Here I go, writing about alcohol again! Such is the life of a liquid libation-loving traveler. Visiting Maui as an adult (or anywhere, really, for that matter) allows me to have a much different experience versus growing up there as a kid – in part because you can partake in enjoying the many offerings of adult beverages. Now, I’m not talking about getting smashed at bars or on the beach (though if that is your thing, there’s no judgement here!). I’m talking about having the ability to sample local craft beer, spirits, and wine at their very own production facilities smack dab in the middle of paradise. Here’s a little list where you can discover for yourselves the taste of Maui-made vodka, rum, gin, craft beer, and even a little wine!
Ocean Vodka Distillery
First on the list is sampling Ocean Vodka at the Hawaii Sea Spirits Organic Farm and Distillery, located in the beautiful Upcountry Maui town of Kula. I love visiting the “country” of Maui, even though I grew up on that part of the island. On a clear day, you get some amazing views of the island from above and get to experience a different kind of climate/landscape than you would find down in the resort areas.There are a bunch of different farms to visit (ones that don’t produce alcoholic beverages) so you can always pair your visit to Hawaii Sea Spirits with another farm in the area.
What really makes the vodka here unique, on top of the fact that it is organic, is that it is the only vodka in the world distilled from sugar cane! They also use what they call deep ocean mineral water, which they explain in depth on their farm tours.
If you want a cool step-by-step learning experience on how their vodka is made, I highly recommend you take a tour of their farm and distillery. At the end of the tour, your guide will also walk you through a tasting of the vodka. Fun fact: this was our very first distillery tour – not a bad place for a first!
The cost of the tour is $12 per person for the basic tour, which includes a souvenir shot glass, and $27 per person for the tour that includes lunch. Tours can be booked in advance through their website.
*Note: You don’t need to have a tour booked in order to visit their gift shop, so if you simply want to stop and pick up some vodka or some of their spirit-infused chocolates, or even admire their little garden area, entry is free.
It was quite fascinating to learn there is quite a variety of different sugar canes. Who knew? On the tour, they will take you by some of the sugarcane that grows on the farm where you can take note of the different varieties. All the sugar cane used for processing the vodka is grown right there on the Maui farm.
For more details and photos of our tour, check out our previous post on our visit to the Ocean Vodka Distillery back in 2015 here.
Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery
4051 Omaopio Road
Kula, HI 96790
Hali'imaile Distilling Company
Relatively new to the island is Hali’imaile Distilling Company (located across the street from Hali’imaile General Store) in another beautiful Upcountry Maui locale. I accidentally stumbled across this distillery while researching things to do on the island (yes, I still need to do that) and I was excited to add this one to my boozy activity list!
Hali’imaile Distilling is actually home to four separate spirits:
- Pau Maui Vodka
- Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar Rum
- Paniolo Whiskey
- Maui Moon Vodka
Ocean Vodka isn’t the only kid around with a unique distilling origin. Hali’imaile’s flagship spirit, Pau Maui Vodka, is distilled from none other than the pineapple fruit. Raise your hand if you associate pineapples with Hawaii!
The only way to get a tasting at Hali’imaile is to take the tour. I kind of found it hard to find this info online but it was confirmed when we arrived at the distillery (some type of Hawaii law, I believe).
Much like other distillery tours, a guide will walk you through the facility, explaining the process of how they make their products, and ends in the tasting room for a sampling of three spirits of your choosing. There are A LOT to choose from, so choose wisely! One of my three choices was my favorite product at Hali’imaile and that was the gin (also probably one of the more expensive items available for purchase).
Tours cost $10 per person and although we didn’t need a reservation for our tour, you can register online ahead of time on their website.
*Note: Tours currently only run Monday through Friday, and last about 30 to 45 minutes.
