Founded in 2005 by San Diego native Garrett Marrero, Maui Brewing Co. is the first and so-far only Hawaiian brewery that both brews and packages their beer in Hawaii. In fact, while some of the resulting product is shipped the 11 other states in its distribution network, about 80 percent of the more than 20,000 barrels of beer it produces every year stays in the islands.
First introduced by the brewery in 2010, Mana Wheat is a 5.5 percent ABV American-style wheat ale that is “lightly hopped” with hersbrucker hops from Germany before being infused with juice from locally-sourced pineapples. According to the brewery, the beer is left unfiltered and the yeast stays in suspension, “making the ale traditionally cloudy.”
Mana Wheat is one of four different Flagship Beers that Maui Brewing Co. offers year-round:
- Bikini Blonde Lager — 5.1 percent ABV — Munich hells lager
- Big Swell IPA — 6.8 percent ABV — double IPA
- CoCoNut PorTeR — 6 percent ABV — porter brewed with coconut
- Mana Wheat — 5.5 percent ABV — wheat ale brewed with pineapples
The Maui Mana Wheat pours an very hazy golden color with a finger of snow white head that dissipates quickly, leaving behind the barest hint of lacing. Aroma from the glass is a combination of yeast, wheat, pineapple sweetness, malt, spices and ginger.
Starting out with the Maui Mana Wheat, and flavors of both wheat and pineapple easy dominate the palate, both tropical and fruity. While it is noticeable on the finish, the pineapple is not as sweet as I expected and it works well with the base beer. There are other flavors as well, including cloves, grains and bananas along with a small amount of white pepper. Carbonation is spritzy without going overboard, but the mouthfeel is a bit slick for my tastes, leaving a hint of a film on my tongue after every sip.