Archive for June, 2016

Kona Brewing brings 'Bruddahs' back for new ad campaign

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June 1st, 2016



COURTESY KONA BREWING COMPANY Dave Bell, left, and Brutus La Benz star as the Bruddahs in an updated series of commercials by Kona Brewing Company.

COURTESY KONA BREWING COMPANY

Dave Bell, left, and Brutus La Benz star as the Bruddahs in an updated series of commercials by Kona Brewing Company.

Two years after introducing their version of the Bruddahs to beer drinkers around the country, Kona Brewing Company is back with a new series of commercials starring local actors Dave Bell and Brutus La Benz.

The pair appear in three new 30-second ads — “Little Friday,” “Itself” and “FOMO” — that began airing in San Diego, Sacramento, Seattle and Orlando last month. They follow 2014’s “Single-Tasking” and “Sad Hour” in continuing with the tradition of addressing audiences with “Dear Mainland” at the start of each spot.

“It was supposed to be two days (of shooting) and two commercials,” said La Benz, 36. “But they got four scripts approved,” of which three were made into commercials. All were produced on Oahu at locations in Kahala and Ko Olina.

La Benz might look familiar to local TV viewers, thanks to recent appearances in commercials for Hawaiian Telcom and Island Insurance. He also serves as a kahu at weddings and lectures at UH-Manoa when he’s not working at his day job with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

“It’s fun,” he said. “I just like doing acting, so anytime I can get in front of a camera, that’s pretty cool. I’ve been pretty blessed with these gigs.”

The new lineup of Kona Brewing ads will air through the first week of September in the cities mentioned above, but users of online streaming services like Hulu and Spotify may notice them popping up during commercial breaks as well. The brewery’s multi-million dollar integrated marketing campaign also calls for ads to appear on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

“People loved the laid back banter and distinct local perspective of the Bruddahs (in 2014), especially since so many of us are leading increasingly busy, multi-tasking lives,” Kona Brewing director of brand marketing Cindy Wang said in a release about the new commercials. “We’re really excited to bring this latest installment of sage island wisdom to the mainland again this summer.”
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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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Hemp History Week kicks off on Maui with exclusive beer tasting

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June 1st, 2016



COURTESY BRYAN BERKOWITZ A Maui Brewing Co. employee brews a batch of English-style pale ale made with hemp last month. Guests at a Hemp History Week kickoff event this weekend will be able to sample the brew.

COURTESY BRYAN BERKOWITZ

A Maui Brewing Co. employee brews a batch of English-style pale ale made with hemp last month. Guests at a Hemp History Week kickoff event this weekend will be able to sample the brew.

The Maui Hemp Institute for Research & Innovation celebrates all things hemp with two Hemp History Week kickoff events this weekend.

Now in its seventh year, Hemp History Week is a grassroots campaign from Monday through June 12 that has taken on additional meaning on Maui, where recent legislation was passed to allow hemp’s use as an agricultural crop there. This year’s theme is “Grow Our Future,” a nod to the variety of uses for hemp and how the plant can contribute to healthier lifestyles, regenerative agriculture and new uses for green technology on the island.

The Maui Hemp Institute partnered with Maui Brewing Co. to host an evening with author Doug Fine at Maui Brewing’s Kihei brewpub, 605 Lipoa Pkwy. Along with Fine’s keynote address, guests will participate in sampling a new batch of the brewery’s English-style pale ale made with hemp as well as a “Hemp Movie Night” accompanied by live music. The free event starts at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“Hemp is a great food resource as well as textile and building material,” said Maui Brewing Co. CEO Garrett Marrero. “We’ve been making hemp beer for 11 years now. We did a hemp brown ale called Hemp Man from ’05 to ’08 and we did a smoked hemp beer for Taste of Hawaii about five years ago.

“It’s more about awareness than anything else. This is our way of being able to show its versatility.”

At 5 p.m. Sunday, the Hemplicious Fundraiser Dinner at Sugar Beach Events, 145 N. Kihei Rd., will present Maui’s Hempster of the Year award alongside a multi-course dinner showcasing hemp as the featured ingredient and live entertainment by Fulton Tashombe. Tickets are $150 each.

Official Hemp History Week events include free hemp product tasting at Mana Foods in Paia on Tuesday, Whole Foods Kahului on June 8 and Down to Earth Kahului on June 10. Call the Maui Hemp Institute at (808) 463-4042 for times.

On June 9, the Maui Hemp Institute will partner with the Maui chapter of the Hawaii Farmers Union for a potluck dinner at Maui Tropical Plantation, 1670 Honoapiilani Hwy., starting at 6 p.m. Doug Fine will be in attendance as well; those who don’t bring a dish to share will have to pay $10 at the door.

Hemp History Week 2016 will wrap up on June 12 with a working visit to Maui’s first “hemp-infused food forest” in Lahaina. Maui Hemp Institute representative Steve Rose said while there will not be any actual hemp in use just yet, participants will help prepare former pineapple and sugar cane fields for the organization’s sustainable forest project.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the visit will be followed by an off-site pizza lunch. Cost is $40 general admission; $25 for Hawaii Farmers Union and Maui Hemp Insititute members. Call (808) 463-4042 for location and more information.
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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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