Grind Time: Oahu gets its own beer festival

Jul. 26, 2013 | 0 Comments


One year into his grand experiment at Ward Centers that pairs great beer with even better food, REAL a Gastropub owner Troy Terorotua decided it wasn’t enough.

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REAL Beer Festival

» Where: Ward Entertainment Centers, corner of Auahi St. and Kamakee St.
» When: 2 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27
» Cost: $60; includes commemorative beer mug and eight four-ounce beer samples
» Info:

Even though REAL already has 29 taps serving up liquid goodness from around the country, he wanted more. Despite serving a Honolulu Star-Advertiser ‘Ilima Award-winning menu that is regularly fine-tuned by Terorotua, you guessed it. More.

“Our thing has always been, we wanted to create a movement for craft beer,” Terorotua explained by phone earlier this week. “And it has always aggravated me that nobody on Oahu could do a proper beer festival.”

A former corporate chef for Sam Choy, chef de cuisine at Tiki’s Grill & Bar and beer specialist at Whole Foods Market Kahala, Terorotua cited successful beer festivals on Maui and Hawaii Island as key motivational sources. After years of dreaming big and sketching plans on the back of paper napkins, he decided to stop talking the talk and walk the walk.

“Basically, two months ago we decided we were going to do it,” said Terorotua. “And then it grew. And now it’s taking over the whole parking lot.”

The “it” he refers to is the first (and hopefully annual) REAL Beer Festival from 2 to 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, July 27, in the Ward Centers parking lot next to Ward Warehouse and across the movie theaters at the corner of Auahi and Kamakee Streets. More than 60 different beers will be sampled throughout the afternoon, with food by 15 of Hawaii’s top chefs to help soak up all the brew.

“We were able to get some of these great beers that haven’t come out to Hawaii,” Terorotua said. “We’ll have everything from pilsners to big heavy ales and Belgian blondes. We’re pretty much covering the gamut.”

The breweries that will be represented this weekend at the festival include:

» Hawaiian Island Brewing Company
» Leipziger
» Professor Briem
» Hawaii Nui Brewing Company
» Lost Coast Brewery
» Green Flash Brewing Company
» Gordon Biersch
» Maui Brewing Company
» Iron Fist Brewing Company
» Hanger 24 Craft Brewery
» Ballast Point Brewing Company
» Harviestoun Brewery
» Aloha Beer Company
» Boulder Brewing
» Breckenridge Brewery
» Coronado Brewing Company
» Goose Island Beer Company
» Brassiere des Rocs
» Boston Beer Company
» Big Island Brewhaus
» Deschutes Brewery
» Bierre del Borgo x Dogfish Head
» Manzanitas Brewing Company
» Brouwerij St Bernardus
» Trois Dames
» Karl Strauss
» Anchor Brewing Company
» Pacific Breach
» Moylan’s Brewery
» Mehana Brewing
» Trois Dames
» Haandbryggeriet
» Pizza Port Solana Beach
» Kona Brewing Company
» Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
» Stone Brewing Company
» Red Hook Brewing
» Rogue Ales

Of those brews, Terorotua said he’s most excited about trying offerings from Hanger 24, Karl Strauss, Breckinridge Brewery, Stone Brewing Company and Pizza Port Solana Beach. Thanks to REAL beverage director Tony Raso’s personal connections in California, both the bar and this year’s inaugural beer festival will be well-stocked with beers most people have never seen before in local bars.

“There’s more to life than just green bottles and Bud Light,” Terorotua said with a laugh. “We just want everybody to come and have a great time, keep an open mind and try something you haven’t tried in the past.”

Along with the drinks, more than a dozen food items will be available for guests to taste.

The lineup includes:

» Roy’s Restaurant: Thai Kona Kompachi
» Murphy’s Bar & Grill: Chilled Oysters in a Half Shell
» JJ Dolan’s: Meatball Parmesan Sliders; Grilled Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions Sliders
» Tiki’s Grill & Bar: Big Isle Beef Cupcake with Beet Truffled Foie Gras Mashed Potato
» d.k. Steak House: ‘Hitching Post’ Pork Ribs
» Pint + Jigger: Applewood Smoked Double Cut Bacon
» Kaka’ako Kitchen: Smothered Pulled Pork Empenadas with Jicama Cabbage Slaw
» Side Street Inn: Side Street inn Rogue Braised Pork Belly on Sushi Gohan
» Fire House: Chicken Kelaguen Tacos with Red Rice and Finadene Sauce
» town: A Tangle of Fried Stuff, Stems & Seeds
» Poke Stop: Pulled Drunken Duck on Taro Bun and Beer Battered Eggplant Fries
» Maui Island Sausage: Linuica Comamor
» Monkeypod Kitchen Ko Olina: Reuben Sandwich
» Tropics Tap House: Beer Braised Bratwurst Sliders
» Auntie Pasto’s: Beer Battered Fried Risotto Balls

Along with the food and drink, complementary water stations will be set up to fill reusable bottles; commemorative T-shirts and additional drink tickets will also be available for purchase (the $60 ticket price includes a commemorative beer mug and eight four-ounce beer samples). Live entertainment by the Piranha Brothers (2 to 3:15 p.m.), Natural T and the Hop Heads (3:30 to 5 p.m.) and Saloon Pilots (5:15 to 6:30 p.m.) is also scheduled.

A portion of the proceeds from the festival will be donated to the Blue Planet Foundation.

“I’m excited,” said Terorotua. “I can see it in my head. I’m just waiting to see it live so I can go across the street and take a picture.”
“Grind Time” is always looking for the latest places to get your grub on. Email Jason Genegabus with restaurant, bar or any other food/drink-related item at

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