Archive for March, 2016

Sheraton Maui has it 'Made' for beer, wine and vodka fans

By
March 31st, 2016



COURTESY SHERATON MAUI RESORT & SPAOn Ka‘anapali Beach at the foot of Black Rock, the Sheraton Maui features panoramic views of Lanai and Molokai.

COURTESY SHERATON MAUI RESORT & SPA

On Ka‘anapali Beach at the foot of Black Rock, the Sheraton Maui features panoramic views of Lanai and Molokai.

The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is making it even more attractive for fans of that island’s craft brewing, distilling and wine-making scenes with a new promotion available now through Dec. 21.

The Maui Made package partners with Maui Brewing Co., MauiWine and Hawaii Sea Spirits Organic Farm & Distillery to provide guests with discounted tours of each facility. For $314 per night (three-night minimum stay required), the Sheraton Maui provides two adults with deluxe accommodations, a “beverage-centric welcome amenity” incorporating products from the hotel’s featured partners and discounted facility tours.

COURTESY MAUI BREWING CO.

COURTESY MAUI BREWING CO.

At Maui Brewing’s Kihei Tasting Room, 605 Lipoa Pkwy., that means a $3 savings off the $15 regular price. Tours are offered daily at noon, 12:30, 1:15, 2, 2:30 and 3:15 p.m. Along with the discount, Maui Made guests will receive a token for a complimentary beer and souvenir glass; a $25 food and beverage voucher to Maui Brewing’s Kahana brewpub is also included.

COURTESY MAUIWINEThe tasting room at MauiWine's Kula vineyard.

COURTESY MAUIWINE

The tasting room at MauiWine's Kula vineyard.

MauiWine’s King’s Visit tour — which the company’s website describes as “an exclusive look at grape growing and wine-making” and “an intimate experience” — includes a tasting of Ulupalakua Vineyards’ estate wines in a building that used to be used as a jail in the 19th century plus a few small bites as palate cleansers. One hour in length and generally available only on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the tour normally costs $50; Maui Made guests pay $40. MauiWine is at 14815 Piilani Hwy. in Kula.

COURTESY HAWAII SEA SPIRITSKula's Hawaii Sea Spirits Organic Farm & Distillery is home to Ocean Organic Vodka.

COURTESY HAWAII SEA SPIRITS

Kula's Hawaii Sea Spirits Organic Farm & Distillery is home to Ocean Organic Vodka.

And it’s all about sustainability at Maui Sea Spirits, producers of Ocean Organic Vodka. Maui Made guests save 25 percent off the $25 regular price for the tour, which includes lunch and promotes the company’s message of acting responsibly by use of organic farming principles and distilling their vodka in the most eco-friendly manner possible. Guests will also receive a souvenir Ocean Vodka shot glass to take home; tours are offered every half-hour from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the farm, located at 4051 Omaopio Rd. in Kula.

“The Maui Made package will give guests an insider’s view of our island’s growing beverage culture,” said Sheraton Maui general manager Tetsuji Yamazaki in a release. “We strive to offer guests genuine experiences that are distinctive to … Maui.”

All guests booking the Maui Made package must be 21 or older; call (866) 716-8140 or visit www.sheraton-maui.com and use the code “LOPKG1” to receive the promotional rate.

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VIDEO: Hilton Hawaiian Village unveils new History Wall

By
March 29th, 2016



The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort celebrates its 55th anniversary in 2016. To showcase the property’s historical pedigree, the hotel unveiled a new 80-foot History Wall in its Tapa Tower.

The History Wall pays tribute to dozens of individuals who helped transform Waikiki into what it is today. Visitors can learn more about Henry J. Kaiser, who envisioned the original Hawaiian Village and built the iconic dome known to generations of Oahu residents. Other celebrities who have been part of the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s legacy include President John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears.

According to the hotel, the new History Wall replaces a smaller version with just seven panels. Now the exhibit contains 16 museum-quality acrylic panels. It took researchers two years to compile all the content.

A dedication and traditional Hawaiian blessing took place Tuesday.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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The Shirley Temple's Waikiki connection

By
March 29th, 2016



STAR-ADVERTISERDuke Kahanamoku and Shirley Temple.

