A brewery with locations in Lahaina, the area of Maui hit hardest by deadly wildfires, is doing what it can to help after at least 99 people were killed in blazes that ravaged the Hawaiian island.
Maui Brewing Company was founded in Lahaina in 2005. When the fire hit, they immediately mobilized to assist fire victims.
“Our company was founded to make really good beer that brings people together,” Garrett Marrero, CEO and co-founder said. “Without people, we don’t have a mission. We’ve always supported the people. This is just the most urgent example of it.”
Maui Brewing has set up donation centers at its main brewery in Kihei and its two locations in Waikiki and Kailua on the island of Oahu. Those locations are accepting immediate needs — baby items, clothing, blankets and pillows, tents and batteries — as well as items that will be needed for rebuilding.
Maui Brewing also has two locations in Lahaina — both of which survived the fire — though they are currently closed, given the devastation to the surrounding area. Maui Brewing’s brand-new Kaanapali location in Lahaina opened just six days before the fire hit. Although it is closed to the public now, it is serving as a community kitchen serving the people who need it.
Two other Maui breweries, Kohala Brewery and a Lahaina location of Waikiki Brew Co., were both completely destroyed, Marrero reported.
Maui Brewing is requesting the public provide monetary assistance to:
- its employees and their families, many of whom lost their homes or have been temporarily displaced, through the TS Restaurants Legacy of Aloha (this fund will also assist employees and families of TS Restaurants)
- the Makai Foundation to advance the rebuilding efforts and fund construction for un/under-insured private local residences
- the Global Empowerment Mission Maui Brewing Fire Fund to raise funds to assist with needs on the ground
Maui Brewing has also started the Kokua Project. “Kokua” is a Hawaiian word meaning selfless help and the Kokua Project will see breweries across America, and around the world, brew a beer with a recipe designed and supplied by Maui Brewing. 100% of the proceeds from these beers will go to the charities listed above. Craft beer lovers should look for these beers in the coming weeks.
“The need doesn’t stop,” Marrero, despite saying he is beyond exhausted, said. “We gotta do what we gotta do.”