the sugars and heat the wort. We had to heat the rocks up five or six times to get a good boil going. Then we fermented the wort (to make the beer).”
Nobody has been able to sample the new A’a Coconut Ale other than a small group of family and friends who were invited to a tasting party filmed for the episode, but that all changes this week. The lava rock-inspired ale will be poured at MBC’s brewpub in Lahaina, as well as at Monkeypod Kitchen and Flatbread on Maui. It’s possible that REAL a Gastropub on Oahu got a keg or two, but Marrero said he wasn’t entirely sure the beer made it safely to Oahu yet (call REAL first, (808) 596-2526, to confirm it’s on tap).
IT’S EASY to forgive him for the temporary lapse of memory, as Maui Brewing continues to maintain a frenetic pace as the company expands on the Valley Isle. Along with the construction of a new production facility that boasts a price tag in the tens of millions of dollars, Marrero recently entered into a new partnership with Stone Brewing Company to launch Maui/Stone Craft Beverages, a joint venture that aims to bring nearly 20 new brands of beer previously unavailable to consumers in Hawaii.
“It’s been great, we’ve really enjoyed the support of the community here,” Marrero said of his experience working with Maui residents and state government officials to both expand Maui Brewing as well as help introduce a new law (Act 211) that makes it easier for local breweries and distilleries to distribute and sell their products directly to the general public. “But being done with construction will be the best feeling ever.”
Once the new production facility is built, a second brewpub is in the works for Maui, followed by additional expansion plans that include a distillery and are tentatively set to get underway in 2016. While Oahu residents continue to wait for a brewpub to call their own, it appears they’ll be forced to wait a few more years.
“There’s definitely potential,” Marrero said of his prospects finding a location on Oahu, but admitted his focus remains squarely on Maui in the short term. “It’s all about what the people want. I definitely think that’s in our future.”
“Grind Time” is always looking for the latest places to get your grub on. Email Jason Genegabus with restaurant, bar or any other food/drink-related item at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.