WAILUKU, Maui >> The Maui County Liquor Control Department has issued a written notice of warning to Maui Brewing Co. after an investigation revealed the company violated state law by advertising free hand sanitizer with the sale of liquor.
The department released a statement about the notice following its investigation last month into the company’s made-in-house hand sanitizer and giveaway promotions, The Maui News reported Friday.
“It is short of subjecting Maui Brewing to an adjudicatory hearing,” the department said.
Maui Brewing CEO Garrett Marrero has said the company did not violate rules.
Maui Brewing had offered a free 16-ounce hand sanitizer with the purchase of any to-go item, not just alcohol, after its Kihei and Lahaina restaurant locations closed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the giveaway promotion was flagged by the state liquor department and led to an investigation.
The company followed government guidelines to create hand sanitizer using liquid from whiskey and gin distillation but stopped giving it away once the investigation began, Marrero said. During the promotion, Maui Brewing was also giving hand sanitizer to first responders and those in need.
“If anything, Liquor (department) turned a donated item into a profit item,” he said.
Maui Brewing hand sanitizer costs $5 for a prepackaged 16-ounce bottle or $35 for a 1-gallon jug.