Independently & Locally
Owned & Operated
Kolani Distillers was born from a father and son dream of living a simpler life in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands — a semi-retirement hobby turned business. Built in tribute to the history of rum in Hawaii, we set out to make a rum that was not only distilled and bottled on Maui, but made with Maui grown ingredients.
Paul W. Case Jr.
Co-Founder, Spirits Maker
Maui had been our family’s favorite place to vacation, and we always planned to ultimately retire here. Not quite ready to fully retire, we began exploring various Hawaii based investments, and in the process discovered that there were no distilleries in Hawaii. Hawaii is one of the great sugar growing islands of the world, but no one was making rum here. So we decided to build a distillery, and make rum. Since day one, Kolani Distillers has been committed to making quality, craft rums from local, Maui ingredients.
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
Independent as we are, we would be lying if we said we did this all on our own. It takes a team of very talented individuals to make Kolani Distillers what it is today and to ensure its continued success. We feel privileged and are proud to work with some of the best.
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.
Sales & Marketing
Tania joined our ohana in 2019 to manage our sales and marketing. She brings with her a wide array of skills and experience in the Hawaii spirits market, building local brands, focused on sustainability and local agriculture.
In her free time she’s active in the Maui community, a CrossFit enthusiast and SCUBA Rescue Diver. She’s fiercely passionate about food and cooking, enjoys paddling, hiking and of course a good cocktail!
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.