Out of 12 votes
30 Kupaoa Street, Unit 101
Pukalani, HI 96768
Move over, Mai Tais; it's beer's time to shine. For far too long, when vacationers to Maui wanted to celebrate their arrival with a tropical drink, they were met with the same tired, fruity cocktail options. This is no longer the case, as the craft beer scene is on the rise in the islands. It's been discovered that Maui's bounty of tropical fruit can be used to make a dang good beer. And, there's no greater evidence of this fact than what flows through the taps at Upcountry's one and only brewery: Mahalo Aleworks.
Mahalo Aleworks was founded by beer enthusiast and brewer Ben Kopf and his wife, Jacquelyn. Together they have assembled a world-class brewing squad, with a member of their team even boasting a bachelor's degree in brewing science from UC Davis.
While most small breweries tout "locally brewed beer," it's hard to beat Mahalo Aleworks on the local front. Not only is their beer brewed at their Upcountry taphouse, but Mahalo Aleworks also utilizes "hyper-local" seasonal and native fruits in their beer, grown in their very own nearby orchard. Yes, Mahalo Aleworks has its own orchard, and there are about 20 different varieties of fruit growing in it. What's more, Mahalo Aleworks has also been foraging around the slopes of Haleakala to collect a variety of wild yeast and bacteria to use in their brewing process. It's hard to get more local than using wild Haleakala yeast.
Due to their efforts to keep things local, the taps at Mahalo Aleworks are consistently rotating depending on what's in season. So some days, you'll find a Kula lime gose, while on others, you might be sippin' a lilikoi sour. But if you're worried that Mahalo Aleworks strictly serves brews that err on the light and fruity side, don't fret. Porters, IPA's, hazys, blondes, and browns also grace their ever-changing tap list. The brewers at Mahalo Aleworks are fans of the classics, as well as imagining creative new styles. Both the millennial craft beer connoisseur and grandpa who has been religiously drinking Miller Light for the last 30 years will find something they enjoy at Upcountry's only brewery.
Also on offer at Mahalo Aleworks is something even the designated driver will appreciate: crowlers (canned growlers) to go. So to our designated drivers, our unsung heroes, reward yourself with a Mahalo Aleworks crowler to enjoy at home.
Mahalo Aleworks is counter service only, but behind the counter is a team of friendly employees, eager to answer any questions and have a chat about their beers. Since the brewhouse is so big and often busy, we enjoyed the counter service as it feels like an efficient way to manage the demand. This also keeps the staff from running trays of beers to customers seated on the second level of the brewery, which I'm sure they appreciate. Simply pay (or start a tab), grab your freshly poured beer, and pick a seat.
Modern, bright, and stylish, Mahalo Aleworks is a great Upcountry hangout. Glossy surfboards serve as decoration, and the atmosphere stays true to the laid-back environment of the area. The space itself is huge, with two stories and indoor, outdoor, bar, and lounge seating. Even on the busiest nights, you should still be able to find a seat somewhere in this sprawling brewery.
The brewery itself doesn't serve food, but there are some excellent dining options to choose from. On the patio of the brewery is the Upcountry Sausage Co cart, which serves up freshly grilled sausage hot dogs that you can stack with toppings of your choice. Alternatively, you can order hand-tossed sourdough pizza from the restaurant next door, Marlow. Gourmet sausage, pizza, and beer- it's a match made in heaven.
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