Hali’imaile Distilling Company
883 Hali’imaile Road
Hali’imaile, HI 96768
Phone: (808) 633-3609
A winery on Maui? You bet! Established in 1974, Maui Wine was originally called Tedeschi Winery so if you’ve been here before and it’s been a while, you may notice the recent name change and re-branding of the winery.
Even if you aren’t super into wine, the drive alone is totally worth it. Depending on what part of the island you are coming from, you’ll be driving through the little towns that comprise Upcountry Maui, experiencing those sweeping views of the island below and the greenery that grows in the cooler climate on the mountainside.The grounds of the winery are beautiful and it’s worth it to spend some time walking around admiring not only the beauty, but the history as well.
Free 30-minute guided tours of the estate, production area, and wine cellar are offered every day at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Private tours and tastings are also available for a $$$ sum (inquire here).
One of the awesome reasons I like to bring people to the winery is because they have complimentary tastings. A surprising fact, I know, considering many wineries don’t offer free tastings anymore (and also the fact that Maui generally charges and arm and a leg for anything food/beverage related).
For your complimentary tasting, you can choose one wine from each of the three categories on their list – Pineapple, Rose Ranch, or Estate. Some of my favorites are their sparkling wines, the Maui Blanc, and the Mele red blend.
When we were in the tasting room recently, we met the one and only Mick Fleetwood (of the iconic band Fleetwood Mac) who happens to have a residence on Maui. Wow, he’s tall! Kind of a fun fact…my very first cassette tape my dad gave me to listen to was of Fleetwood Mac (and here is my favorite song). Anyway, getting back to the wine…
I know this may sound odd, but one of my favorite things to photograph on the grounds of the winery are the jade plants that are outside the restroom building. So beautiful! It’s a strange place for something so pretty…but where else are you going to find these vibrant colors while listening to the glorious sound of flushing toilets? Eh – it’s totally worth it.
You will definitely not be disappointed with your visit to Maui Wine, wine lover or not.
14815 Piilani Hwy
Kula, HI 96790
Maui Brewing Co.
If you’re a follower of our blog, you may have seen my most recent post of Where to Find Craft Beer on Maui. For more in depth info on each place, check that out! For the sake of this post, I’ll provide a little summary for each.
Maui’s craft beer pioneer, Maui Brewing Co., is not just a one-time visit kind of place. They will have you coming back for more and more! With a newer facility located in Kihei, you can take tours, sample a plethora of beers, play some games, and enjoy a meal from one of the rotating food trucks parked out front.
MBC offers six daily tours between noon and 3:15 p.m. The cost is $15 per person, and includes a 45-minute facility tour, a tasting of their flagship beers, a token for a full beer, and a souvenir glass. You can book tours through their website here.
The best part of visiting the tasting room is getting to try their seasonal beers that aren’t canned and distributed. Some of our favorites to try on tap are the Mo Betta Mosaic IPA and the Blood Orange Lorenzini Double IPA. If you can get your hands on the Imperial Coconut Porter, that’s a real winner too.
Kihei Brewery & Tasting Room
605 Lipoa Parkway
Kihei, HI 96753
Phone: (808) 213-3002 xt. 105
Kohola Brewery is Maui’s second craft brewery and I have to say, I’m super excited that the craft beer market is expanding on the island! Although the flavors at Kohola are a little more subdued than we are used to, it’s definitely worth the visit. I love the casual vibe of the warehouse atmosphere, and it’s an awesome place to grab a beer, play games, and hang out with your friends.
Of the beers that we tried, the Moon Beam Coffee Stout and the Mighty 88 Imperial IPA struck our fancy the most.
TOURS: Kohola offers three public tours Tuesday through Saturday at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. Included in the cost ($15/pp) is a 30-minute tour of the facility and a sampling of their year-round beers. To book a tour and read their tour guidelines, click here.
910 Honoapiilani Hwy, Suite 55
Lahaina, HI 96761
Did I leave anything out? If you’ve been to any of the above, what was your experience like? Any favorites?
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