On a trip to Hawaii, Garrett Marrero fell in love with the islands—but was disappointed to discover that the “local” beer he was drinking was brewed on the mainland.
The beer-lover saw an opportunity to create an authentically local craft brewery in Hawaii, and began to think about how he could make a life there. So at 26 years old, Marrero moved to Maui with the dream of opening his own microbrewery.
At the time, Marrero was an enthusiastic beer drinker but had no experience in the industry. He knew a good beer when he tasted it and had an investment consulting background that meant he understood business and finances, but he had never brewed beer or worked in a brewery.
Fifteen years later, Marrero’s Maui Brewing Co. (MBC) is churning out island-brewed flavors like Barefoot Brew, Bikini Blonde Lager, Coconut Hiwa Porter, and Pineapple Mana Wheat. MBC has been a key player in the development of Hawaii’s craft brewery scene since it opened and is now Hawaii’s largest craft brewery.
And he's doing it with the environment in mind. Maui Brewing's 1.2 MW solar photovoltaic system along with Tesla battery storage provide 95% the brewery's power needs, creating craft beverages while being mindful of the community and the planet. These sustainable manufacturing efforts, including capturing and reclaiming CO2, will help MBC reduce CO2 emissions by more than 2 million pounds per year.
With three-fourths of MBC beers staying on the islands, a trip to Hawaii is the best place to sample some of the top brews not only in Hawaii—but in the country. One of the most appealing places to sample the brews is under a shaded lanai or on the city-view rooftop of the Maui Brewing Company restaurant in the iconic Waikiki Beachcomber resort. The 18,000 square foot, industrial-chic space offers 36 craft and specialty beers on tap.
Marrero is one of the Beachcomber Originals, a collection of a dozen local artisans who define the Beachcomber’s uniquely Hawaiian experience in Waikiki through visual arts, music, and flavors. Like the stunning surf photography of local Matt Bauer and the Hawaiian-flavored tracks of musician Makana, Maui Brewing Co. infuses the space with the essence of the islands.
Marrero has also become a leader in the Hawaiian business scene, including being awarded “National Small Business Person of the Year” award for his innovative spirit and impact on the community. He also hasn't rested on his achievements as a brewer, recently launching Kupu Spirits, Hawaii’s first canned cocktails, and a line of Maui Hard Seltzers. And today, he’s not only a successful entrepreneur and a highly respected craft brewer, but an integral piece of the Hawaii community who truly embodies the spirit of the islands.