annual Kona Brewers Festival indulges craft beer aficionados on Hawaii’s Big Island Saturday, March 14, 2015, tapping up 80 types of ales and lagers served alongside a cornucopia of island-style cuisine from 40 Hawaii chefs. The sell-out event, presented by Kona Brewing Company, Alaska Airlines, First Hawaiian Bank and Keauhou Veterinary Hospital, features craft beer, gourmet food, live music and entertainment at King Kamehameha’s Courtyard Kona Beach Hotel luau grounds in Kailua-Kona from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m. The Kona Brewers Festival is the headline event of a multi-day celebration that includes a national Home Brew Competition, the Brewers Pa’ina, an elegant food and beer pairing dinner and benefit art auction on Thursday, March 12; the Brews for the Big Rock Concert, Friday March 13; and a Run for Hops race Saturday morning, March 14.
The Kona Brewers Festival is a community fundraising event made possible by the Bill Healy Foundation that promotes the craft brewery revolution in Hawaii and encourages professional brewers and chefs to work together. The event raises funds for environmental, educational and cultural organizations. It has raised $742,000 over the past 19 years. For information on any of the festival events, visit www.KonaBrewersFestival.com.
Kona Brewers Festival – Saturday, March 14
Each of 40 breweries from Hawaii and the mainland United States taps up two types of beer, ranging in style and flavor to delight the palate of every craft beer connoisseur. Chefs from 40 of the Big Island’s top restaurants serve sweet and savory tastes of island-style food, from fresh fish and barbecued meats to decadent desserts. A hula and oli (chant) kick off the event. A stage with live music entertains festival-goers throughout the day. The annual Trash Fashion Show, designed to raise environmental awareness, shows off attire made entirely from recycled material.
Tickets to the Kona Brewers Festival Main Event on Saturday are available in advance only. Cost is $75 and includes a commemorative event mug, eight four-ounce brew tasting coupons, unlimited samplings of gourmet cuisine and an afternoon of entertainment. Tickets are available for purchase at Kona Brewing Company pubs in Kona and Oahu as well as online on January 31, 11am HST at www.KonaBrewersFestival.com ($5 fee).
Brewers’ Pa’ina Dinner and Art Auction – Thursday, March 12
A special beer and food pairing dinner, The Brewers’ Pa’ina, jump starts the weekend of craft beer tasting Thursday, March 12, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The feast is served ocean side under the stars at the exquisite Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, and each course is expertly paired with a different Kona Brewing Company beer. Many of the dishes feature fresh, locally sourced ingredients and incorporate craft brew as an ingredient. Art and culture of Hawaii will also be featured through live entertainment and a silent art auction hosted by the Donkey Mill Art Center; proceeds which benefit non-profit organizations working on behalf of children and the environment. Admission to this event includes dinner, drinks and live entertainment. Check the festival website for more info and purchasing information, www.KonaBrewersFestival.com.
Suds and Sea Cruise- Friday, March 13
Enjoy a day out of the bay with snorkeling, whale watching and fun cruising the Kona Coast aboard the high speed catamaran, the Hula Kai! The cruise leaves Keauhou Bay at 9:30 am and returns at 2:30 pm. Food, BEER and fun included in the $149 ticket price.
Blues and Brews Benefit Concert – Friday, March 13
The Kona Brewer’s Festival is blending brews and blues this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Festival. We are excited to announce that the Aloha Bluegrass Band and the Whipstitch Sallies will be playing for the “Brews and Blues” concert on Friday March 13th starting at 7:30 pm at the luau grounds at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for keiki.
Run for the Hops 5K / 10K – Saturday, March 14
The day of beer tasting takes off with a running start at the “Run for the Hops” 5K / 10K run/ walk on Saturday, March 14, at 7:30 a.m. Presented by Bike Works and benefiting Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH), the run begins and ends at BMW of Hawaii. Entry fee is $25 and includes a commemorative T-shirt, refreshments, award ceremony and beer tasting following the race. Check the festival website for updates on registration information, www.KonaBrewersFestival.com.
Kona Brewers Festival Homebrew Competition
Also planned in conjunction with festival events is the Kona Brewers Festival Homebrew Competition, a local competition sanctioned by the American Homebrewers Association. Judges evaluate the entries using the AHA National Style Guidelines for 28 different styles of beers, meads and ciders.