More Officials With Nothing Better To Do.

We sometimes wonder if the meaning of “essential businesses” should not include regulatory agencies and agents that have no common sense.

For example, we have written about cities who told restaurants they could not sell groceries to help lower crowds in grocery stores, the help protect their customers and to help keep the restaurant in business.

Enter into the fray of lunacy the Hawaii based Maui Brewing Company.

Maui Brewing Co., which has closed its restaurants due to the pandemic and now only offers takeout, is giving sanitizer away with a purchase of a to-go item at either its Kihei and Lahaina locations. It is also donating sanitizer to first responders and the needy.


Maui Brewing’s hand sanitizer is a liquid that is generated during whiskey and gin distillation in its Kupu Spirits distillery in Kihei. Government guidelines are also being followed for the sanitizer, which is being proofed to 70 percent ethyl alcohol, not for human consumption, Marsha Hansen, marketing manager for Maui Brewing, said in an email.

Hansen said the sanitizer is not for retail sale and that they are donating it primarily to local first responders and some nonprofits.

“We prefer to donate to organizations in need, and they can get it to individuals on a large scale,” Hansen said. “We have currently donated over 50 gallons, with that number growing daily.”

Maui Brewing is giving away sanitizer to its takeout customers, but they must bring their own clean, sealable container of up to 16 ounces.

What a great idea.

A company takes a by-product of their production process and turns it into something helpful.

Come to one of their locations, pick up some Maui Beer or soda, fill up your container of sanitizer and drive away. The fact that they were donating the stuff to first responders is a magnanimous gesture as well.

It would seem to be a win-win for all people.

Well, not for the State of Hawaii.

HONOLULU (AP) — A liquor control commission has launched an investigation of a Hawaii brewery for giving away hand sanitizer with purchases of its beer.

Maui Brewing Co. is under investigation by the Maui County Liquor Control Commission for distributing the sanitizer during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The state Department of Liquor Control prohibits distributing goods in connection with alcohol sales.

“It’s considered an inducement giving away something to entice people to buy alcohol. We were giving away sanitizer with any purchase,” Maui Brewing CEO Garrett Marrero said.

“Of course we’re trying to encourage some business, but is it wrong? I’m hearing stories that people are paying $10, $20 for an 8-ounce bottle,” Marrero said. “We were doing the right thing. That’s what is really disheartening.”

The company used its Kupu Spirits distillery to produce more than 3,000 gallons (11,356 liters) of sanitizer that is 70% ethyl alcohol, which is in extremely short supply.

The Mayor of Maui Mike Victorino said they are appreciative of what Maui Brewing Company has done, but that “rules are rules and they must be followed.”

Apparently “discretion” has gone out the window in Hawaii unless of course, you are a government official caught speeding, or DUI. Then the rules don’t matter and the police will let you go.

Along with discretion taking a nose dive off a 50 foot wave, common sense plunged into the depths of the Pacific Ocean as well.

It boggles the mind that for trying to keep their business open and to support first responders and residents of Hawaii, Maui Brewery is being persecuted.

The owners of the company are not happy and neither is the public who are supporting the company and not the government in this fight.

However, since Hawaii was willing to “cut off their nose in spite of their face,” Maui Brewing Company said “no more sanitizer for you!”

The company also donated more than 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters) of hand sanitizer to first responders and others since the start of the pandemic.

Maui Brewing ended donations of sanitizer to county and state departments, but plans to continue supporting some local charities.

Even more interesting is that the company is now charging people for the product. You read that right. While the company was willing to give away the sanitizer, they are now charging $3 a pop for the magic liquid. By charging people for the product, the state regulators cannot claim the company is giving the something away to promote liquor sales.

This is the stupidity of people in government. In order to force people to conform to a ridiculous rule during trying times, a company stopped giving the state free sanitizer and are now selling the product because everyone has extra money in their pocket – including the Hawaii government which will now be buying sanitizer instead of getting it for free.

We somehow have the mental image of some government regulator climbing into bed at night smiling at the thought that through his actions, the government and citizens will be paying for a life saving product that was being given away.

“After all,” he’ll think, “rules are rules.”

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