Local and visiting beer lovers will sip into the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului on Saturday, because, well, great minds drink alike!
The third annual Maui Brewers Festival will flow from 3 to 7 p.m., and it's presented by the MACC as well as Maui Brewing Co. and Hawaii Nui Brewing.
"Showcasing the best hand-crafted and imported beers from Hawaii, California, the Pacific Northwest and beyond, Maui Brewers Festival will feature 28 breweries," says Karee Carlucci, the MACC's director of marketing. "Festival attendees will enjoy a leisurely day of sampling along with island dishes from local purveyors.
Mike Capuano, former owner and now a consultant for Wow-Wee Maui’s Kava Bar & Grill in Kahului, serves up brat dogs with pal Lilly Davis at last year’s event. This year, he’ll present Polish sausages steeped in Maui Brewing Co. beer with mango and horseradish aioli for dipping.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"Onstage, the entertainment lineup will include some of Hawaii's hottest bands and singers. There will also be logo merchandise for sale by the festival and breweries as tons of prize giveaways."
Just make sure to wear sunscreen and something casual, comfortable and fun. Last year, there was a sea of wild hats, glasses and other fun beer gear.
"I'm really excited to bring craft beer here that you can't normally get in Hawaii," says Garrett Marrero, owner of Maui Brewing Co.
Maui Brewers Festival at a glance:
* When: Regular admission is from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. VIP early entry starts at 2 p.m.
* How much: Advance tickets are $45 and $55 day of event. You get eight 4-ounce pours, commemorative beer glass, pupu and desserts and parking. VIP happy-hour package is $75 advance and $85 day of event. In addition to the above, you get reserved parking, early entry at 2 p.m. to schmooze with brewmasters or representatives, and a special amenity. The MACC's Internet and phone fees are extra.
* Highlights: Sip beers from your choice of 28 hand-crafted breweries, savor pupu by 18 Maui restaurants and caterers, listen to music and try your luck at prize giveaways.
* Entertainment lineup: Alika Nakooka will play during VIP happy hour, Leche de Tigre follows, then Kanekoa and Vince Esquire take the stage until Anuhea tops it off.
* For tickets: Call 242-7469 or order online at MauiArts.org.
* Guidelines: Attendees must be 21 and older to enjoy. Please don't drink and drive.
"I want to open your minds to what craft beer is all about. Half of the breweries that are coming don't sell in Hawaii at all. They're friends of mine from all over the country. It's all about quality over quantity. No typical 'green beer' will be represented."
Indulge in, say, Pizza Port as you munch guava chili served in edible tortilla cups garnished with cumin gouda by Who Cut the Cheese. Then quaff Blue Moon and savor St. Louis ribs by Famous Dave's. More than 18 food vendors will be on hand to help you sop up the alcohol. Of course, you must be 21 and older to attend.
Other breweries in the lineup include Anacapa Brewing Co., Anderson Valley, Ballast Point Brewing Co., Bear Republic, Big Island Brewhaus, Boston Beer Co. Caldera Brewing Co., Coronado Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery, Kona Brewing Co., Lost Coast Brewery, Moylan's Brewing Co., Primo Brewing & Malting Co., Pyramid, Redhook Ale Brewery, Redstone Meadery, Rogue, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Shocktop, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Stone Brewing Co., Uncommon Brewers and Widmer.
"They all play an excellent role in the resurgence of great beer in America, " says Marrero. "With two successful years under our belt, Maui Brewers Festival has made a name for itself and is here to stay."
"You will also get your choice plus unlimited pupu!" says Lisa Haole, food and beverage co-director at the MACC. "And we'll have great entertainment including Anuhea and many prize giveaways throughout the day"
Besides the above-mentioned food vendors, there will be 808 Bistro, Alexander's Fish, Aloha Events Catering, Cake Bakery, Flatbread & Co., Food for the Soul, Fred's Mexican Cafe, Maui Brewing Co. Brew Pub, Maui Catering Co., Maui Culinary Academy, Maui Tacos, Whole Foods and Zia Maria Gelato.
As Plato said,?"He was a wise man who invented beer."