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Enjoy craft beer (72 kinds) and the beach at this Hawaii Island festival

Enjoy craft beer (72 kinds) and the beach at this Hawaii Island festival
Tickets for the Kona Brewers Festival go on sale Jan. 30. (Kirk Shorte)

Beer lovers will need to act quickly if they want to snag tickets to one of Hawaii Island's best craft beer festivals, the Kona Brewers Festival.

The festival, which coincidentally turns 21 (legal drinking age) this year, is to be held on the luau grounds of the King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona.

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In past years, tickets have sold out in a matter of minutes. This year, festival organizers are adding a second session, which means nearly double the number of tickets will be available to beer-loving fans.

Participants at the Kona Brewers Festival receive a souvenir mug.
Participants at the Kona Brewers Festival receive a souvenir mug. (Bryan Appelt)

The festival isn't until March 12, but tickets go on sale Jan. 30.

Festival-goers will be able to sample 72 ales and lagers produced in Hawaii and on the U.S. mainland.

Participating brewers include hometown favorite Kona Brewing Company, Oahu's Lanikai Brewing Co., and Lost Coast Brewery of Eureka, Calif.

A number of the Big Island's restaurants will serve up beer-happy food pairings, from deep fried avocados to fresh fish. Chefs will come from eateries including the Bite Me Fish Market and the Four Seasons Hualalai.

Women beat traditional drums during a hula performance at the Kona Brewers Festival.
Women beat traditional drums during a hula performance at the Kona Brewers Festival. (Kirk Shorte)

Entertainment is to include live music and a "trash fashion show" featuring outfits made entirely from recycled material.

This year's lunch session will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; a dinner session will follow from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tickets, priced at $70 per person per session, must be purchased in advance. To avoid being shut out, plan to be online at 1 p.m. PST Jan. 30, when sales begin.

The price includes seven, 4-ounce brew tastings, unlimited food and a commemorative mug.

Proceeds go to charity. Over the last 20 years, the Kona Brewers Festival has donated $850,000 to more than 40 nonprofit organizations.

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