Honolulu Magazine Online – MBC Releases Three Hawaii Crafted Canned Cocktails Just in Time for Summer

The local brewery has started making its own whiskey and gin. And you can only get them in these mixed drinks.

By Robbie Dingeman
July 1, 2019 – Maui Brewing Co. just debuted three flavors of Hawai‘i-made canned cocktails: whiskey ginger, gin and tonic and whiskey cola—for sale first at Maui Brewing restaurants on Maui and Oahu.

The line is branded as Kupu Spirits, the first locally made ready-to-drink cocktail in a can. We got to taste some samples and found them refreshing, not too sweet and probably best over a glass of ice.

They are also a sneak preview for more to come from the company later this summer: Maui-made gin and whiskey, says company co-founder and CEO Garrett Marrero.

The gin and tonic is a classic hot-summer-day drink and Marrero says it’s particularly well suited to canning. “We made a killer gin and a killer tonic and we blended them together; we made each of them independently great.”

He says the tonic has about half the sugar found in many competing tonics: “It’s very flavor-forward in lemongrass, citrus, a bit of quinine, of course, but not overpowering.”

The gin includes flavors of hibiscus and kaffir lime as well as traditional juniper, and Marrero maintains that the gin and tonic doesn’t need the customary lime wedge. The other two cocktails feature whiskey: one mixed with the company’s ginger beer, which came out last summer, and the other blended with cola.

Produced in the Kīhei brewery, the canned cocktails are the result of a decade of planning, says Marrero. “We’re pretty darn stoked to be releasing the canned cocktails because it’s been a dream of ours for a long time.”

Initially, they are for sale in a four-pack for $18.99 from the restaurants and Marrero expects them to be in retail stores by mid-month.

Marrero says it’s part of the company evolution to continue to add locally made beverages, as the state’s largest independent craft beer producer enters its 15th year: “We’ll always be based in our core of craft beer.” The company is best known for producing local canned beer including: Bikini Blonde Lager, Big Swell IPA and Coconut Hiwa Porter as well as a full line of draft and canned beer. The company also expanded to four restaurants in the past year.

Marrero sees the canned cocktails as an extension of the company mission to produce quality local beverages that are mostly sold in the Islands. Maui Brewing first branched out with nonalcoholic root beer so that families who went on the brewery tours could all sit down and order a drink together.