KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – June 27, 2018 – The Royal Kona Resort today announced the lineup for the 10th annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival on August 18. The festival will host the world’s top bartenders as they compete for the coveted title of World’s Best Mai Tai and a $10,000 grand prize.
Award-winning chef and TV personality Aaron Sanchez, featured as a judge on the hit series MasterChef, has been selected as one of five celebrity judges for the Mai Tai Mix-off. He is joined by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, recognized by Imbibe magazine as one of the most influential cocktail personalities of the past century.
The Royal Kona Resort’s annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival is open to the public and boasts a range of family-friendly activities and entertainment, including:
– Mai Tai Marketplace, featuring crafts and island treats from local artisans and merchants (11 a.m.-4 p.m.)
– Battle of the BBQ, serving Hawaii’s best barbecue (11 a.m.-2 p.m.)
– A pool party featuring Hawaiian music legend, Henry Kapono (2:30-4 p.m.)
The main event, the Mai Tai Mix-off, starts at 4:30 p.m. Bartenders from all over the world will vie for the title of Mai Tai World Champion, with the winner receiving $10,000. Second and third place finishers receive $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. Attendees are encouraged to cheer on the mixologists, whose creations are judged based on taste, creativity and name.
The 2017 festival crowned Kevin Beary, beverage director of Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago, Illinois, the winner of the $10,000 first place prize and creator of the “World’s Best Mai Tai.” Justin Kipapa of Myna Bird Tiki Bar in Honolulu, Hawaii placed second, and Paul Schreuder of Bar Leather Apron in Honolulu, Hawaii placed third.
Beary, the reigning Mai Tai World Champion, will defend his title on August 18. For more information please visit http://www.donsmaitaifest.com.
About Royal Kona Resort
Located on the Island of Hawaii’s scenic lava-lined coast, the Royal Kona Resort is an oceanfront landmark in the heart of Kailua-Kona. The resort is centrally situated near renowned Alii Drive and a variety of restaurants, shops, historical sites and activities. The newly renovated Alii, Lagoon and Bay Towers offer spacious guestrooms with sweeping views of the ocean and mountain skylines. Home of the World’s Best Mai Tai, the resort also features a private saltwater swimming lagoon and world-class tennis courts that accommodate guests day or night. For more information on the Royal Kona Resort, visit www.royalkona.com.
About Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts and Hogan Hospitality Group
As pioneers in hospitality and tourism, Hogan Hospitality Group is a hotel management company with a growing portfolio of properties. Its flagship business in Hawaii – Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts – manages over 1,200 rooms on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. Born out of hotel ownership, Hogan Hospitality Group and Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts have a unique understanding of the hospitality industry, offering hotel owners measurable results in profitability and guest satisfaction, and unparalleled management experience. To learn more about Hogan Hospitality Group, visit www.hoganhospitalitygroup.com.