Independently & Locally
Owned & Operated
Co-Founder, Spirits Maker
Kolani Distillery was the first distillery built on Maui in over 25 years. In 2000, several years before the craft distillery boom, we started working on the distillery idea. At that time, there were only 50 distilleries in the entire US. With few resources available in the way of consultants, and with the last Maui distillery closing 15 years earlier, we had to figure things out ourselves. It took us several years to get our distillery operational.
We traveled all over the U.S., learning everything we could about making rum. In 2003, we began construction on our distillery in Paia, erecting a building within the shell of a 100 year-old sugar mill building. We built the distillery ourselves — screw by screw, bolt by bolt. We did everything from the electrical installation to the pipe wrenched steam fitting ourselves with the help of a small local construction crew. We completed construction in 2005 and began making a really mediocre rum shortly thereafter. Not satisfied, we continued to hone our craft and improve upon our rums. We didn’t sell our first bottle until the end of 2009 when we had finally created a product we were proud to put on market shelves.
After all these years, Kolani Distillers is still independently owned and operated. We have no investor partners and no debt — we are self-financed. Everything we make gets put right back into our company. That’s how we like it. We have built a brand that has become one of the largest selling local spirits in Hawaii, independently — and we’re proud of this legacy.
We have been barreling rum since 2006 and intend to release that ultra-premium aged rum in the not too distant future. We are also considering tropical flavored rums to further extend the Old Lahaina line.
Behind the Bottle
The people that make it all happen
Peggy has been an integral part of the team since the beginning, helping Paul develop the technical and operational ground work for Kolani Distillers and now in planning of the next stage of the company’s development. Peggy does it all, from research and software development to sourcing a battery for the forklift.
In her free time Peggy enjoys cooking, travel, scuba diving, fishing and gardening. Peggy’s real passion is international dog rescue. Peggy has spent over 25 years volunteering her time and personally takes 4-5 trips per year to Greece and Spain to rescue and bring back dogs to the US.
Now working with us here at Kolani Distillers, Tristan is assisting with our farming plans and practices to ensure production of quality crops of sugar cane, herbs, and other botanicals sustainably. His commitment to a conscious agricultural approach and his humble nature as a steward of the land for future generations is a great part of how we produce our high quality rum and products.
Basil brings with him a broad-based background in finance, accounting, information systems and risk management experience and is instrumental in putting the “organization” into our organization, helping Kolani Distillers grow from a small mom-and-pop to a well-organized operation.