Oktoberfest, Kauai style

LIHUE — Kauai’s version of Oktoberfest is happening this weekend.

Hammers n’ Ales on Saturday at the Poipu Beach Athletic Club is going to be a “smorgasbord of adult fun,” according to Chris Young, a Kauai Habitat for Humanity spokesman who helped organize the fundraiser.

“We got all these restaurants that bring in all this amazing food,” Young said, explaining that tickets cover the cost of all the food and drinks so “you’re not worrying about pulling out your wallet or anything.”

“And it’s 21 and over,” Young said. “So once you get inside, it’s really just a smorgasbord of adult fun.”

Hammers n’ Ales bills itself as a beer festival, boasting ales and lagers from over a dozen different breweries on Kauai, Big Island, Maui, Oahu and the mainland. Young described the selection as “a slew of beers for people to enjoy,” but really, the event is about the food.

“We want to make sure we put the food at the forefront,” Young said. “That’s really where the love is at.”

Keoki’s Paradise will be serving carne asada. Epic Eats will be there with steamed pork adobo. The Cabana Bar & Grill has watermelon, mint, and feta skewers. There’s German potato pancakes from Kukui’s, vegetarian samosas with chutneys from Shatki Indian Cuisine and Tidepools is offering beer braised short rib tacos.

“We got all these restaurants that bring in all this amazing food,” Young said. “It’s a great value. I mean, where else you gonna get all these great restaurants together at the same time?”

He said Tuesday that at least 400 tickets to Hammers n’ Ales had already been sold and guessed that number will be “north of 600” by Saturday. For Young, and the rest of the staff and volunteers with Kauai Habitat for Humanity, those ticket sales are important because after covering some of the basic overhead costs, the proceeds go to helping Habitat help others in need.

Kauai Habitat is a philanthropic organization whose primary focus making home ownership a reality for all the island’s residents, helping people, who might otherwise never have a stable place to live, build and purchase their own homes.

“Kauai Habitat is an economic animal,” Young said, describing the fundamental, stabilizing impact home ownership can have on a struggling family. “It’s an anti-poverty machine”

With the critical need for affordable housing continuing to persist on Kauai, the goal of Kauai Habitat for Humanity is to construct and deliver at least 30 truly affordable homes a year, according to a recent press release. Kauai Habitat relies heavily on the tens of thousands of hours its volunteers log every year, but still, houses don’t come free.

“It’s a pretty profound organization,” Young said. “So to see these businesses come out and support us, we really get fired up.”

Hammers n’ Ales runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 in advance and $85 at the door. Visit bit.ly/2VoM5pq

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