STAR-ADVERTISER

Duke Kahanamoku and Shirley Temple.

Last week, my “Barfly” column in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser paid a visit to the Mai Tai Bar at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort. (Click the link to read it for free; no subscription required.)

I got a pink carpet tour of the bar’s new interpretations of a Waikiki classic, thanks to Mai Tai Bar head bartender Kui Wright, but during the course of conversation it was mentioned that another now world-famous drink was poured at the Pink Palace long before it caught on elsewhere.

Shirley Temple Black was a former United Nations delegate and two-time appointee as a United States ambassador before her death in 2014 at 85 years old. But it was her prior life as a child actor that made her a millionaire during the Great Depression as well as an international celebrity... and led to the creation of the Shirley Temple.

Mocktails might be surging in popularity these days, but nearly 80 years ago when Black traveled by steamship to Honolulu with her parents, she needed something fancy-looking to go with the alcoholic drinks the adults would order.

What she got was a glass of ginger ale mixed with grenadine and topped with a maraschino cherry. And according to Starwood Waikiki director of public relations Dara Young, she ordered this drink — now known as the Shirley Temple — quite often at the Royal Hawaiian.

STAR-ADVERTISERShirley Temple Black at the Pearl Harbor Yacht Club in 1938.

STAR-ADVERTISER

Shirley Temple Black at the Pearl Harbor Yacht Club in 1938.

Like the Mai Tai, there’s some controversy surrounding the origins of drink's recipe. Young said the Mai Tai Bar never claimed to be the birthplace of the Shirley Temple, but did confirm the child actor’s family stayed at the hotel multiple times in the 1930s.

Black herself told National Public Radio the drink was first made in Southern California.

“Yes, well, those were created in the 1930s by the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood,” she said. “I had nothing to do with it.”
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Iron MC finalists feel the aloha

By
March 20th, 2016



PHOTOS COURTESY DAYLIN PELLETIERThe second annual Bacardi Iron MC competition wraps up Tuesday at The Republik.

PHOTOS COURTESY DAYLIN PELLETIER

The second annual Bacardi Iron MC competition wraps up Tuesday at The Republik.

There might be a little too much aloha in the building at this year’s Bacardi Iron MC finals for co-host Krystilez’s taste.

“We’ve had a different vibe this year,” said the local recording artist and radio personality. “There were a lot of positive MCs who weren’t into bringing people down.”

Krystilez, who will be joined by fellow Angry Locals member Big Mox in hosting Tuesday’s final round of competition, wasn’t pulling any punches.

“They’re soft,” he said. “We need to be training them for war! If you want uplifting, go to church. Iron sharpens iron here. Sometimes the crowd doesn’t always get what we’re trying to do.”

0317 iron mc 002

Four rappers — J-Shiu, Rukka, Koins and “wild card” winner Island Heir — made it to this week’s finals at The Republik after competing in three weeks of preliminary freestyle battles and other challenges that included sensory deprivation, hostile crowds and hip-hop trivia.

“It’s increased in quality this year,” Krystilez said of the competition, now in its second year. “The first one was kind of raw. This year, they’re more polished. They’re coming in with more of a sense of what they’re getting into.”

Except for the whole softness issue, of course.

Doors open at The Republik at 6 p.m. with no cover before 8:30 p.m. for those 21-and-over and $5 Bacardi specials all night. The finals start at 9 p.m. Tuesday; cover is $5 for 21+ and $10 for those 18-and-over. More info is available on Facebook.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Mission Social Hall and Cafe serves up family-friendly pau hana

By
March 20th, 2016



JASON GENEGABUS // JASON@STARADVERTISER.COMUncle Wayne and the Howling Dowg Band perform during March's Mission Pau Hana event.

JASON GENEGABUS // JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM

Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dowg Band perform during March's Mission Pau Hana event.

Fatherhood brings with it an interesting new set of challenges — some I was prepared for, others not so much.

Among the surprises was discovering the new, ever-present dilemma of finding something fun for me and my wife to do when I’m not working and we can’t find a sitter for our six-month-old daughter. Before last fall, I didn’t have to worry about much more than myself, but everything changes when there’s a crying, pooping bundle of cuteness now permanently part of the picture.

