POIPU — Dean and Jabrielle Richarde made it out to Kauai’s first beer festival in style on Saturday, decked out in animal shirts with their friend Janice Echternach.
Dean’s shirt had two cats on it with the phrase “Show me your kitties” stretched across the top. Jabrielle and Echternach were sporting dog shirts.
“My wife’s the one that put me up to this,” Dean said. “It’s perfect for this!”
That’s because the first annual Dog House Beer Fest was a fundraiser for Kauai Humane Society and Junior Achievement. The organizations set 560 tickets aside for the event, and by 3 p.m. they were releasing 50 more.
“It’s amazing, we’ve sold out,” said Scott Pisani, executive director of Kauai Humane Society. “People are into it. It’s obvious that this island is thirsty for a beer festival.”
Dean Richarde and his friend Derek Danielson have been attending the Kona beer fest for a decade, and they were stoked to see Kauai start its own.
“We’ve really needed one here,” Danielson said. “And we all have animals from the humane society.”
Danielson is currently caring for five cats and the Richarde family has four, plus a dog.
“We love our fur babies,” Jabrielle Richarde said.
Mindy Faulkner, Erik Howell and Jon Allen were trying their third round of beer out of the custom steins supplied at the Beer Festival.
“So far, so good,” Howell said. “The plan is to try as many as we can in the next four hours.”
A favorite within the first few rounds was the Captain IPA from Kauai Island Brewing.
The company is one of about 20 that were slinging cold brews for the festival, along with various food vendors from around the island.
With sponsorships and ticket sales included, the event has raised around $70,000. That money will be split evenly between Junior Achievement and Kauai Humane Society.
“It’s nice to partner with other nonprofits for events like this,” said Marion Paul, one of the Junior Achievement board members. “A lot of nonprofits do black tie events, and we thought, ‘This is Kauai. We need to throw a party in the afternoon instead.’”
Music, games, food and brews were the centerpiece of that party, which took place on the Sheraton Kauai Resort lawn under large tents in the afternoon sunshine.
Since Junior Achievement is a relatively new organization, only a little more than two years old, board member Ron Margolis said they’re looking to make an impression.
“We thought it would be an exciting and adventurous way to grow funds,” Margolis said.