Kona Brewers Fest: Line 'em Up, Knock 'em Back, Repeat. Every March

Kona Brewers Fest: Line 'em Up, Knock 'em Back, Repeat. Every March

There will be far more than lava flowing on Hawai'i Island this March (sorry, we couldn't pass up the chance to use that simile). It's less than four weeks to the 13th Annual Kona Brewers Festival, "Brews for the Big Rock". The event goes down smooth (sorry, inspiration struck again) on Saturday, March 8, beginning at beer-thirty (that's 2:30 p.m. to neophytes) and ends until you can't stand up anymore (8:30 p.m., actually).

The location is none other than on the shores of Kailua Bay at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. This year's festival is touted as a celebration of more than a decade of brewing excellence in Hawaii. Booths, sponsors and attendees will have the opportunity to taste all of Hawaii's artisanally-brewed hops, as well as a surprising number of mainland brewers who hop (no pun, really) the pond to show their wares.

Perhaps the best addition to the brewfest lineup -- or at least, the aspect that might actually keep you on your feet for all six hours of slurping -- are the culinary professionals from around the islands who will grill, bake, saute, fry and flambe (last item is unconfirmed; we're really just hoping something gets flambeed) beer-friendly food items.

Special pre and post-brewfest events -- which you'll only read about here -- include the "Brewers' Pa'ina" at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort on Thursday, March 6, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. An event co-sponsored by Outrigger, Kona Brewing Company and the Kona Brewers Festival, patrons can enjoy a sumptuous, sit-down feast overlooking magnificent Keauhou Bay; each course of which is paired with a different Kona Brewing Co. beer. Also, listen to live Hawaiian music, and break bread with local brewers and festival organizers. Tickets for the Brewers' Pa'ina are $45 per person.

On Friday, March 7 at 9:00 a.m., the 2nd Annual Kona Brewers Fest Golf Open sponsored by the Big Island Country Club is in full swing. Four-person teams will tee off to compete for the coveted prize of being crowned Open champ. Last year we hear the greens-keeper dumped a Gatorade vat of India Pale Ale on the winners' heads. We're still awaiting pictures.

Last but not least, Kona Brewing Co. sponsors a 5K "Run for Hops" for those who want to sweat out every last molecule of H2O before replenishing with beer. Starting at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 8th (yes, day of the festival), participants can run or walk a pre-mapped course that starts and begins at Kona Brewing Company headquarters in Kailua-Kona.

Tickets to the festival are $50 per person. Accommodations packages are available at the Kona Brewers Festival web site, or call your local travel professional.

Visit www.konabrewersfestival.com or call (808) 331-3033 for more information.

Culinary professionals from around the islands grill, bake, saute, fry and flambe beer-friendly food items.