Barfly: Hawaii breweries join California wildfire fundraiser
By Jason Genegabus email@example.com
Dec. 11, 2018
Sierra Nevada Brewing is working with thousands of breweries across the United States to produce Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, with 100 percent of sales going to the official Camp Fire Relief Fund.
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Get into the giving spirit this holiday season — and catch a bit of a buzz in the process — with a special beer-brewing project spearheaded by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Sierra Nevada, founded in 1979 in Chico, Calif., announced plans last month to brew a Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, with 100 percent of sales going to the official Camp Fire Relief Fund.
The Camp Fire, which killed at least 85 people and is considered California’s most deadly wildfire in recorded history, burned more than 150,000 acres and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
To help multiply its efforts nationwide, Sierra Nevada reached out to breweries across the United States, offering to donate ingredients in exchange for a promise to brew a batch of the beer in their own communities and donate the proceeds to the fund.
Five Hawaii breweries are part of the project, in which the majority of participants brewed the beer on the same day: Nov. 27.
“Not every brewery was able to do it that day, but the idea was for as many people as they could to do it at the same time as Sierra Nevada,” explained Waikiki Brewing Co. co-owner Joe Lorenzen. “This is going to be pretty huge for the Butte County community.”
Lorenzen, along with Waikiki Brewing Co. brewmaster Eric Peay, grew up in Butte County, so they’re both intimately familiar with the neighborhoods affected by the Camp Fire.
“Tons and tons of my friends and family have been affected,” he said. “So when there’s an opportunity to participate in something that is right in our wheelhouse, being a craft brewer, we definitely wanted to be a part of it.”
Find Resilience IPA on (or before) Dec. 21 at Waikiki Brewing’s Kakaako and Waikiki locations (for official word follow @waikikibrewco on Instagram). Also on Oahu, Honolulu Beerworks will have the IPA at its Kakaako location on Dec. 15 (with growler fills available, too), and Kona Brewing Co. expects to have it on tap at its Hawaii Kai brewpub within the next week or so.
KBC also will serve the beer at its flagship Kona location on Hawaii island, as will Big Island Brewhaus in Kamuela. Maui Brewing Co. will have the beer on tap at its Kihei and Lahaina locations on Maui around Christmas, as well as at its Waikiki brewpub (if there’s any left to go around, you may also be able to find some at its new Kailua location when it opens Dec. 26).
I’M A big fan of supporting local, and Ko Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum is making it easy to holiday shop for the rum lover in your life with a number of new gift options this year.
The Kunia-based distillery has partnered with Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina to sell a rum cake for Christmas, available at the resort and the distillery for $22. Ko Hana worked with Helen Hong, the Four Seasons executive pastry chef, to develop the recipe, which uses Ko Hana’s barrel-aged Koho rum to get its kick. The cake doesn’t taste like it has a ton of rum in it, but it does. And because Hong doesn’t cook off the alcohol, a sauce-drenched slice packs quite a boozy punch.
During a preview tasting last week at the hotel, Hong explained that she not only adds rum to the cake’s batter, but also drenches each cake with a rum-based syrup — not just once, but twice — before each cake is packed into a commemorative tin.
If you can make it to the distillery, more gift options are available. My pick would be the Trio of Koa ($250), three bottles finished in different wine barrels (brandy, sherry and Madeira). Until now, Ko Hana typically offered only a single barrel strength rum at a time, so the opportunity to snatch up three different bottles at once is a no-brainer for rum lovers.
Also available: The Manulele Collection ($50), which contains a blend of every Kea (white) rum Ko Hana has distilled this year. Or go for the Meli Set ($75), which includes a 375-milliliter bottle of Ko Hana’s Kokoleka honey-cacao liqueur alongside a bottle of barrel- aged Hawaiian honey and a bag of the distillery’s barrel-aged whole-bean coffee. Ko Hana’s Cocktail Set ($45) includes a bottle of Kea, a jigger, muddler and cocktail recipe card for the home-based bartender in your life.
Visit kohanarum.com for a complete list of gifts available this year.
GOT A group of friends who want to keep things festive for pau hana this Christmas? Give Mistletoe Tavern in Chinatown a try.
Brought to you by the owners of neighboring Sin Lounge, the Christmas-themed pop-up bar replaces the Ravizza Brownfield Gallery, which closed at 1109 Nuuanu Ave. at the end of October. About two weeks later, on Nov. 16, the space reopened with a holiday theme, complete with a Christmas tree, an ugly holiday sweater — big enough to fit four people at once — and multiple selfie photo opportunities set up throughout.
You’ll have the best experience at Mistletoe Tavern if you visit with friends; rolling in here solo can be a little depressing, especially if you stop in for a drink and the room is completely empty.
Drinks are a little on the pricey side, especially when you consider most items on the menu are simply boozed up versions of nonalcoholic drinks like hot chocolate, eggnog and warm apple cider.
I liked my First Christmas Old- Fashioned ($14), made with Bulleit bourbon and gingerbread syrup, but can see how some might think it way too sweet. Things won’t get much better with the Candy Cane in a Cup ($12) or Nativity Nog ($15), both sugar bombs with a little liquor mixed in.
I’d suggest ordering the Holiday Cheer ($30) with friends, as the punch bowl serves four, filled with Smirnoff pineapple vodka and Captain Morgan Black rum and probably gives the best bang for your buck.
Mistletoe Tavern is open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight through December; private buyouts are still available. Call 780-6887 or follow @mistletoetavern on Instagram.
Jason Genegabus has written about the local bar and drink scenes since 2001. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @honolulupulse or email firstname.lastname@example.org.