Maui Brewing Company

This is a true “neighborhood bar/pub”. It’s friendly, the people clearly love to work there, the food is excellent, the beers fresh and delicious, and the patrons love being there too. It’s been a brewery on our list for a while now and I am so happy we finally made it. In fact, I am happy that Maui Brewing was actually the driver for us {my husband} booking our flight over to Maui from the Big Island. It was well worth the trip.

The do samplers but only four at a time {that’s ok because with the humidity the beer gets warm so quickly you won’t want more than that otherwise it will not be enjoyable}.














The food is fantastic. Coming from a foodie and wife of a chef, WOW. Even my hubby was impressed. We went back twice for the food and both ordered the same things and the second time, opted not to share. We highly recommend the buffalo chicken sandwich with caramelized Maui onions and their house spicy catsup along with the French dip with the house fried Maui onion strings and awesome horseradish. Yum.
In for just a snack and a brew? The nachos are top notch: crunchy through-and-through, cheesy all around, tomatoes, incredible salsa, with black beans, {add in} the guacamole and sour cream. A small is perfect to split if you’re just thinking of a snack.

Buffalo chicken sandwich with blue cheese and caramelized onions

French dip with house fried onion strings and zesty horseradish




















Wednesdays they reward you for sporting your Maui gear by offering $4 pints of their beers {not including guest taps} all day! We didn’t have any Maui schwag on but we bought a ton and they were kind enough to honor the same price.

They sell a lot of great schwag: they have all of the sizes, they’re completely organized, and very helpful. They have hydro flasks and glass growlers, and they sell  a few on their more popular brews in the can by the six pack.

Maui Brewing Company is definitely on my top 10 breweries list. I highly recommend making the trek over to Maui.

Maui Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Follow Maui Brewing online: @MauiBrewingCo

Kona Brewing Company- Big Island

We went to Kona Brewing on Oahu and that was great- the view was spectacular. This brewery is the main one, it’s pretty sweet: they have good food: pizzas, tacos, salads. It’s all tasty. The beers are delicious. They have a gift shop right at the entrance {brilliant} where they sell the hydroflasks and then you can go and fill them up for $5 at the growler shack. Love this place.

Follow Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Big Island Brewhaus

Big Island Brewhaus

On a rainy drive back from Hilo to Kona we decided to take a detour and hit the big Island Brewhaus. The Overbourd IPA we had picked up from the market across from where we are staying and fell in love. Unlike a traditional “Brewhaus” this place is Santa Cruz meets Jamaica and makes a baby in Hawaii. It’s super low key, hippie-esc, down-to-earth {no pun intended} and makes some incredible beers. It’s a mexican restaurant and a brewery. The food menu is pretty extensive and inexpensive. We tried a snack: the nachos with shredded chicken. Good flavors but the chips were soggy from the juice from the chicken {they must have been built then put in the broiler to melt the cheese}, there were about 9 chips on the plate, they were big but still unlike a nacho plate… the beers: they had 14 beers on tap. They do samplers of five 3.5 ounce tastes for $6 and some change. We tried them all. The Pau Hana Pale Ale, Panilolo Pale Ale, White Mountain Porter {so odd that I would like a porter but this was light bodied, with a nice clean finish of caramel and toasted nuts. It was fantastic.}, and of course the Overboard IPA.

We sat inside and listened to the music of the live band just outside on the covered patio. We ended up chatting with a sweet couple: Sandy and “Big” Earl. Nice people. Sandy resembled my hubbies mom a lot and that was kind of a cool thing since it was always her thing to come to Hawaii as a family. And Earl was a hoot. He had clearly traveled all over and lived in many places, he had stories about it all. Nice folks, the kind I always enjoy meeting when we travel.

The Brewhaus is well worth the drive where ever you are staying on the island.


Big Island Brewhaus & Tako Taco Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Beer VS Wine


At a recent wine tourism conference we had a session about beer and wine tourism. What are these breweries doing that wineries are not doing in order to be more successful? What separates out the beer industry from the wine industry? It’s the connections. I’ve been to over 300 distinct breweries all over the U.S. and 9 out of 10 of the breweries have replied to me and engaged with me in some way on social media when I tweet or post a photo tagging them. Aside from the online connecting before and after visiting, the breweries for the most part have someone who is so insanely passionate about the beer behind the bar to explain anything and everything to me, making it more evident that this is more than just a job.

