Poke Pau Hana pairs seafood and suds
Starting bright and early Wednesday morning, Foodland Super Market will up its already-go-to poke-purveyor status with a craft beer pairing program called Poke Pau Hana.
In a partnership with Southern Wine & Spirits, Foodland and Sack N Save locations will show customers the craft beers that pair best with 10 of its 20 different poke choices.
It will be "a whole new tasting experience … a whole new way of enjoying poke," said Sheryl Toda, Foodland senior director of marketing and corporate communications, at a Tuesday evening "sneak peak" tasting event at which nary a green bottle was in sight.
Starting Wednesday customers will see a variety of the beers displayed at the seafood counters where the poke is sold. Two-sided tasting cards, like the one pictured here, will be available to customers looking to make pairing choices and to make their own notations about what they liked about each pairing — or didn't. Cards and information touting the program also will be available near the beer displays.
Sampling will be offered at select stores, Toda said, and each week a discounted price will be offered on the featured craft beer. Information about which stores will offer samplings will be shared via Foodland's social media channels.
The pairings were achieved by Foodland and Southern Wine & Spirits culinary staff; cicerones, or certified beer professionals; and executives, during meetings that included some "robust discussions," said Foodland Corporate Chef Keoni Chang. Working their way through as many as 50 craft beers, the choices were made. The hope is that the suggested pairings won't be an end-all for customers, but rather the beginning of "a journey," and further "conversation," Chang said.
He and Southern Wine & Spirits officials on hand encouraged tasters to linger over the flavors in both the poke and the beer, to let their palates discern how the flavors in each poke sample balanced or complemented — or even contrasted with — the notes in each beer's taste profile.
For the tasting event, seafood managers from different Foodland locations prepared poke freshly, on-site, for sampling by guests, along with a small pouring of the selected brew. Each tasting station offered water and so-called dump buckets to rinse out the provided glasses so as to keep the flavor of each new sampled beer, true.
One highly popular choice for the night was the local favorite spicy ahi poke, paired with New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, which some enthusiasts said has recently become available in Hawaii.
This post eventually will be updated with some photos of the pairings, but this writer wanted you to be informed of the new Poke Pau Hana program at Foodland as soon as possible because, as they say, 'it's five o'clock somewhere.'