22nd Annual Kona Brewers Festival Returns

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Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

On Saturday, March 11, over 4,000 happy hops lovers gathered at Kamakahonu Bay at the King Kamehameha lū‘au grounds for the 22nd Annual Kona Brewers Festival.

The annual event indulges craft beer connoisseurs by tapping 72 types of ales and lagers, dished up alongside a bounty of island-style cuisine from 36 Hawai‘i Island chefs and top restaurants.


Making its debut in 1996, the Kona Brewers Festival is an annual fundraising event designed to celebrate the founding of Kona Brewing Company, promote craft brewing in Hawai‘i, and facilitate the collaboration between chefs and professional brewers.

The ultimate outcome is to elevate the educational, economic and environmental well-being of the Hawaiʻi Island community.

“It’s totally a great party,” said Summer Carrick, one of the festival organizers. “It’s really a community celebration. The founders wanted it to be about gathering and people getting together. One of the cornerstones of the festival is having brewers and chefs work together to create something. It’s people who are experts in their craft, getting together and collaborating—and that spirit just kept rippling out into all aspects of the festival.”


The festival kicked off with a hula performance and blessing, followed by live music to entertain festival-goers throughout the day. The annual Trash Fashion Show was a big hit among participants and raised environmental awareness while featuring costumes created entirely from recycled material.

Produced in the spirit of pualu (working together) and malama pono (respecting the land), the Kona Brewers Festival is one of Hawai‘i’s premier events and has raised more than $1,000,000 for Hawai‘i Island nonprofit organizations.

“The beneficiaries of the proceeds, in turn, provide the volunteers to run the festival, so not only are they getting, they’re giving, too,” said Carrick. “It pairs all of these fun unlikely people together to make something great for the community. It’s a party, but it’s also about collaboration and community celebration—and it’s on the beach in Hawaiʻi, which is pretty awesome.”


The organizers of the Kona Brewers Festival strive to create an event which is ecologically responsible, economically sustainable, encourages the well-being of the community, and is filled with the spirit of aloha.

The festival is a unique opportunity for visitors to interact with local residents who are knowledgeable and actively working to protect Hawai‘i’s natural resources.

Top that off with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean for a tasty and authentic Hawaiian experience.

Cheers! Kona Brewers Festival photo by Mason Lake.

Cheers! Kona Brewers Festival photo by Mason Lake.

Kona Brewers Festival 2017. Karen Rose photo.

Gelato at Kona Brewers Festival 2017. Karen Rose photo.

Pulled pork and rice at Kona Brewers Festival 2017. Karen Rose photo.

Pork nachos at Kona Brewers Festival 2017. Karen Rose photo.

Kona Brewers Festival St Paulie Girl photo by Case Haynie.

Kona Brewers Festival St Paulie Girl photo by Case Haynie.

Kona Brewers Festival. Photo: R. Thomas.

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