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Kona Brewers Festival marks 20 years

March 16, 2015 - 6:59am

The Kona Brewers Festival marked its 20th year of raising funds for community organizations on Saturday with support from some 600 volunteers, sponsors, local restaurants and breweries. Tickets to the event helped fund five school gardens and culinary education.

Celebrating a “Brews for a Better World” theme, event organizers were braced to serve a crowd of 3,000 people tasting craft beer from 53 brewers from around the state and mainland, and food offered by 27 local restaurants and resorts.

Set on the luau grounds of the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, the festival aimed to promote craft brewing and collaboration by local brewers and chefs.

Two decades ago, the first festival netted $5,000 for its first beneficiary, Recycle Hawaii. Since then, the celebration has raised

$742,000. This year’s goal was set at $100,000.

Promoting themes of sustainability, the festival featured reusable and biodegradable dinnerware, water tanks to eliminate bottled water and zero waste centers. A trash fashion show was held, along with live music and talk story with chefs and brewers. Awards were also given for best home brew and for the most innovative and environmentally friendly food-tasting station.

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