Making craft beer, rum and wine in Hawaii requires dedication, know-how, and an entrepreneurial spirit. What does it take to source local ingredients and produce beer, rum, or wine? What are the factors to consider when expanding geographically -- statewide, nationally, globally? What are the opportunities and challenges for future growth?
Garrett Marrero is CEO and co-founder of Maui Brewing Co., a regional craft brewery and Hawaii’s largest craft brewer. Founded in 2005, Maui Brewing Co. has grown from a brewpub with 32 employees to a pub and brewery with over 400 employees. In 2014, Garrett co-founded Maui Stone Craft Beverages, a joint venture between Maui Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Co. to distribute craft beers across the State.
Bob Gunter is President and CEO of Kōloa Rum Company, the first and only licensed distillery on Kauai. Kōloa Rum Company’s award-winning rums are distilled in a vintage copper-pot using local ingredients. Prior to joining Kōloa Rum, Bob was Operations Manager for Sandwich Islands Distilling Corporation and Vice President of Operations for Hawaiian Islands Spirits, Inc. in Maui.
Paula Hegele is President of MauiWine, a multi-million dollar company that distributes products internationally, in major retail outlets and restaurants. Paula wears many hats -- she is also a community leader, local wine industry spokesperson and farmer. With over 25 years of winemaking experience on Maui and background in travel industry she shaped MauiWine’s winery into a destination for more than 100,000 visitors annually.