 I have seen many people in breweries: the Brewers, owners, wives, or someone highly connected to the brewery who is taking their time out of whatever it is they’re doing to respond to my messages. Its awesome. One of my favorite things about the way breweries connect with me {their consumer: the beer traveler} is they will comment on my blog and make it obvious that they took a little extra time to look me up, check out what I do, and comment on that. It shows me that they care about their consumers, they want to know who we are and because of that, I want to buy more beer!!

And we already buy lots of beer!!

Having been in the wine business for over 14 years, I ask myself, “why do I prefer to go beer tasting over wine tasting?” Being a manager of a prestigious family owned winery where our customers come first and I make it my job to ensure each guest is happy, I wonder why other wineries struggle with this when it’s so simple: be transparent, be genuine, ask questions, care about the answers, and engage. After sitting through this seminar, I realized that it is not easy to give the customers what they want because as the business, you have to ask what it is they want first and that is what the breweries do and then they listen. It cannot be a one-off thing, and that’s really where people are having a tough time in the luxury service industries because people do not have to buy from you…they can buy from a hundred other places or people like you. What can YOU do to stand out? CONNECT. I am not quite sure why the beer culture has this down so well and the wine business that has evolved over the years seems to struggle with it.

 As a consumer, I want to hear from the brewer or winemaker, I want to meet the owner, I want to see them tweeting and pouring behind the bar, I want to see that they are human. There really isn’t much that is different from hundreds of years ago in sales: know your customer, gain their trust and keep a loyal customer.It’s work, but it is possible.

 Some tips from a loyal consumer: ease up on the snobbery, engage with guests on a more intimate level: ask them about who they are and what they like, tell them about you and why you are brewing or making wine; built a familiar connection and that will make them want to know more, tell their friends, and keep coming back.


This is a comment from a brewery owner I met at a new {at the time} brewery in Sacramento. Find my write up of Bike Dog here.

AJ on said:Edit

How about a brewery owner who gets a new Instagram follower, recognizes the name as the business of two great beer travelers he met almost a year ago then hunts them down, stumbles across their blog and writes silly response like this?

PS the Mosaic Pale Ale is proving to be a customer favorite, you were onto something early :) ”

This just goes to show that breweries have a lot of power with the people and many of them use it like AJ did above: he stumbled upon me through social channels and reaches out on my blog and even remembers the beer I loved so much when I visited once. All it takes is a little effort when you are literally stumbling around on the inter-web. Thanks AJ for taking the time out!



It’s supposed to be fall heading into winter time and it still feels like summer with temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s. This weather some on the east coast may call a blessing for us in California, some would say we are lucky. Well, we are a bit lucky but we all want to bust out our crock pots and sport our long jeans and boots but that just isn’t happening! So…we can bust out that grill again and make some good old fashioned BLT’s or BLAT’s.

For 6 sando’s you’ll need:

1 package of St. Andre triple cream brie
6 slices of Medium sharp cheddar cheese
1 Avocado, ripe and sliced/chunked
1 package of bacon {Any kind you like, but I like to use maple}
1/2 red onion sliced thinly
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced {heirloom is best but depending on the time of year, anything that is ripe will work}
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, pulled off the core and cut to fit the bread {I pack the sandwiches so they’re nice and crunchy; about four-five leaves per sando}
12 slices of whole wheat sliced bread
1/2 cup of mayo

Saute the red onion until soft and slightly translucent.
Cut the bacon in half and saute, set aside and let decrease.
Add mayo to one side of the bread and put that side down on the grill. On the other side of the bread, place one kind of cheese on one slice and the other on the other slice. Keep away from the flame, we just want to melt the cheese.
Pull off when melted, put 4-6 bacon slices in the melted cheese, add the onions and the chunks of avocado, place two slices of tomato and finish with the lettuce. Add salt and pepper to taste, cut in half and serve with your favorite red wine, rose, or craft beer!

I like to pair this with Trione Rose or a nice floral IPA.

