Aloha, Brew Dogs! And welcome to beer. 

Can you think of anything better than having a friend who owns a brewery in Hawaii? Probably not. James is a lucky guy because his friend Garrett owns Maui Brewing Company.

James, Martin, and my new best friend Garrett discuss local ingredients used in beer brewing, including coconut and sugar cane. A tour of the brewery and several beers later leads to a great-slash-horrible idea: brew the beer in a volcano. Stein beer is a kind of brewing where hot rocks cook food, and could possibly brew beer. So that’ll work, right?

After a long day of paddling something resembling a canoe with wings, James and Martin are ready to gather their ingredients. Their first stop is a sugar plantation where sugar cane is being harvested by giant machines. The plantation produces over 200,000 tons of raw sugar every year. And, sugar factories also produce a portion of the island’s electricity as a byproduct of the sugar production process.

The top five craft breweries in Hawaii are:

5. Kona Brewing Co.

4. Kauai Island Brewery & Grill

3. Big Island Brewhaus

2. Honolulu Beerworks

1. Hawaii Nui Brewing Co.

So James and Martin have their sugar, and now they have to collect their rocks. The volcanic rock contains a lot of metal which is I guess is good for heating. Then, it’s time for some Spam. I will never understand the love of Spam. For me, the only beer that pairs well with Spam is an ironic can of PBR.

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The top five craft beer bars in Hawaii are:

5. Flatbread Company (pizza and beer in paradise)

4. Honu Seafood & Pizza (it’s on the beach!)

3. REAL Gastropub

2. Pint & Jigger (cocktails, too)

1. Monkeypod Kitchen 

Chief Engineer David Donley superheats the lava rocks with 45,000 BTUs of heat in 25 gallon kettles. And, it’s on the beach so the view ain’t bad at all. Plus, there’s a luau while the beer brews. James learns how to say hello to the beer in Hawaiian and watch a beer and fire pairing.

The super-heated rocks boil over the mixture, which is not a good thing. And, since the liquid is heated with rocks, there’s no way to turn it down. Crisis averted, and the beer gradually brews. Cheers, to the ultimate Maui beer. It’s heavy in carmelized sugar so it’s definitely tasty. But I wonder how much of the flavor is influenced by drinking it in a tropical paradise.

Next week, Alaska. 

Linda Sue Strong is the founder of entertainment blog TerribleTelevision.com and an occasional attorney. Her life has not yet been turned into a reality television show. Follow her at @themisslinda.

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