It's amazing, but true! The Four Seasons Resort Maui is throwing a beer bash. But it's quite the anomaly as the posh Wailea resort is world famous for its more formal culinary happenings.
Of course, the food and beverage team has a classy name for it. The International Craft Beer Tasting Dinner will quench your thirst for a cold one, or two, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, on the Oceanfront Lawn of the resort.
It's a nod to Oktoberfest happenings and it's something different for the resort. Plus it's hot out there right now - and there's nothing like a cold beer to cool you down after a sultry day on Maui.
Tipping a few in anticipation are Four Seasons Resort Maui’s Beverage Manager Nick Martin (left), Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Crissa Hiranaga and Executive Chef Roger Stettler.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"Sure, we're known for our more formal and elegant events such as wine dinners and the Taste of Chocolate," says Nick Martin, beverage manager.
"But this one should be really casual and a lot of fun. You don't have to be serious. Just come, drink some beer, eat some food and enjoy the evening."
There will be four stations, highlighting hard-to-find craft beers from four different countries. Four Seasons chefs will entice you at booths, cooking upscale pub foods from each of the locales.
* What: International Craft Beer Tasting Dinner.
* When: From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30.
* Where: Four Seasons Resort Maui's Oceanfront Lawn in Wailea.
* How much: Cost is $70 plus tax and gratuity. It includes 12 beers and 12 international dishes. Valet parking is complimentary - but the team would appreciate a tip.
* For reservations: Call 874-8000.
"We've picked three countries and the United Kingdom," says Martin. "Nothing from the United States. We want people to experience rare beers, ones you ordinarily cannot find elsewhere."
Only small breweries that make traditional craft beers of exceptional quality will be featured. You may taste 12 in all. If you do, arrange for a designated driver, catch a cab or book a room.
Beers from the United Kingdom include Porterhouse Oyster Stout, Hariestouin Old Engine Oil and Sam Smith Organic Lager. Beers from Germany will be Pinkus Ur Pils, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Wheat and Franziskaner Hefe-Weizen
Four Seasons Resort Maui's Executive Chef Roger Stettler and Martin did a tasting and planned the pairings.
"The beers of Germany and the U.K. are more masculine. So you need more greasy and substantial foods," says Stettler. "So we'll have action stations with chefs doing German fare such as crispy pork belly with cabbage-caraway slaw; homemade spaetzle with caramelized onions in three-cheeses crust; and soft-baked Laugen pretzels with Obatzta spread."
Obatzta is a creamy Bavarian camembert cheese spread. Laugen pretzels are the ideal German treat with dark brown, salty crusts with chewy soft insides. Pair them with the cheese spread and sip a cold and frothy Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Wheat and you'll be in pretzel heaven.
The U.K. cuisine will be shaved roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and bone-marrow jus; and fish 'n' chips with malt vinegar and tartar sauce.
When was the last time you had Yorkshire pudding on Maui? Or bone marrow jus? This is definitely not your typical hot dog or sausage "beer fest food" that you'll find at other events on island.
"The Italian beers are very flavorful, like a Moscato, a champagne. Some have a hint of fruit. We ended up choosing ones that will hold up to tomato sauces."
The Italian beers include Doppio Malto, Chimera and Nora Ale. Pair these with seafood cioppino brimming with mussels, crab, scallops, calamari, shrimp and fish in a hearty tomato broth and dip garlic foccacia into it fresh from the oven. Savor chicken Milanese panini with fontina cheese, arugula, roasted peppers and creamy salsa verde on ciabatta bread.
Chimera is packaged in what looks just like a wine bottle. In fact, it may be sipped in a wine glass as it boasts "aromatic notes of caramel, figs and pineapple along with a light, toasted malt body."
"As you walk around the Oceanfront Lawn, we'll pipe in pub tunes, Irish music, drinking music," says Martin. "It will be fun and interactive and casual."
The Japanese beers include Hitachino Nest Beer Red Rice Ale, Hitachino XH and Hitachino White Ale.
"All the beers have been selected based on their superior quality as well as their rarity. It's going to be a really unique opportunity to sample these beers amongst such a beautiful setting," says Martin.
The Hitachino White Ale is a refreshing mildly hopped Belgian-styled beer with a complex flavor of coriander, orange peel and nutmeg, according to the brewing company's website. White Ale has won gold medals at several beer competitions internationally. This is one of Hitachino's top-selling beers both in Japan and U.S.
"The Japanese beers remind me of sake, because they're floral, perfumed," Stettler says. "But they're sneaky. Some are made fermented with rice so they have a really high alcohol content."
Pair these Japanese beers with fresh and glistening oysters on the half shell with ponzu sauce; sashimi of salmon, hamachi and tuna; and nigiri and maki sushi such as salmon-skin roll, spicy-tuna roll and fried tempura roll.
"You can't go wrong with cold beer and sushi," says Stettler. "We've taken the time to create some items that pair really well with these beers.
"But we'll serve it in smaller portions. People can mingle around and try all of it that way. Pace yourself, because there are 12 beers and all of that food."
"Walk through and try everything once and then come back and go for more of your favorites," says Martin. "With our price point, this should be amazing."