Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Maui Brewing Co.Restaurant Insider
December 6, 2020
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
ANNE LEE speaks with Maui Brewing Co. (Waikiki) GM and partner SHAWN SHELTON and executive chef and founding partner TERRY LYNCH
Waikiki Beachcomber By Outrigger — which recently unveiled its new renovations — is home to Maui Brewing Co., an eatery known around the state for its killer craft beers and fantastic food.
Heading up kitchen operations is executive chef and founding partner Terry Lynch, whose culinary background goes back to his time in Paris and London.
“I want to produce food that when people get up in the morning they are thinking, ‘I have to get me one of those,’” he shares.
This week, Lynch and Maui Brewing Co. (Waikiki) general manager and partner Shawn Shelton share what’s good to eat and drink at the restaurant.
AL: How did you create the menu for Maui Brewing Co.?
TL: I’ve got a group of business partners that put out their ideas of what they wanted, and Garrett Marrero, the founder of Maui Brewing, wanted to have on the menu what was going to be good, simple and local, and what pairs well with beer. That really opened the doors for creativity, as pretty much everything pairs well with our beer.
AL: What does Maui Brewing Co. bring to the Hawaii food scene?
SS: Our cuisine is not your typical pub fare. It’s an American base with a local twist and theme, not just from the ingredients that we use, but also the style of food, such as sauces. What really sticks out is how we utilize and work with the local farmers. We incorporate what’s in season, and that determines what specials we can offer.
TL: Adding to what Shawn said, I remember growing up with a garden at 2 years old, and I always had a garden with my restaurants. I think about seasonality. For us, it’s about chasing the season, going to the farmers markets all the time and supporting our friends.
AL: What makes the restaurant stand out from others?
TL: The way Garrett approached the craft brewery was about being furiously local. He approached farms; pretty much every beer that we offer is tied into local farms. Not only do we use their products in our beer, but the waste product that comes from brewing (called “mash”) is used to feed local farms and cattle. And, we use those same pigs and cattle in our restaurants. It’s not the most glamorous, but it’s farming. We use everything, and it’s tied into the brewery. Everything we offer is real.
SS: We are a brewery and a restaurant. When you look at our restaurant, every little detail had a purpose. Even the design of the restaurant had intention. The first restaurant of Maui Brewing Co. that opened on Oahu was here at Waikiki Beachcomber By Outrigger.
AL: Can you explain the heart behind Maui Brewing Co.?
TL: Always only be local. We are never going to expand; we produce here only in Maui. This is a core value of who we are. We look at things as being supportive of the community, being pono, taking care of one another and a real sense of aloha. That is well-ingrained into what our company is. All of us at Maui Brewing Co. believe the same thing: We are Hawaii first, take care of our people first, take care of our farmers and represent a product that really says “Hawaii.” Most of the small local craft brewers here feel the same way.
SS:We are curators of the craft beer way of life. It sums up what chef Terry was saying. It’s a lifestyle, our team really cares about their well-being, the community and others.
AL: What is the restaurant’s most popular dish?
TL: We make our own dough from scratch. We ferment it overnight and incorporate a bit of our Bikini Blonde beer. We are featuring our holiday special Butternut Squash Pizza served with a regular crust ($20) or cauliflower crust ($25). Our bestselling Jalapeño Burger ($16.50) is made with local beef with our eight-island sauce (our version of thousand island sauce) with jalapeño bacon (a mixture of brown sugar and pickled jalapeño pureed over bacon with avocado and pepper jack cheese).
Other favorites are the Huli Glazed Chicken Wings ($16.50) served with homemade ranch and Baja slaw. And, for dessert, Honey Toast, a square box of toasted bread served warm with ice cream and a compote of pineapple mango de strawberry, drizzle of honey and three Pocky sticks.
AL: What are some craft beer customer favorites?
SS: Our beer varieties are our staple, from light to dark. Our Bikini Blonde has only has four ingredients: water, hops, malt and yeast — very straightforward. Our Big Swell IPA, we use a Mosaic dry hop to bring out some citrus tones. That has a tropical, refreshing taste. Our Pineapple Mana Wheat beer is one of the beers that put us on the map. A darker option is our Coconut Porter — till this day, we use hand-toasted coconuts. We also have a full bar with a nice wine list, as well as some crafted cocktails.
AL: Anything else you’d like to share about the restaurant?
TL: At the end of the day, our guests come in and have a great time. We produce killer food and beer.
We are also working on providing a room service option to the guests at the Waikiki Beachcomber, and hope to roll this out in the next few months.
The Happiest Of Hours
Maui Brewing Co.’s happy hour at Waikiki Beachcomber By Outrigger runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily. Look forward to $10 pizzas, half-off all appetizers, $2 off draft beers and $3 off cocktails. What a deal, right? In addition, live music takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays — for now. The restaurant is looking forward to welcoming back performers seven days a week.