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Eat, drink and support Junior Achievement

POIPU — If you like to eat, drink and listen to music — and want to support the good work of Junior Achievement — then the Kauai Brewers Festival is for you.

The fundraiser is set for 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Poipu Beach Athletic Club. It will feature 30 craft beers, food from some of Kauai’s top restaurants, and the tunes of Cruz Control and Revival.

Chris Young, an organizer, said the response to the festival has been outstanding. Many contributed free or discounted deals. Others are volunteering. Some donated cash. Breweries are coming from far and near to participate. More partners came on board this year as support grows for the beer festival.

“It’s a very generous community we have here on Kauai,” Young said.

The highlight of the Kauai Brewers Festival is, of course, beer.

The event, held last June, was switched to April this year to avoid beer festivals in Kona in March and on Maui in May. And the name was changed from Dog House Beer Fest to coordinate better with events on the other islands.

But one thing they want to do is repeat the success of that first year event. It raised some $70,000 for JA and the Kauai Humane Society and sold about 500 tickets.

Tickets, since we’re talking about it, are $75 at kauaibrewersfestival.com, and $85 at the door.

Back to the beer.

Here’s a list of some of the breweries and beers they’re bringing:

w Kauai Island Brewery, Captain Cook IPA

w Mehana, Kauai Golden Ale, Tsunami IPA

w Big Island Brewhaus, Red Giant, Hoptopias IPA

w Kohola Brewery, Talk Story Pale Ale, Red Sand Amber Ale

w Lani Brewing Co., Imperial IPA Moku

w Waikiki Brewing, Jalapeno Mouth

w Honolulu Beerworks, Hop Island IPA, Cocoweizen

w Ballast Point, Fathom IPA, Aloha Sculpin IPA

w Ola Brew Co., Ola IPA, Ginger Cider, White Pineapple Cider

w Aloha Beer Co., Waimanialo Farmhouse.

Other breweries include Kauai Beer Co., Maui Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Ten Barrel, Golden Road, Elysian and Four Peaks.

“It’s going to be a good time,” Young said.

Then, there’s the food. Here’s a quick look at the fine fare you’ll feast on:

w The Right Slice bringing mini chicken pot pies and mini lilikoi cheesecakes.

w Lava Lava Beach Club is bringing brasied bulgogi pork bao buns, with house-made pickled veggies.

w Merriaman’s Fish House, Niihau lamb albondigas, hearts of palm, mushrooms, tomato jam.

w Keoki’s Paradise, serving a crispy roast pork and miso garlic lentils.

w The Kitchen at Papaya’s, vegan chipotle chili and roasted veggie biscuit bites, as well as some raw fruit and veggie kabobs.

w Hawaii Chip Company, Kauai Salsa – chips and salsa.

There will be plenty of time to talk story, relax and enjoy the sunny South Shore.

All of this is to benefit the nonprofit Junior Achievement, which uses volunteers to teach financial literacy, entrepreneurship and career planning in schools. Holly Madson is the current program director.

It delivers an important message, said Young, but wants to reach more students — try all 10,000 in public schools. And that’s possible if it can get more people involved.

“We just need a bigger roster of volunteers,” he said. “We want to raise awareness that JA Kauai can’t perform at its best without a bigger roster of volunteers.”

The organizations is financially sound and has funds to pay for the kits used in the classrooms. Young noted JA received a big donation from the Kapaa Rotary Club several years ago to give it sound footing.

The high school volunteer sessions runs once a week, 80 minutes, for seven weeks. The elementary session is once a week, 45 minutes, for five weeks.

Both are rewarding, though the elementary program is a bit easier. The high school program is challenging to hold student interest the entire time. Young would love to see volunteers get a chance at both levels.

“That way, we can grow with them,” he said.

Young said the program has about 50 volunteers and could use another 100. He hopes the beer festival turns out to be a wonderful time for the drinking and eating, but also to help folks learn about JA.

While the tickets are not inexpensive, the money is going to a terrific cause. JA sparks awareness and interest in students about the importance of money, careers and future planning.

“We want educational outcomes to improve,” Young said.

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Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or bbuley@thegardenisland.com.

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