This year marked the 21th annual Kona Brewer's Festival on March 12th. The celebration at the King Kamehameha Hotel on Kailua Bay was held over a backdrop of classic Hawaiian landscape with passing paddle boarders and a private beach underneath a lapis sky - a gorgeous venue unlike any other. Live music and entertainment carried the day with colorful displays, aloha welcomes, and happy faces all around.
As much history as the land had the festival. Over the course of 20 years, the festival had successfully raised over $850,000 for over 40 on-profits and organizations supporting the well-being of Hawaii's youth, environmental; conservation, and cultural traditions - a well served mission to preserving life on space-limited Hawaii.
Given its growing size year after year, bringing beer lovers from each of the islands and the world alike, it was also the first time the event hosted 2 sessions - day (11-2PM) and evening (4-7PM). Needless to say, the tickets still sold out within minutes after they went on sale.
Many innovative flavors and techniques surround Kona's Brewery and its new facility. A unique blend known as "POG" (Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava) was part of the highlight in which will be brewed at a much bigger capacity at their state-of-the-art sustainable brewing facility (due to be operational in Q1 2018). Other hopeful appearances included the lemongrass luau with ginger base and the brewing of the first ever Kona beer called the First Rock, a malt forward pale ale.
In addition to the beer, we can't forget about the Trash Fashion Show. This performance highlighted creative fashions made entirely from recycled material. Festival volunteers diverted over 90% of festival waste from landfill by transforming refuse into compost for local school gardens!
Special shoutout to all the volunteers, staff members, and Craft Brew Alliance for making this happen. Hands down one of the most exotic, iconic, and thrilling experiences I've had. If you feel the island life, I highly encourage all to check out future events at Kona Brewers Festival.