When Derek Braun moved to Maui from Oregon, he really missed the great microbreweries he’d left behind in the Pacific Northwest. So he decided to open his own tap house to satisfy that thirst. It’s aptly called What Ales You, and is located in the Kihei Kalama Village.
“We’ve created a different feel in this space here,” says Braun. “It definitely has a Pacific Northwest vibe. It’s nice that we get a lot of industry people from Monkeypod, Wailea and the resorts. I’ve had people say, ‘I’ve been coming here for five years and we needed a spot like this. We’re so glad you’ve created this place.’”
What Ales You went into the former Pita Paradise spot. Braun completely redesigned the space, turning it into an air conditioned tap room with a big chalkboard menu above the beer taps, televisions and art. There are dark wood accents juxtaposed with industrial corrugated panels. The outside deck has been transformed into an ultra hip lounge with red cushy seats, plants and low tables.
“We have WiFi, NBA, NHL Channel and all the sports channels,” says Braun. “We don’t think of ourselves as a sports bar but we want to invite anyone who wants to watch sports. These guests right here are from Canada, and they asked if they could watch the opening night of a Calgary game. We totally welcome that.”
While some visitors may drop in for games, most customers just want to check out the 16 beers and ciders on tap, or the great wine list. Braun credits What Ales You manager Windy Baldwin (who’s also his girlfriend) for the wine list and smooth operations. But Braun’s attention to detail on the beer–he’s fine-tuned each tap to the optimum temperature–is the results of eight weeks of tap house study in Eugene, Oregon. He also installed a “direct draw” system that insures perfect temperatures with shorter lines.
The menu is the product of two chefs: Jonathan Porter and Jason Giarola. Everything they produced is a perfect pairing to beer and wine. A selection of organic, nitrate-free wursts are boiled in beer, then grilled to snap. You can have them served with your choice of toppings and sauces, including Life Foods condiments, as a sandwich or pupu style. The spinach salad and caprese are made fresh, and can be served with a brat. The pupu platters are elegant, giving you choices of gourmet cheese and fruits or hummus and crudités, all served on a wooden board.
On Tuesdays, they switch it up and let guest chef David Garcia make homemade Mexican street-style tacos, tamales and mulitas. Garcia makes homemade masa for the tamales, which come in pork or jalapeno cheese, and sell for $3. He also hand-presses the tortillas to make chicken, pork and carne asada tacos ($2.50-3.50). Those are garnished and served with his own salsas, too. When I dropped by for lunch, I took six tamales to go for dinner.
“Coming from Oregon, there are so many micro brews,” says Braun. “I went to high school in Bend and it’s like the mecca of microbrews. I would leave and come back and there would be even more microbrews. Great beers and a young vibrant athletic community–similar to here. I’ve been here three years now, but when I got here I felt like getting great beers was so limited. I wanted to open a great taphouse for Maui.”
The tap house also serves growlers, and offers a brand new 64-ounce hydro-flask that will keep your beer cold for hours. What Ales You also has an “Around The World” card, in which you can get a growler for trying 16 different beers.
During Happy Hour (noon to 3pm) you can get $2 off beer and wine and $6 brats. What Ales You is open from 11am to 10pm daily.
WHAT ALES YOU
1913 S. Kihei Rd.
Kihei, HI 96793