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Maui celebrates craft beer with a May 16 festival

Cheers! A May 16 craft beer festival in Maui will celebrate the growing interest in the brew.

Maui will be the toast of the islands as dozens of craft brewers offer their wares during this month’s Maui Brewers Festival.

The Maui Brewers Festival will return to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center  in Kahului from 4-7 p.m. May 16.

Thirty-seven breweries from Hawaii and the mainland are expected to participate in a festival that, in years past, has proved popular with beer lovers.

Craft beer is a growing trend across the nation, especially in California, where, a Los Angeles Times article on Thursday, the number of breweries grew 24% in the state from 2013 to 2014, creating a $6.5-billion economic impact.

Maui Brewing Co., which has a brewpub in Lahaina, will offer six of its beers. Kona Brewing Co., from Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, will let visitors sample two of its brews.

Tickets, available online or by calling (808) 242-7469, include a commemorative glass that can be used to sample up to eight, 4-ounce pours.

General admission is $60 in advance or $70 at the gate. Guests must be 21 or older.

Admission for designated drivers is $50 in advance or $60 at the door. That includes free root beer but no alcohol.

Two dozen food vendors will be selling a variety of small plates. The Smoke & Spice food truck will serve pulled barbecued chicken with pineapple coleslaw. Sumo Dogs will serve its Maui-style wiener.

Proceeds will benefit the arts and cultural center’s community outreach programs.

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