MISSION PAU HANA

» Where: Mission Social Hall and Cafe, 553 S. King St.
» When: 5 to 7 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month
» Cost: Free
» Info: (808) 240-1096, www.missionhouses.org

Good thing is, I’m not the first parent to face this issue. And for Honolulu husband-and-wife team Mark “Gooch” Noguchi and Amanda Corby Noguchi of the Pili Group, problems like these are meant to be solved — even if it means rolling up their sleeves and doing something about it themselves.

That’s exactly what happened in 2014, when the Noguchis were in the process of finalizing their move into the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives to open Mission Social Hall and Cafe, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this week. With one daughter at home and another eventually on the way, Amanda found the options lacking for her and her celebrity chef husband to go after work as a family.

“There seem to be few places these days where kids can run around freely,” she said. “I wanted to create something where we could spend time with our friends who also have kids while the little ones run around.”

That desire spawned the launch of Mission Pau Hana, which features food and drink by Mission Social Hall and Cafe to go with live entertainment by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band. Every third Wednesday of the month a rear courtyard fills with anywhere from 80 to 100 people ranging in age from newborns to retirees, many of them dancing or lounging atop blankets spread out on the grass. Beer and wine are also available for families with a designated driver who are looking to cut loose a little bit.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” said Noguchi. “You can bring the kids, get something to eat and then wear them out so they’re ready to go to bed when you get home. As a parent, it’s nice to have two hours where you can relax a little with your friends and not worry about what the kids are getting into.”
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Lanikai Brewing brings Oahu beer to wider audience

By
March 17th, 2016



KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COMLanikai Brewing Co. currently sells its Moku Imperial IPA, Route 70 Saison and Pillbox Porter at retail and in local restaurants and bars. It is the only Oahu-based brewery to do so.

KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM

Lanikai Brewing Co. currently sells its Moku Imperial IPA, Route 70 Saison and Pillbox Porter at retail and in local restaurants and bars. It is the only Oahu-based brewery to do so.

It’s always been a bit of a pet peeve for me to see people who care so much about supporting local businesses totally forget that mindset when buying a drink.

Don’t shop at a national chain supermarket, they say. Support local chefs and patronize restaurants that showcase ingredients sourced from the islands. Craft products are always better than something created for and marketed to the masses.

Yet ask them to bring some liquor to a party and what do you get? Green bottles. West coast wines. Whiskey from Kentucky — or even worse, sourced distillate that’s neither produced or bottled by the company that ultimately slaps a label on the front and tries to pass it off as high-end bourbon.

I’m not saying you have to choose a side in the craft-versus-macro argument and stick with it to the point of being annoying, like some of these people do. To me, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. I enjoy a post-midnight Jack in the Box run after a night out just as much as I like sitting down to an expensive meal at one of Honolulu’s top restaurants.

Give me a glass of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle, William Larue Weller or Booker’s 25th Anniversary and I’ll be your best friend… for the next 15 or 20 minutes, at least. But ask those who drink with me and they’ll tell you I can get down with Jack, Jim and Johnnie in a pinch, too. (Jose, not so much.)

While I’m not as knowledgeable with wine as I’d like to be, I’ve found my palate tends to gravitate towards the more expensive stuff. However, thanks to people like Chuck Furuya — who knows way more than I can ever hope to know about wine — I’ve also discovered I enjoy a number of moderately priced bottles as well. I just need a little more help to find them than I do with beer or liquor.

When it comes to beer, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a Bud Light fan. At the same time, I’ve bordered on evangelical at times with my support for Maui Brewing Co. and the amazing beers Garrett Marrero and his team produce. But as much as I enjoy buying their products off store shelves along with bottles from Big Island Brewhaus and cans from Mehana Brewing Co. and Hawaii Nui Brewing Co., I’ve waited quite a while for an Oahu-based brewery to get into the game.

That happened last year when Lanikai Brewing Co. officially opened its doors to the public and began selling bottles of its IPA and porter beers. As Oahu’s only production brewery that also has bottled product widely available in stores, not only can you pay a visit to its Hamakua Drive facility and fill up a growler with freshly brewed beer while enjoying a fantastic view of Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh out the back, but you can also grab a bottle at stores such as Whole Foods, Tamura’s, BevMart, Kalapawai Market and Diamond Head Market. Bottles are also on sale at the brewery, and nearly two dozen bars and restaurants on Oahu offer Lanikai brews on tap.

KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COMLanikai Brewing Co. CEO and Brewmaster Steve Haumschild poses for a photo with the brewery's core bottled offerings in the company's Kailua facility.

KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM

Lanikai Brewing Co. CEO and Brewmaster Steve Haumschild poses for a photo with the brewery's core bottled offerings in the company's Kailua facility.

“I didn’t think we’d have anywhere near the amount of people who are such enthusiasts about our beers,” said Lanikai Brewing CEO and brewmaster Steve Haumschild. “The community has just been all about it, and they’ve honored us with enough business to allow us to keep doing this here.”

Haumschild came up with the Lanikai Brewing concept in 2012 when he and business partners Brandon Cody, Al Darling and Dan Frerich decided it was time to attempt a full-blown brewery. Construction on their Kailua facility began in 2014, with the first bottles hitting store shelves last March. They were also able to raise nearly $35,000 from 287 backers on Kickstarter, which allowed for the completion of a tasting room.

“The money helped build out the bar, the tasting room, build our keg inventory and add the taps,” explained Cody, who serves as Lanikai Brewing’s vice president of sales and marketing. “It gives us the ability to bring people in here and explain the beers, and we have a lot of people come in to do that.”

Learn more about the brewery, including details on how home brewers can get in on the beer-making action during a special fundraiser on Sunday, in this week’s “Barfly” column in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Subscribers can click here to read online.

Want to get a taste of Lanikai Brewing’s beer — including some of the limited edition Brewers Series beers normally available only at the Kailua brewery — without having to take a trip over the Koolau? Hula Grill Waikiki will host Hula Grill Digs Farmers, a farm-to-table dinner that pays tribute to Hawaii’s ranching and paniolo history with a menu by Chef Matt Young that features products from Kauai's Makaweli Meat Co. Three of the courses will feature beer pairings from Lanikai Brewing; other courses feature Ocean Organic Vodka and Deep Island Rum.

Here’s the full menu for the March 23 dinner, which will be served from stations located throughout Hula Grill’s bar area in the restaurant:

Makaweli Ranch Tenderloin Tartare
Pickled Ho'io, Pecorino Ululoa Amaranth, Truffle
Paired with Ocean Vodka

Ni’ihau Eland Loco Moco
Rosemary Arancini, 146° Ka Lei Egg, Roasted Hamakua Mushroom, Bordelaise Sauce
Paired with Deep Island Rum

Red Curry Marinated Makaweli Skirt Steak
Coconut Braised Taro, Ho Farms Cherry Tomato, Toasted Peanuts
Paired with Lanikai Brewing Co. Imperial Red Ale with Ginger

Ni’ihau Lamb Ragu
Handmade Papardelle, Oven Dried Kamuela Tomatoes, Melted Leeks, Naked Cow Feta
Paired with Lanikai Brewing Co. Pillbox Porter

Cinnamon Malasadas
Lanikai Brewing Stout and Coconut Gelato Milkshake
Paired with Lanikai Brewing Okole Maluna Chocolate Haupia Imperial Stout

Tickets for the dinner are $65 per person, tax and gratuity included; food will be served from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and validated parking is available. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Hula Grill’s Legacy of Aloha program, which supports Hawaii non-profit organizations that foster sustainability and promote Hawaiian culture and the culinary arts. Call (808) 923-4852 or click here to purchase online.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Kona Brewing introduces new beers at festival

By
March 10th, 2016



COURTESY KIRK SHORTEThe Kona Brewers Festival returns for the 21st year this weekend.

COURTESY KIRK SHORTE

The Kona Brewers Festival returns for the 21st year this weekend.

Membership has its privileges — and in the beer world, it can lead to intriguing partnerships between like-minded breweries.

As the largest brewery in Hawaii, Kona Brewing Company holds an important role as an ambassador of goodwill and good times for our state via their “Liquid Aloha” marketing campaign and as members of the national Craft Brew Alliance.

