Eli Cannon’s Tap Room has a well-earned reputation as an all-American restaurant and Middletown institution. But for one magical Friday night, Eli Cannon’s was transformed into an island paradise for the Kona Brewing Luau Party.
The Kona Brewing Luau Party, the final event of Eli Cannon’s annual Beer Gods week, had a number of enjoyable features. Waiters and customers wore hula skirts and leis, traditional Hawaiian music was played, and a firebreather performed for an adoring crowd.
Add to these features four different Kona beers on tap, including Waialua Wheat and Fire Rock Pale Ale, and an excellent buffet inspired by traditional Hawaiian food that included steak kabobs, rice, pulled pork, and macaroni and cheese mixed with SPAM, and it was just about the perfect summer night.
Eli Cannon’s Beer God’s Week is now in its third year. A celebration, according to the restaurant’s owners, of the pleasures of beer (Eli Cannon’s symbol is actually the god of beer), the week was six days long this year and included a number of events. Festivities began July 31 in the early afternoon with a DogFish Head Alehouse Beer Brunch, continued on Wednesday with a DogFish Head Tap Takeover, and on Thursday had its most popular event with its “infamous” Bartenders Challenge.
Current bartenders competed to serve up the best margaritas and veteran bartenders returned to serve up their favorite drinks. At the end of the night, customers voted on their favorite drinks. For all the week’s events, a portion of the profits were donated to Oddfellows Playhouse.
“This week is a ton of fun for everyone,” said hostess Deanna Golab. “Everyone on staff gets into it and it promotes moral, and the customers really enjoy it. They like seeing the different events and the atmosphere around them.”
Head chefs Ben Romann and Lee Rapp, who said that the Beer God’s Week had been very successful, stated that the week’s events demonstrated the constant atmosphere of fun and celebration that surrounds Eli Cannon’s. It was Rapp who summed up the week best.
“This is the week we get to really interact with the customers. This is for them, and we get to know them as people and have fun with them.”
Eli Cannon’s holds similar events regularly. Its next big event is on Aug. 16, when 10 different Victory tap beers are being offered for the Victory Tap Takeover.