Two Maui breweries took home top honors at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival; Maui Brewing Company earned a gold medal and Lahaina’s Kohola Brewery earned a bronze medal at the GABF competition.
The top three winners in the competition’s 96 beer-style categories were announced Oct. 8 at the GABF awards ceremony held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. GABF, presented by the Brewers Association, is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States.
Maui Brewing Company was recognized in the Field Beer beer-style category for its Imperial Coconut Porter, a deeper, more intense version of MBC’s flagship Coconut Hiwa Porter; the Imperial Coconut Porter is brewed with hand toasted coconut, and subtle hints of cacao and coffee.
“We’re truly honored to have this beer win top honors,” said MBC Founder Garrett Marrero. “Almost 7,300 beers judged and less than 270 medals made for an extremely competitive race. Craft brewing is a labor of love for the entire Maui Brewing ‘ohana; they’ve earned this gold medal together.”
Lahaina’s Kohola Brewery earned a bronze medal in the German Pilsener beer-style category for its Lokahi Pilsner, a slightly grainy, pale yellow pilsner with malt sweetness and crisp hop bitterness from Tettnang hops. The Lokahi was conditioned for 6-8 weeks to give it a perfect flavor and aroma profile to compliment the beautiful island of Maui.
“We’re thankful to all who supported us through this journey,” said Christine and Ian Elumba, co-founders of Kohola Brewery. “We share this honor with of our great staff, talented head brewers Justin and Brittany Brouhard, and the craft beer community on Maui and State of Hawaii. We strive to brew more award winning beers for you.”
The 2016 GABF competition winners were selected by an international panel of 264 expert judges from the record number of 7,227 entries, plus 88 Pro-Am entries; entrants into the competition were received from 1,752 U.S. Breweries.
“The innovation, creativity and flavor of American beers was well showcased at this year’s Great American Beer Festival,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Great American Beer Festival. “This was the most competitive competition to date, with a record number of entries. Congratulations to all the winners who truly demonstrated the best of America’s beer culture.”
Kohola Brewery opened in December 2015 with a 25-barrel microbrewery located in Lahaina and it specializes in genuine, local craft beers. MBC is on pace to brew 45,000 barrels in 2016, and recently expanded their production facility, located in Kihei, increasing capacity to nearly 100,000 barrels.
For more GABF competition information, including the 2016 winners list and photos, visit GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.
Photo courtesy of GABF