Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Company

I’m not going to waste your time with beers I don’t like – unless I spend a lot on it and the review proves it was a business expense. Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Company is one of my favorite semi-nationally available IPAs. Bell’s Two Hearted and Cigar City Jai Alai are nice too, but today, we’re talking Big Swell.

Big Swell is dry-hopped, meaning hops are added after brewing/boiling. That helps cut down on the bitterness that makes some folks hate IPAs. It’s still very “green”, but more delicate. Wine drinkers talk about notes of leather or cherry. Big Swell tastes tropical – orange, pineapple, peach. It also has the malt sweetness to take off the edge. If you absolutely hate IPAs, you might not like this one either, but it’s very balanced between grassy resin and barley. At 6.2 percent alcohol by volume, Big Swell can also sneak up on you. By comparison, Bud Light is about 4.2.

I’ve visited Maui Brewing Company’s production brewery/restaurant in the Kihei area of Maui and would recommend the tour. The brewery there is “off the grid,” 100-percent powered by solar and biodiesel. They even toast the coconut for their Hiwa Porter on site. On the other hand, the other national Hawaiian beer brand, Kona Brewing, is produced in Hawaii, Oregon, Washington state, and New Hampshire.