Head for the very heart of the Valley Isle to wet your whistle with some of the finest craft brews in Hawaii, courtesy of Mahalo Aleworks. The suds are the main attraction, but hardly the only one, given the stellar views available from this two-level brewery in Makawao’s Kulamalu Town Center, the friendly atmosphere, and the great local eats ready to hand.
Perched at some 1,900 feet up the slopes of Haleakala, Mahalo Aleworks is the brainchild of founders Ben and Jacquelyn Kopf, and proudly emphasizes place in its beer-making process. The 100% Hawaiian-made beer benefits from tropical fruits, herbs, and spices harvested from the brewery’s own nearby orchard and agricultural complex.
From farmhouse-style saisons and hazy IPAs to porters and sours—not to mention the under-development “Hawaii Weisse”—Mahalo Aleworks has a beer for just about any visitor to its taphouse, which also pours various fine wines by the glass as well as non-alcoholic beverages such as kombucha, cold-brew coffee, and root beer. (This is a kid-friendly joint, too, by the way: Children love the organic juice boxes on offer at Mahalo Aleworks.)
It doesn’t get a whole lot better than savoring an ice-cold pint—or maybe a sampler pack of beers—amid Mahalo’s wonderful complex, maybe after a full day’s worth of beachgoing or hiking. A ground-level lanai and second-floor balcony beckon for al fresco beer appreciation and views stretching from the highlands of the West Maui Mountains out to the wild blue Pacific Ocean. Outdoor seating is maybe the most rewarding choice, but then again the interior at Mahalo Aleworks is kind of fabulous, too: from the open glass garage doors and downstairs beer-garden tables to the loveseat-stacked upstairs lounge.
You can’t bring outside food into Mahalo Aleworks, but that’s not exactly a dealbreaker, given the quality of the eats available here via partnerships with local restaurants. Choose between sausages, burgers, street tacos, and more at the gourmet sausage cart called Upcountry Sausage Co., or have a wood-fired pizza, charcuterie plate, or other delicacy ordered from the adjoining Restaurant Marlow.
While the beer selection at Mahalo Aleworks understandably varies, the following favorite brews are representative of this Central Maui brewery’s high standard:
This zesty beer, one of the flagship creations of Mahalo Aleworks, prompts just the right amount of pucker. It features organic passionfruit from Kupaa Farms.
Hibiscus Blonde Ale
A pleasantly subtle floral flavor helps define the Hibiscus Blonde Ale, another regular crowd-pleaser from Mahalo Aleworks.
English Brown Ale
This pleasantly robust, tradition-respecting ale landed a Gold Medal during a recent Hawaii Craft Beer Awards—reason enough to give it a try!
Mahalo Aleworks takes the art and science of craft brewing very seriously, all while putting an equal emphasis on maintaining a welcoming, easygoing hangout for lingering over pints and reveling in the mountain-to-ocean scenery.
-Sunsets from the Mahalo Aleworks patios are swoon-worthy—all the more so when you have a frosty pint of beer for toasting purposes!
-Mahalo Aleworks is 100%, across-the-board cashless, so bring plastic—or get set to pay via Venmo or Paypal—when you swing by here for a cold brew and maybe a laden sausage plate.
-Make it an extra-special Saturday by combining a visit to Mahalo Aleworks with the Saturday Upcountry Farmers Market, only a block away.