The award-winning spirits distilled on-location include Pau Maui Vodka, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, Paniolo Whiskey and Maui Moon Vodka. Even if you are not a drinker it is interesting to hear the history, process and learn of the background of the region. Founded by a pair of brothers with a long lineage in the industry, Neil & Tim LeVecke of LeVecke Corp, the micro-distillery on Maui was born in 2010. They enlisted the help of a man who is no stranger to bottled spirits and looks a lot like Sammy Hagar. Originally from Colorado, Mark Nigbur is a master distiller who eventually relocated to Maui to continue his passion in paradise.
The friendly tour starts off with a brief history of the region, plantation life, and farming in the area. Then you proceed into a 1940’s Quonset hut warehouse (originally a pineapple facility) for an in-depth look at the process, bottling, and packaging. Pau Vodka is made using Maui Pineapples, which is perfect for fermentation because of the high sugar content.
Overall, this was a nice experience. It was interesting to learn about farming in Hawaii, what it takes to launch and manage a distillery on the island. Much of the inspiration comes from the tropics and Nigbur works hard to put his expertize to good use. After your tour and tasting take a moment to peruse the town and be sure to stop by famed Haliimaile General Store for a delightful meal.
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