A taste of Maui at 12th Ave. Grill

I was fortunate to get an invitation to last night’s beer dinner at 12th Avenue Grill (@12thAveGrillNow), which had an all-Maui theme. The ingredients were flown in from Maui, and all dishes were paired with Maui Brewing Co. (@MauiBrewingCo) beers.

Now, I’m not a beer drinker. In fact, I have a lousy beer palate. Although I can’t speak to the beer flavors, I can tell you that Maui Brewing Co. only has beer in cans or kegs. Apparently aluminum is better for recycling than glass, and cans help keep out air and light better, which in turn preserves a better product. So if you’re a beer drinker, give it a try and let me know how it is.

I did want to share this dinner with you for another important reason: 12th Avenue Grill owner Kevin Hanney wanted to bring awareness of the different meats available to the public, to see what would be accepted. Since local beef is currently less readily available, he hopes to broaden people’s palates so they can continue to support Hawaii industries.

“We’re not doing this to be weird or funky. Local ranchers are having a hard time filling the increasing demand for their beef due to the drought. Maui Cattle Company usually produces 44 heads of cattle a week; now, they are down to 28 heads, and may go as low as 18,” he said. “They’re looking to diversify with animals that do well in drought, like rabbits, goats, venison, even elk. And we want to give these meats — which are commonly consumed in other parts of the world — exposure to the public so they can see that these are just as good to eat.”

Maui beer dinner at 12th Ave. Grill

Picture 1 of 10

First up: local rabbit fritters with a saffron remoulade and Maui heirloom carrot chutney. For those of you who are squeamish: the meat is shredded, breaded, and fried, so you’d never guess it was rabbit if you didn’t know. This was actually pretty light, thanks to the carrot chutney, and would probably be a nice meal atop a salad. (Beer drinkers: Pair with Maui Brewing Co.’s La Perouse White.)