One of the reasons we started Maui Craft Tours was to share our admiration and appreciation for the people behind the scenes of Maui’s local craft industry. Over the last few years, the owners, managers and employees of Maui’s winery, brewery, distilleries and craft restaurants have become more than friends, and we couldn’t be prouder to call them ohana.
In an effort to introduce our readers to the brains behind these local operations, we’re interviewing some of our favorite Maui craft ohana members. This month, we’re starting off strong with Garrett Marrero, the owner of Maui Brewing Co. and the winner, along with wife Melanie Oxley, of the 2017 Small Business Awards ‘National Small Business Person(s) of the Year.‘ As the locals would say, chee hoo!
Take 5: Garrett Marrero of Maui Brewing Co.
Q: What are the advantages of living in Hawaii when it comes to the craft food & beverage business?
Living in Hawaii, especially Maui, is its own reward but presents its own challenges as well when it comes to doing business. Aside from the obvious, Hawaii presents wonderful energy and agricultural resources that allow us to experiment and innovate with our beers. Farmers and ranchers also produce some of the highest quality food resources to prepare for service to our residents and visitors alike.
Q: What is your philosophy when it comes to brewing beer?
Non-traditional interpretations of traditional beers! Craft beer, true craft beer, is about innovation, a sense of place and quality. We like to use ingredients from our local ag community to create what we call LiquidAg… craft beer with direct ties to the unique agricultural goods grown here. One of our most popular beers, releasing again this December, is the POG IPA. This is a gorgeous IPA brewed with local Passionfruit (lilikoi), Oranges (all from my house) and Guava. Our brew team prides itself on using only real fruit instead of extracts from a jar as others may.
Q: Who (or where) do you look to for inspiration for Maui Brewing Co.?
Again, we take a big nod from local ag, and how can we improve upon a given style of beer and make it “Maui” style. Our team stays in close contact with local farmers so we know what is available, and try to integrate that in wherever we can and when it makes sense. This is true of both our brewing team as well as our restaurant team members.
Q: What, if any, special projects do you have planned for the coming year?
Wow… so many! Solar PV with Tesla battery storage as well as biodiesel generators for backup. This system will provide 100% of the electrical energy at our Kihei site. Also, we have added solar thermal to make our hot water versus using propane to fire boilers. Another exciting component to our sustainability commitment is the installation of a C02 recovery system, very unique for a brewery of our size. This will capture C02 from fermentation and clean and store it for reuse, allowing us to create our own C02 supply onsite, removing over 1MM pounds of C02 release in the 1st year alone.
On the restaurant side, we’re excited to open our third restaurant location in Jan/Feb 2018 at our main brewery in Kihei, which has been long awaited by many. Then we’ll have a 4th restaurant location open in late summer 2018 in Kailua on Oahu. This will bring the total restaurant locations where our fans can enjoy the Maui Brewing experience to 2 on Maui and 2 on Oahu.
Aside from the above, we’re also expanding the brewery to increase brewing capacity as well as natural sodas, and also adding a distillery operation leading to canned craft cocktails as well.
Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect of the business?
Hanging out in any one of our locations with our team, having a beer together. We get to interact with our fans and enjoy their excitement. It’s especially rewarding to Melanie and myself, as we are so proud of what our team has accomplished together.
Give us two cool facts about yourself or your business. Go!
I’ve recently started making my own breads and pasta!
Melanie is a fantastic painter.
We foster care dogs.
#TeamMBC f’in rocks!!!
We’d like to say a massive mahalo to Garrett for participating in our first ‘Take 5’ Interview, and we cannot wait to taste the POG IPA and see what’s to come for Maui Brewing Co.!
Be sure to ‘Like’ our MCT Facebook page for a special holiday drawing, and join our Taste of Maui, Ultimate Craft Adventure or Field to Glass Tour for a behind-the-scenes look at Maui Brewing Co.’s craft beers and more information about the brewing process. Thanks for reading, and we wish you have a wonderful holiday season. Aloha!