It was the CBA connection that led to KBC working with Appalachian Mountain Brewery of North Carolina and Cisco Brewers of Massachusetts to each contribute locally sourced ingredients for a limited edition amber ale. Konambisco includes honey from North Carolina, New England cranberries and Hawaii cacao, and will make its debut Saturday during the 21st annual Kona Brewers Festival.

“It’s pretty special to work with two breweries from the east coast, not to mention another island brewery,” said KBC brewery operations manager Sandi Shriver in a statement. “While we’re literally from opposite sides of the U.S., our deep connection to our homes and our local communities is something we share.”

“What makes this collaboration special is that each of our breweries is part of an amazing and beautiful place,” added Appalachian Mountain brewmaster and director of brewery operations Nate Kelischek. “We have drawn inspiration from those very different places to create something that connects us together.”

Cisco Brewers chief executive officer Jay Harman was equally stoked to be invited to the group brew.

“We first met the crew from Appalachian Mountain Brewery last year, and we both knew we wanted to do a collaboration together,” he said. “When the opportunity arose to brew with the team at Kona Brewing, let alone do it in a place like Hawaii, there was no chance we were going to turn that down.”

The Kona Brewers Festival at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel features two sessions for the first time in 2016; the afternoon session (4 to 7 p.m.) is sold out, but $70 tickets remain for an earlier session from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go to konabrewersfestival.com/tickets to purchase online. You can also check out "Barfly" in Friday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser to read more about the festival and three others like it that will take place in Hawaii this year.

Can’t make it to Kona this weekend? You can still get in on the limited edition beer action at KBC’s Hawaii Kai brewpub after kegs of a new beer inspired by POG juice just arrived on Oahu. The I’iwi Session Ale is named after the indigenous Hawaiian bird and features fruity notes on the nose with an “assertive bitterness” and light body for better drinkability.

While KBC fans on Oahu will have to wait a bit longer to see if any Konambisco will make it out from this weekend’s beer festival, the brewery makes up for it by not holding back on the delivery of I’iwi Session Ale. Visit www.konabrewingco.com for more info about their entire lineup of beers and previews of future releases.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Bar Leather Apron's Justin Park named 'Best Technical' bartender

By
March 9th, 2016



Two years after winning both the technical and best overall categories at the 2014 United States Bartenders’ Guild Shake it Up! competition, Bar Leather Apron owner Justin Park was back in Las Vegas to try and do it again.

While he wasn’t successful at winning both categories again this year — Park previously told this reporter that the USBG changed its rules so it couldn’t happen a second time — he did succeed in repeating as the best technical bartender on Tuesday night.

COURTESY BAR LEATHER APRON Bar Leather Apron owner Justin Park competes in the "Shake It Up!" competition in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

COURTESY BAR LEATHER APRON

Bar Leather Apron owner Justin Park competes in the "Shake It Up!" competition in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

“(I’m) honored to be recognized for my technical ability,” he said. “That's something I focus on and work on every single night at Bar Leather Apron.

“Taste is subjective, but technicality is something that is tangible. I'm proud to represent Hawaii and ... bring this recognition back home.”

The Shake it Up! contest is held during the annual Nightclub and Bar Show in Vegas; the winning bartender is widely considered to be the best overall mixologist in the United States. For 2016, that person is Chicago-based bartender Egor Polonskiy, who currently serves as beverage director at Untitled Supper Club.

Park, 34, was previously the bar manager at Manifest in Chinatown and has more than a decade of experience in the bar industry. He raised his profile tremendously after winning the title of World’s Best Mai Tai in 2012 and went on to place fourth overall in the World Cocktail Championship in 2014 after his double win in Vegas.

Up next for Park is a repeat selection as a regional finalist in the USBG’s World Class contest, which he competed in last year and was one of three bartenders from his region to advance to the national finals. While he was joined as a finalist in 2015 by fellow Hawaii-based bartenders Alejandro Alvarado and Dave Newman, Park is the only bartender with Hawaii ties selected to this year’s western regional final, which will take place in Honolulu on April 12. Three people will advance to the U.S. finals set for June in Washington, DC and the winner of that round will move on to the global finals in Miami later this year.

Want to congratulate Park in person? Look for him behind the bar at Bar Leather Apron in the Topa Financial Center this weekend; email info@barleatherapron.com for reservations.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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