Trione Photoshoot_08 31 14_1076_edited-1

Trione Photoshoot_08 31 14_1077_edited-1

Beer + Food

Falling Sky Brewery & Delicatessen is neat inside: it’s got sort of a vintage feel with the brick wall and every so often a single brick slightly pushed out that then rest with a bold bright color and the long, family style table down the entire center of the restaurant. It’s warm and inviting. The people are nice who work there.

We split a brisket sandwich with marbled rye and a side of sweet potato fries: wow- it was delicious and the fries mouth watering. A perfect pairing for the beer taster. The taster is served in a metal framed cloud. For me, the highlights are the catchy slogan, the stickers, the scrumptious sandwich with melt in-my-mouth meat, and the Neverland Berliner Weisse.




Falling Sky Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Claim 52 Brewing

Claim 52 was a great find. I was using the nearby feature on Untappd and we kind of stumbled onto this one. We asked around about it and all the local breweries said it was definitely worth waiting for them to open. They are open Thursdays 4-8pm, Fridays 4-9pm, and Saturdays 2-7pm. The owners/brewers pour the beers in their taproom as they balance brewing the beer just on the other side of the partition.

It’s evident that thought went into their space too: old church benches line the perimeter, tall tables in the center, corn hole boards hanging on the wall for use, and video games {free} for your playing pleasure. This is a kid friendly spot too.

Surrounded by a lot of awesome small breweries in Eugene, Claim 52 is a bit more special: they are a couple of guys working hard to make consistently unique beers. The Gose was one of the most interesting beers I have had with notes of fresh orange zest and black tea coupled with a subtle salty finish; it was growler worthy.


 When we were leaving, my husband was trying to pack the growler in our already full ice chest when the Pliny bottles we brought were staring him in the face, so he ran back in a gave the brewer one. The look on his face was priceless and he was so thrilled and appreciative. That’s one of my favorite parts about beer travel: sharing the love!

I look forward to visiting these guys again and tasting the new stuff that they come up with. This is a true gem- these guys are going to blow up!












Claim 52 Brewing on Urbanspoon

Old 99 Brewing Company

In the tiny little one horse town of Roseburg, Orgeon, is this small little warehouse style brewery owned by three couples {two who live nearby and one who lives in Vancouver}. The wives run the front of the show and the husbands brew the beer. They are super down to earth, friendly, and welcoming.

They are happy to sell samplers of all of their beers, they fill growlers, sell cool ones, have a place to sit inside, and even a place to set your beer while you are in the bathroom {it’s the little things in life…}

This is starting to come as less of a surprise throughout our Washington and Oregon trip: I loved the red. Of course the IPA was standout but the red was balanced and hoppy, my favorite was the “Plan B“, more of a hoppy pale, and the “Billy Bad Ass“.

The hours are very limited. Thankfully they had just started to be open on Thursdays the week we were there! Fate. They are open Thursdays and Fridays from 4-8pm and Saturdays from noon to 8pm.

This was a fun find. All of the people sitting around were local and excited to support these cool cats in their great beer making venture. I look forward to going back!



Wild River Brewery and Pizza Company

The were celebrating their 20th year anniversary and it was evident they had been around a long time. Very much like a Mary’s Pizza Shack kind of place: they are family friendly, great deals on pizza, and employ young adults. This was just one more notch on our brewery list. The beers pretty much all tasted the same, they were spritzy and had little flavor. A good place to go if you are in the area… as there is little around and it’s right off the main highway.

Wild River Brewing & Pizza on Urbanspoon

Fall River Brewing + Taphouse

The brewery is not actually on this premise but they have the whole lineup of beers that they brew. It’s a small little spot in a strip mall with a lineup of freaking incredible beers. You can do a sampler of the brews but only choose 6. We chose all of the hoppy beers: the widowmaker was one of my tops. Love the name. All of the IPA’s and the hoppy pale ale was out of this world.

The guy behind the bar was cool, they had college football on as all of the guys at the bar commiserated together about the World Series, game 3 and the Giants loss. We ate pizza and drank beer to help with the loss.

Fall River sells growlers, the beers off the richter, and I highly recommend it!!