Beer and oysters come together on Saturday, Jan. 6. That’s when Kohola Brewing in Lahaina and Shucking Haoles will put on what they are calling the “first of many” oyster and beer pairings.
It all starts with Randy Button, who was born and raised in Kihei. His parents owned a seafood wholesale business, importing fresh shellfish and other seafoods from the mainland. Delicacies like oysters are some of the main products that can’t always be obtained here on Maui. Because oysters need extremely cold water to thrive, some of the best in the world are found off the eastern and western coasts of North America.
After Button finished college in Washington, he returned to Maui and started Shucking Haoles, essentially a mobile oyster party that he takes to private weddings and events.
“In Washington, everywhere you go there are craft breweries and raw oyster bars,” said Button. “I think it has to do with the hands-on approach of crafting beer and farming/crafting oysters. It’s the same kind of genre of people that are doing it.”
Button got the idea to host a public event and approached the team at Kohola Brewing, who’ve been doing different food and beer pairings at their brewery for roughly six months.
“We always pair up with local business to support local, build the hype and spread that Maui love around,” said Mark Fisher, the brand ambassador for Kohola Brewing. “And beer and oysters are a tale as old as time. It’s such a classic pairing, the two were made for each other.”
The ticket price of $25 gets you four oysters and four beers. The beers, supplied by Kohola, will be the Lilikoi Saison, Pineapple Pilsner, Shaka Island Session Ale and a fourth surprise beer. Additional oysters and beer will be available for purchase at the event as well, and the brewery will provide live acoustic music by Garrett Probst.
Oysters can be traditionally cooked in three ways. You can eat them raw, freshly shucked from the water and served in a half shell. Or you can shuck them and place on a grill with butter and/or hot sauce. Or you can take them from the shell and cook them in a pan. This Saturday’s event will feature raw oysters. That means sauces (also called “mignonettes”) will be very important.
Mignonettes are sauces that are paired with oysters to “help amplify the flavours,” said Button. “We’re pairing these oysters with housemade mignonettes that will best compliment the beer that we’ve chosen.”
Button, who is also a private chef, created all his own recipes and housemade mignonettes, which includes a habanero papaya and lilikoi hot sauce.
“Everyone is really into these farm-to-table restaurants concepts these days,” said Button. “I just thought, a fisherman is a farmer, too. What about all these seafood guys? It’s a lot of grunt work shellfish farming, and I wanted to shed some light on that community when it comes to seafood.”
OYSTER & BEER PAIRING
Saturday, Jan. 6; 5pm
Kohola Brewery (910 Honoapi`ilani Hwy., Lahaina)