Maui Brewers Fest

Did you know, great minds drink alike? Yes! That’s why island beer lovers are brainstorming to get together to celebrate the “mother of all craft beer weeks” with a party on Saturday.

Sip, slurp and gulp Black Raspberry Nectar, Audible Ale and Hoptimum; and munch, crunch and savor fish tacos, pork sliders and much more.

Bring your low-back beach chairs and blankets and kick back for an afternoon of fun under the palms. Toast to your friends. Then get up and dance awhile.

“Join hosts Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Maui Brewing Co. and Paradise Beverages for a leisurely day of tasting beers from over 30 craft breweries, sampling appetizers from over 20 of Maui’s popular restaurants and food trucks, and listening to live music by Nuff Sedd, Lia Live! and Simply Twisted,” says Karee Carlucci, marketing director of the MACC, where the event will be held.

This year, breweries from Hawaii, California, Oregon, Colorado, Michigan, Illinois and Delaware will send their brewmaster or representative to chat up revelers at various tents scattered about.

New this year are Golden Road Brewery, Goose Island Beer Co., Iron Fist Brewing and Kaua’i Island Brewing. Old favorites will return.

Breweries are selected because of their commitment to making craft beer in which quality, flavor and locally-sourced ingredients come first.

Indulge in Dad’s Little Helper from Rogue, Way Heavy from Pizza Port, and Siamese Twin Ale from Uncommon Brewers. There will be 68 different beers from which to choose in all, including five from host Maui Brewing Co., such as Lemongrass Saison, Maui Maibock, Shifting Winds IPA, Pau Hana Pilsner, and Barrel-aged Red Cock Doppel Bock.

“This is a good opportunity to try beers that can’t be found in Hawaii and sample new products from familiar breweries – all for a good cause,” says Carlucci. “Proceeds support the MACC’s educational programs, art exhibits and free community events.”

Bring your appetites, as there will be plenty to eat. Bob’s Dogs new food truck will debut world-famous Nathan’s hot dogs there, according to its owner Dee Hamby, who will soon set up in Lahaina.

Mulligan’s on the Blue will make Harp-battered fish and chips; Stella Blues Cafe will do Caprese skewers; Just Wing It will panko-fry chicken and serve with dipping sauces; and Brigit & Bernard’s Garden Cafe will do lentils, wurst and spaetzle for a Euro twist.

Sip Kift Lifter by Moylan’s, Mongo by Lost Abbey, and Stone Ruination by Stone Brewing Co. Then accompany it with Teddy’s Bigger Burgers’ famous fries; and Three’s Bar & Grill’s’ root-beer-glazed pork belly lollipops with kim chee, green apple and fennel salad. The list is extensive, and there is something for everyone.

“Maui Brewers Festival has seen tremendous growth the past two years,” says Carol Gentz, MACC’s development director. “Feel free to ask questions and learn more about the craft beer movement.”

In addition, the MACC will present the Maui Brew Fest Dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, for those who wish to enjoy a stellar sit-down experience.

“This beer education celebration will feature cuisine of the New Americas by John Memering, chef owner of Cactus Bistro in Kailua,” continues Gentz. “Each of the five creative courses will be paired with specialty craft beers by Maui Brewing Co. of West Maui.”

The men will talk about how well handcrafted beer goes with fine dining as you savor and sip. Both events are perfect caps to American Craft Beer Week. Cheers!