From tapping the first barrel to doing the chicken dance to clanking steins of cold and frothy beers, Oktoberfest parties are on a roll worldwide.
The Four Seasons Resort Maui will give a nod to this tradition and take it a step further into the international realm with its second annual Brewhaha festival on its oceanfront lawn in Wailea.
"We're doing it again because it was so popular last year," says FSRM's Executive Chef Roger Stettler, a man who loves to sip an exceptional brew.
Toasting to their upcoming beer festival are Four Seasons Beverage Manager Nick Martin (from left), Public Relations Coordinator Crissa Hiranaga, and Executive Chef Roger Stettler.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"And, as you know, September is a very hot month on Maui, so this is a good way to quench your thirst."
This year's theme is East versus West, so hard-to-find beers from select countries of Europe and the Pacific Rim will battle in a friendly competition and then be paired with foods from each place.
"It's not often you get to sample 14 craft beers from around the globe," says Beverage Manager Nick Martin, who hand picked each and every bottle.
Brewhaha at a glance:
What: The walkabout festival will feature the beers and foods of select countries of Asia and Europe.
When: From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept 28.
Where: Outdoors and oceanfront on the lawn of Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea.
How much: Cost is $79 plus tax and gratuity. It includes 14 beers and international food parings. The valet parking is complimentary - but the workers appreciate tips.
* For reservations: Call FSRM's concierge at 874-2201.
"This year, it will be more interactive, the crowd will be voting on which region they prefer. It'll be interesting to see which side comes out on top."
Only small breweries making traditional craft beers of exceptional quality will be poured. If you enjoy all 14, do arrange for a designated driver, catch a Wailea taxi or book a room.
Beer and food countries from the East are Japan, Australia and India, while those from the West are Belgium, Germany, Scotland and England.
"We'll pour nothing from the US," Martin continues. "We want people to experience rare beers, ones you ordinarily cannot find elsewhere."
Seven action stations will line the lawn and attendees may mingle in the center as they go from booth to booth.
Beers that pair with each of the countries will be poured at booths right next to the food stations for easy access.
"About a month and a half ago, I started to marinate my own sauerkraut for the German booth," says Stettler. "The beers of Germany are masculine and should be paired with more substantial foods."
So Stettler and his expert Four Seasons culinary team will do Weiswurst sausages, crispy pork knuckles, and beer pretzels -and serve with sweet and German mustard for added oomph.
Sip some German Pinkus Ur Pils as well as Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse; and then check out the Scottish Belhaven Ale and the Traquair House Ale.
Foods from Scotland will be sous vide leg of lamb served with Rowan-berry jelly; and shepherd's pie, savory and filled with lamb, beef, pork and potatoes.
"I'll marinate the lamb with herbs for 48 hours," says Stettler. "Then I'll put it on the grill to crisp it up."
Japan will be represented with Hitachino Nest Beer espresso stout as well as white ale and foods such as misoyaki-glazed sea bass, heirloom-carrot tempura and contemporary nigiri and make sushi.
From India will come Flying Horse and Taj Mahal Lager with lamb tikka, vegetable curry, housemade roti, and house-smoked salmon with raita.
Sip Australian Coopers Sparkling Ale and munch guinea hen and beet slaw; and quaff Belgian Trappist Rochefort 8 and savor black mussels in fennel-beer broth.
Dessert beers will be Well's Banana Bread from England; and Lindeman's Framboise from Belgium. "I'm making five or six desserts," says FSRM's Executive Pastry Chef Rhonda Ashton-Chavez.
"I'll do sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream to go with the Banana Bread beer of England; and waffles with blood orange foam and roasted strawberries to go with the Belgian dessert beer."
Ashton-Chavez and her team will also bake Australian pavlova passion fruit cream; Indian phirni black pudding with cardamom and pistachios; and Japanese green tea and coconut tiramisu.
"This event will be really casual and a lot of fun," says Martin. "You don't have to be serious. Just come, drink some beer, eat some food and enjoy the evening."
"It's a great deal at $79 a pop," says the seasoned chef. "These beers are very rare. We've put a lot of energy and thought into the menu. So if you want to go out on a limb a little and be adventurous, This is really a great opportunity."