Maui’s own vodka distillery, Ocean Vodka, purchased and started an 80 acre organic farm on Maui last year. This family owned business has been making vodka in an industrial part of Kahului for the past 7 years or so, but have outgrown their facilities. This April they had the grand opening of their brand-new facility on Oma’opio Road (right next to the Surfing Goat Dairy).
CJ was our tour guide yesterday. As he showed us around the property (the nursery, sugar cane fields and then lastly the building itself), you couldn’t help but hear the pride he has in this business. Their new building has enough photo-voltaic panels to produce double what their energy requirements are (the extra going back into the electric grid). They also have a 1300 ft well on property used for irrigation.
|new factory, self-sufficient with photovoltaic energy panels and a 1300 ft deep well
This family also strives to preserve many of the over 50 varieties of Hawaiian non-GMO sugar cane plants.
|a few of the sugar cane stalks grown on their organic farm
I learned that most of the commercially grown sugar cane on Maui is GMO, which produces the sugary syrup in its stalks between 18-24 months of age (at which point the whole plant is harvested by controlled burn).
Ocean Vodka‘s sugar cane is non-GMO, meaning the plant will continue to produce sugary syrup in its stalks for 20-40 years. The mature stalks are harvested by hand while the plant continues to grow new shoots (this must be very labor intensive).
|Hawaiian non-GMO sugar cane field with coconut tree mulch
|resident rooster showing us the baby sugar cane plants in the nursery area
|sacred Hawaiian sugar cane which used to be reserved for ali’i (chiefs’) consumption
What makes this vodka unique? It is certified 100% USDA organic, the only vodka in the world made from organic sugar cane. Ocean Vodka is also the only spirit in the world made with deep ocean mineral water (which is pumped from 3000 ft off the coast of Kona, Big Island).
I really enjoyed this tour – and went home to pour myself some Ocean Vodka. It is really good.
They offer tours 7 days a week, 5 times a day – just send them a quick email so they know to expect you.
Keep an eye out for it – Ocean Vodka is currently sold in 25 states and yes, also in 3 Canadian provinces. It is also the exclusive vodka served by Hawaiian Airlines since 2007.
When: Saturday, May 18th from 4 – 7pm
Where: Maui Arts and Cultural Center
Over 30 craft breweries from Hawaii and beyond will be there, your paid ticket (admission is $50/person or $60 at the door) gets you eight 4 oz beer samples, food, live music, prizes and parking. There is also a special VIP package which includes special rare-beer tasting etc. for $95/person
For more information and to buy your tickets online, click here. While you’re on the MACC website, check out their calendar for other fun events!
Please don’t drink and drive! Please also inquire about their discounted ‘designated driver’ tickets.
The trade winds are back – this is cause for celebration! Yesterday morning when I woke up it was still 79F in the house even though we left windows open… that’s too warm for me. Now that the trade winds are back, the house cools off again in the evening. It’s nice to start the day cooler than we finished it off the previous evening.
I spent yesterday morning in Lahaina watching the ‘Ulalena production. As I had driven myself (as opposed to riding the school bus with my son), I enjoyed stopping for a cup of coffee at the Mauigrown Coffee Company Store in Lahaina, right next to the smoke stack (and a Shell gas station). Although I’ve driven past it several times, this is the first time I’ve gone in. I sure enjoyed browsing through their little store area, checking out all the different coffees and choosing a bag of coffee to bring home. I ended up with their Estate Blend, a medium roast of their Typica and Yellow Caturra varieties. It’s a nice mellow coffee – I sure am enjoying it this morning.
As I’ve been told Mauigrown Coffee Company gets their beans at Kaanapali Coffee Farms. If you are driving along the Sugar Cane Train line, turn right where their Kaanapali station is, but instead of turning left into the parking lot, keep driving up that road and you get to a new subdivision (5-7 acre lots with big homes, each growing a share of the co-op’s beans on their acreage).
When in Lahaina – go check the store out! This family business is open Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday).
Did you know we have a vodka distillery on Maui? Did you know that it is organic and self-sustaining?
Ocean Vodka is celebrating their new facility’s Grand Opening on April 27th between 10am-4pm. Then starting April 29th they will be offering five tours a day, seven days a week. Tours will include the distillery, martini garden and gift shop. Unfortunately there will be no sampling, as Maui County doesn’t allow it (wineries yes, distilleries no).
Tours are $10/person or $25 including lunch. Children 11 years old or younger get in free.
Ocean Vodka’s distillery is located at 4051 Omoapio Road in Kula (just below the Surfing Goat Dairy).
|owners Greg & Susy, and their House Blend City Roast coffee
I love finding and trying new to me local coffee.
Last week I picked up a bag of Piliani Kope Farm’s House Blend City Roast coffee. It’s a medium roast coffee, a combination of Yellow Caturra, Red Catuai and Heirloom Kanaka Kope beans. It is really good.
Piliani Kope Farm is located at 15 Wailau Place southeast of Lahaina. Their store is open from 9am-2pm or buy online.
They also offer tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays or by special appointment. Call them to schedule a tour 808-661-5479.
Tour 1: 3 hours
– seed to cup experience
– harvest season specialty tour
– tour a working farm from picking to processing
– coffee education
– talk story lunch
– roasting & packaging for take away
Tour 2: 90 minutes
– walk & talk the farm with coffee education
– roasting and tasting
tour 3: 60 minutes
– in house barn
– clipping experience
– roasting & tasting flavor profiles
Have you had a shaka pop? I had my first one today at the Maui Agricultural Festival. Shaka pops are handmade gourmet ice pops, made on Maui with locally sourced ingredients.
|Shaka pops at the Maui Ag Festival
I had one of their ‘specials of the day’ – grapefruit rosemary. It was unbelievably good. In fact, my mouth is still tingling from the flavors…. I want another one…
Where can you find them? They are at most town parties, festivals and even have some retail locations… check out their website for more details. Four dollars an ice pop – well worth it!
Did you know that Ocean Vodka is building a new distillery upcountry (Kula)? Starting April they will be offering three tours a day, Monday through Saturday! Reservations required – (808) 877-0009.
Ocean Vodka is made from 100% certified organic sugar cane and desalinated deep ocean mineral water. Interesting…
|nice view over the building (look at all the solar panels)
Our neighbors took a drive up there yesterday afternoon, though at this time there isn’t much to see yet besides the gorgeous bi-coastal views. It’s close to the Surfing Goat Dairy.