Day two on the big island almost proved almost more than this Brewcaster could handle, at least if you were to judge by how long it took me to recover (it's still happening). But it was filled with great events and fun people, including the Kona Brewers Fest Golf Open in the morning, the brewers only dinner at Kona Brewing Company in the evening, and a night of bowling and drinking with the good folks from Maui Brewing Co. at night.

White Labs Golf TeamThe day began with the Kona Brewers Fest Golf Open at 9am. The tournament had 24 teams entered and played at the Big Island Country Club. It was truly a great course with moderate difficulty (good for me) except for the one par three that went from tee box to an island green with nothing in between us and the hole but water (bad for me). The mood was light hearted and the people were great. Nothing but fun at this event. My one complaint was that no craft beer was made available on the course until the reception afterward, wich seems very strange for a craft beer related tournament. It was vaguely explained that it has to do with Kona liquor laws not providing exceptions for outside beer. i was happy to find a 22oz. can of Bitburger on the drink cart however, and only complained for about four holes, like any self-respecting craft beer traveler would.

We finished golf and spent time at the reception drinking Big Wave Golden Ale; a beautiful blonde style ale, although slightly colored toward a pale. It was a perfect warm weather refresher. Oh, and I guess it is my duty as an honest golfer to admit that my team came in second to last. Yeah, 23rd out of 24. What a jip! I cried foul play but nobody listened...wierd. The White's did much better with their team at 10th place I believe. There may have been some tact on their part not having me on their team?? I'll have to take that up with Mike White on the next yeast show.

me and Jim BeersAfter golf it should have been nap time considering the night before and the early morning golf registration. But alas, when in Hawaii, how can one sleep? Ridiculous I say! (psst...the White's chose sleep...shhh). Jim Beers (real name) and I, who is a friend of the White's and mine, thought it better to visit the ocean side hotel bar and partake in some tourist favorites. You know....Mai Tai's!! And so it was, and so were we...kind of drunk. Jim worse than me of course, but that is because I am a paid professional. And besides, one of us had to be able to walk to the Kona Brewery for the brewers dinner.

Kona Brewing Company has a great setup for it's brewery and pub. As you see in many mainland breweries, Kona's location is somewhat industrial. This was not as I expected having never been to Hawaii. I guess as a Howley (sp.) I just expect everything to be on the beach. Not so fellow mainlanders. But the pub is beautiful, and they covered much of the parking lot in tent to house the dinner right beside the brewery, with open doors for us to wander of course and barrel aged IPA on tap, among many others. I will say right now that the barrel aged IPA is my vote for best beer of the entire trip. It ws really beautiful with an oaky and hoppy nose, not too much harsh bitterness, slightly cloudy like an IPA should be in my opinion, and well made through and through.

While there I was able to meet and interview Kona's President and CEO (who's title I had trouble remembering at the time, no doubt partly influenced by the Mai Tai's. Note to self: don't forget the title of the gentleman you are interviewing if he is the President of the company hosting you. Second note to self: try not to be stupid more than once in a trip. Carry on self.) Mattson Davis. Luckily Mattson was as cool as could be, and graciously accepted my misgivings as part of the days activities. He even invited me to the festival after party on Sunday for the volunteers. I'm just going to assume that it was not so I could mop the floors. Here is my interview with Mattson:

I huge thank you once again to mattson and the Kona Brewing Company. Here are some pictures of the evening. Hover over to see who is on them from left to right:

Tom and Mattson

Fred Beth and J at Kona

Brewers Tent at Kona

Kona Fermentors

Now a normal human would think it was time to head home after a late night before, an early morning 18 holes, an afternoon at the beach bar, and an evening at a mini brewfest covering about 10 hours of consumption. But those of you who listen know that I am painfully dedicated to my craft, and also not the sharpest tool in the shed. So when I heard that the folks from Maui Brewing Company were partying and bowling around the corner, I just couldn't resist crashing the party and saying hello.

Garrett and Melanie MarreroAnd I'm glad I did! While there I got to meet both of their head brewers; Brewmaster Scott Freitas at the production facility and Lead Brewer Kim Lutz at the brewpub, both in Maui (as you will hear owner Garrett Marrerro declare emphatically). Also, my friend Gregory Peters was there, who is formally of Pizza Port (see GABF 2008 Day 1) but is now on a stint as a brewer at Maui. Greg keeps trying to convince me that it's only a stint and that he's headed to the bay area soon, but after being in Hawaii and spending time with the very cool and fun group at Maui brewing, I think he's full of shit. Sorry Greg. And F-you for buying the Tequila. I hope Garret made you clean the mash tun Sunday. Better yet, I hope Kim did.

Chirs, Greg and Scott

I wish I could say that was it, but there was yet another bar after the bowling alley....ugh. No need for descriptions here. Just know that Greg, Jim, The White's and I solved most of the world's problems and discoverd the difference between knowledge and intelligence. I can't elaborate, but I suggest you start your own debate on the subject at your next all nighter. Don't call me after you've taken my advice.

Day two ended with my head hitting the pillow, hard as I was told. But my recollection of the rest of the day is flawless. Right guys?....uhh...right?

Stay tuned for day three coming up tomorrow with more video and pics, and coverage of the festival itself.

Mahalo!

J

Brewcaster J is the founder of The Brewing Network and host of The Sunday Session....and very very lucky.