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September 1, 2010

Maui Brewing Co. - Mana Wheat and Big Swell IPA

You gotta love when out-of-market beers show up at your doorstep! I had already reviewed the Bikini Blonde Lager a few weeks ago, but this one's a bit different. Maui's Mana Wheat is a 5.5% ABV Wheat Beer made with pineapple juice. Sounds good already! It pours a very clear yet dark amber with a sizable foamy head that recedes completely after a few seconds and leaves absolutely no lacing. Sniffing it, there's definitely pineapple in there! A little bit of banana/clove and a bit of wheat smell as well. Down the hatch! More body than you'd expect based on its appearance. Definite yet surprising malty presence that's pretty sweet - you can definitely detect the pineapple juice. There isn't much in the way of hops but there's still an earthy aftertaste. Wheat really takes the backseat.

The Mana Wheat is extremely drinkable and would be great for a fall evening for when you want something more flavorful than a lager or pilsner.

Another night I sat down with Maui's more hoppy offering, the Big Swell. This American IPA from beautiful Lahaina, HI comes in a 12oz can and clocks in at a drinkable 6.2%. As you can see above, it pours a bright orange and has an ever-so-slightly cloudy appearance. Take a whiff of this sucker and you get a lot of malty bitterness with slight hints of citrus. Then you taste it and you're hit with pine and citrus followed by some bready and malty notes. Its super smooth and hop oily. This one really packs a punch!

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