Our Story

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
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.

American Distilling Institute
Kolani Distillers’ co-founder Paul Case is a founding member of The American Distilling Institute, the oldest and largest trade association dedicated to craft distilling in the world. Founded in 2003, ADI has become a beacon for the craft distilling community — providing their global network of small-batch, independently-owned distillers with a go-to source for any and all information on their craft.
American Craft Spirits Association
Kolani Distillers is a member of The American Craft Spirits Association, the only registered national non-profit trade group representing the U.S. craft spirits industry whose mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers.
MicroSpirits Liquor Awards 2015 — Gold
MicroSpirits Liquor Awards 2018 — Triple Gold

Award Winning


We have continued to improve upon the original formula each year, earning Old Lahaina Rum critical acclaim from MicroSpirits Liquor Awards in 2015 (Gold Award) & again in 2018 (Triple Gold Award).

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 Adams-Russell — Operational Development
Peggy Adams-Russell
Operational Development
Peggy is a native of Wisconsin, “America’s Dairyland”. She spent over 30 years in the software industry starting in software quality assurance and working her way to become Vice-President of Software Development for an international company. It was during this time that she met Paul, a customer at the time. After retiring from software, Peggy continued an ongoing business relationship with Paul, eventually leading to Kolani Distillers.

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.

Tristan Reynolds — Agriculture
Tristan Reynolds
As an agri-preneur with a scientific background, Tristan has honed skills in the agricultural community here in Hawaii. Building upon experience in the dairy, organic, and diversified vegetable crop industry, he employs unique and varied techniques that help explore the potential of small plot farming along with utilizing technology to advance larger operations to expanded scale. Whether it is small scale unique value added products or his unique agri-scape design, he continues to strive for success in sustainability for the islands of Hawaii.

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 Blume — Finance
Basil Blume
Over the past 20 years, Basil has successfully developed and implemented strategic and tactical plans for multi-million dollar commercial and private banking institutions and as well as independent financial and non-financial organizations.

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.