Sugar is no longer king in Hawaii. In fact, the last major sugar operation in Hawaii—Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar (HC&S) on Maui—closed in 2016. However, some distilleries in Hawaii, including Koloa Rum, still see a future for sugar in the Aloha State.
Whereas many types of rum are made with molasses, Koloa Rum is made from cane sugar. When Koloa started its operation, it bought up as much sugar as it could from Kauai’s Gay & Robinson sugar operation before it shut down, and it did the same from HC&S. Today, they have their eyes on using Kauai-grown sugarcane going forward. Like Kuleana Rum Works on the Big Island, Koloa is cultivating species of sugarcane that disappeared from Hawaii, some of which date back to before European arrival in Hawaii.
If you’ve flown Hawaiian Airlines recently, you may have already tasted one of Koloa’s products. Hawaiian pours Koloa’s Rum Punch as a complimentary drink on its domestic flights. If you missed that opportunity—or you just couldn’t get enough!—stop by Koloa Rum’s Company Store & Tasting Room, where tastings run daily on the hour.
3-2087 Kaumualii Highway
Lihue, HI 96766