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Kona Brewers Fest taps up March 12


The 16th annual Kona Brewers Festival indulges craft beer aficionados Saturday, March 12, tapping up 70 types of ales and lagers served alongside a cornucopia of island-style cuisine from 25 Hawaii chefs.

The sell-out event, presented by Sunetric, Keauhou Veterinary Hospital, First Hawaiian Bank and Puna Geothermal Ventures, features craft beer, gourmet food, live music and entertainment outdoors at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel luau grounds in Kailua-Kona from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The Kona Brewers Festival is the headline event of a multi-day celebration that includes a beer and food pairing dinner at the Keauhou Beach Resort Thursday, March 10; a charity golf tournament at Big Island Country Club Friday, March 11; a benefit Aloha Concert at Aloha Theatre Friday, March 11; and a Run for Hops race Saturday morning, March 12.

Kona Brewers Festival – Saturday, March 12

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 more than 30 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. Two stages with live music entertain festival-goers throughout the day. The annual Trash Fashion Show, designed to raise awareness of the importance of recycling, shows off whimsical attire made entirely from recycled material.

Tickets to the Kona Brewers Festival Main Event are available in advance only. Cost is $55 and includes a commemorative event mug, eight 4-ounce brew tasting coupons, unlimited samplings of gourmet cuisine and an afternoon of entertainment.

Tickets are available for purchase at Kona Brewing Company’s pubs in Kailua-Kona and Oahu or online at ($5 fee).

Brewers’ Paina Beer and Food Pairing Dinner – Thursday, March 10

A special beer and food pairing dinner, The Brewers’ Paina, jump starts the weekend of craft beer tasting from 6 to 9 p.m., hosted by the Keauhou Beach Resort. The feast is served oceanside under the stars, and each course is expertly paired with a different Kona Brewing Company beer. Many of the dishes incorporate beer as an ingredient.

Tickets, which include unlimited beer, food and gratuity, are $60. Tickets are available for purchase online at

Kona Brewers Fest Golf Open – Friday, March 11

The fifth annual Kona Brewers Fest Golf Open tees off with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. at Big Island Country Club. Golfers of all levels are welcome to play at this four-person scramble using the Peoria scoring system, a popular format for one-day friendly tournaments because it evens the competition.

The event benefits Hawaii Montessori School at Kona. The $150 ticket price includes 18 holes of golf, greens fees and cart, welcome bag, continental breakfast, box lunch and awards ceremony with pupus. Registration is available online at

Kona Brewers Festival Aloha Concert – Friday, March 11

A Kona Brewers Festival Aloha Concert at Aloha Theatre sets the stage for great entertainment with a sneak peek of Saturday’s headliner, “KONA.” Hawaii born singer-songwriter “KONA” is the “Na Hoku Hanohano” award winner for Best Rock Album of the Year in 2010.

Doors open at 6 p.m., the Green Power Heroes start the evening of fun at 6:30 p.m., and KONA takes the stage at 7 p.m. This event is being put on for youth, to encourage them to be “green” and exposed to the joy and power that the art of live music can bring.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for youth up to 18 years old, and the event benefits The Aloha Theatre, home to the Aloha Performing Arts Company. Tickets are available at

Run for Hops 5K / 10K – Saturday, March 12

The day of beer tasting takes off with a running start at the fourth annual “Run for Hops” 5K / 10K run/ walk at 7:30 a.m. Presented by Bike Works and benefiting Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH), the run begins and ends at Kona Brewing Company.

Entry fee is $30 for adults, $20 for racers 14 years and younger. Fee includes a T-shirt, refreshments, award ceremony, a keiki bike rodeo, beer tasting and pupus after the race. Follow links from the festival website to register,

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. For information visit

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 $400,000 over the past 15 years.

For information on any of the festival events, visit or call 808-331-3033.

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