Kohola Brewery

Kohola Brewery: Fly Under the Radar at a Local Craft Beer Oasis
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Sample your way through Maui's best stouts and IPAs at the beloved Kohola Brewery. As one of the most underrated spots in the growing Hawaii beer scene, this Lahaina gem offers laid-back vibes but plenty of entertainment to accompany your craft beer.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

**Sadly, this brewery was lost in the Maui fires in August 2023. We truly hope they are able to come back stronger than ever.

Maui boasts its fair share of breweries and craft beer bars, where locals and tourists alike love to relax. The Maui Brewing Company tends to attract the most attention, but it’s by no means the only noteworthy brewery in the Maui beer scene. You’ll do yourself a disservice if you skip Lahaina’s Koholoa Brewery, which definitely gives off local vibes but welcomes tourists with open arms.

What is the brewery’s motto? “Good beer makes everything else better.” If you agree, Kohola will quickly become your favorite outpost. It has received numerous awards and distinctions over the years, making an impression at the Hawaii Craft Beer Awards, the Great American Beer Festival, and Travel and Leisure Magazine. What’s more, publications have even noted Kohola as Hawaii’s most underrated brewery.

Despite all these awards, Kohola manages, as Thrillist reminds us, to fly under the radar. As a result, even the biggest beer enthusiasts often miss out on sampling the island’s best brews and discovering the most inviting atmosphere. This brewery is situated in a bustling area, and yet, when you arrive, you will be taken aback by the lack of crowds. Simple decorative details play into these laid-back and downright charming vibes, such as string lights and plenty of merch on display.

Of course, the main attraction is the beer — and if you think of yourself as a beer snob, you won’t be disappointed. The bartenders are friendly and happy to help you determine which selection is right for you. When in doubt, get a flight, as these are reasonably priced and will expose you to several amazing flavors. 

Simply sipping beer should be entertaining enough, but you’ll find plenty of other ways to keep occupied. Be sure to check out the vast game selection, which includes several favorites. There are also TVs, so you can catch the big game if desired. There is often live music onsite, plus trivia and even karaoke and open mic nights. 

Our favorite brews include the following:

Pineapple Blonde Ale

Made using locally grown pineapples, this delightful blonde ale is a must when you’re not sure what to order. Hints of caramel accompany its fruity aroma. Light and sweet, it’s perfectly refreshing for a tropical day.

Red Sand Amber Ale

The complex amber is a perennial favorite among local beer enthusiasts, and for good reason: it has a bready malt and a hint of burnt sugar, not to mention an appealing reddish hue. It’s named after the gorgeous Red Sand Beach, which also features a rich red color.

Mac Nut Stout

Enjoy local vibes with this impressive stout, which features a dark body, a caramel head, and, of course, hints of macadamia nut. Crisp and, (as you might expect) nutty, this classic stout is definitely worth a try.

Waterman India Pale Ale

If you typically gravitate towards West Coast IPAs, the Waterman is for you. Citrus and floral hops abound, with aromas like tangerine and grapefruit attracting attention. Waterman is a local term for surfers who can handle a variety of conditions — and the concept applies nicely to this IPA.

Explore the Hawaii beer scene’s most underrated establishment at Kohola Brewery, where you will enjoy a laid-back experience in a craft beer oasis. Stop by for the cold beer, the live entertainment, or simply for a chance to relax in a welcoming environment. 

Insider Tips:

  • Live music is a big deal here, so try to stop by when local musicians are scheduled to perform. Details are prominently displayed on the brewery’s official website, so stop by often to learn about upcoming events. 
  • This is one of a handful of dog-friendly locations in the area, so don’t hesitate to visit with your four-legged friend. 
  • If you prefer to pair delicious brewpub eats with your favorite beer, this might not be your ideal spot. There is no official food menu here, and unfortunately, food truck options tend to be slim. Thankfully, you’re welcome to bring your own snacks or even carryout from local restaurants. 
  • Keep watch for Kohola’s best products at local markets. While there is no substitute for the in-person brewery experience, you may also want to invest in top lagers or pale ales, which are made even more compelling by their brightly colored, beautifully designed cans.