Kuleana Rum Works: From the Farm to the Distillery

Kuleana Rum Works: From the Farm to the Distillery

June 23, 2020

Watch a livestream recording with American Rum Report and Kuleana Rum's CEO Steve Jefferson, taking about the origin story of Kuleana Rum Works. From sailing in the Caribbean to opening the first (licensed) distillery on The Big Island of Hawaii. 

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Thinking About Sustainable Business and Tourism on Hawaii

Thinking About Sustainable Business and Tourism on Hawaii

February 12, 2020

“Hawaii is a unique example of what life could be like when you have all the resources you need and you don’t ruin them all,” says Steve Jefferson, founder and CEO of Kuleana Rum Works. “Coal, oil, and minerals used to be the required resources for a modern economy to thrive, but now we are realizing that sunshine, wind, fresh water, and fresh air are the most important resources—not only on a human level, but on an industrial level as well. Hawaii has all of those in abundance, and we have a multimillennial culture in place that protects those resources, fiercely.”

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The Unsophisticated Palate Podcast: Episode #54 – And a Bottle of Kuleana Rum

The Unsophisticated Palate Podcast: Episode #54 – And a Bottle of Kuleana Rum

November 07, 2019

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Hawaii Island MidWeek: The Kuleana Difference

Hawaii Island MidWeek: The Kuleana Difference

October 09, 2019

With its distribution reach growing each day, Kuleana Rum Works is proving that world-class rum can come from a Big Island distillery.

For centuries, the colorful history of rum has been intrinsically linked to sea voyaging, sailors, tropical locales and the spirit of adventure. Such is the case with Kuleana Rum Works, conceived by Big Island native Steve Jefferson during a sailing trip across the Caribbean in 2007.

Having spent the better part of that year cruising with his wife, Jackie, and their two small children on their sailboat, Jefferson dropped anchor off the island of Martinique, where he immediately noticed the many geographic, volcanic and climatic similarities to the Big Island.

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Got Rum? Magazine

Got Rum? Magazine

August 13, 2019

Q: What inspired you to build a rum distillery and why in Hawaiʻi?

I was born and raised in Hawaiʻi and have a deep connection to our home. The story of Kuleana Rum began 12 years ago when my wife, Jackie, and I were sailing around the Caribbean with our then 1- and 3-year-old children. We made it to the French islands and were pretty stoked to be back in civilization. Martinique, in many ways, is a LOT like Hawaii. It’s a volcanic island on the same latitude as the Big Island, managed by a first-world country, but really an island nation.

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5 Restaurants to Check Out on the Big Island in Summer of 2019

5 Restaurants to Check Out on the Big Island in Summer of 2019

July 06, 2019

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KHON2 Hawaii Island Week: Kuleana Rum Shack (Video)

KHON2 Hawaii Island Week: Kuleana Rum Shack (Video)

June 04, 2019

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Kuleana Rum Shack: Sharing Love of Culture in Every Bite

Kuleana Rum Shack: Sharing Love of Culture in Every Bite

April 14, 2019

The Queens’ MarketPlace in Wailkoloa just got a little tastier this year with the opening of Kuleana Rum Shack. Serving up fresh island dishes and handcrafted cocktails, the Rum Shack features authentic yet creative cuisine inspired by the melting pot of Hawaiian cultures.

Keola Valdez is executive chef for the Rum Shack and explains how the menu is a cultural collaboration among the restaurant’s talented culinary artists.

“We are serving local cuisine, which is everything from Japanese, to Hawaiian, to Korean, and some Puerto Rican,” said Valdez. “It’s not just Hawaiian food. It’s all our cultural food that we have in Hawaii. We’ve taken our own comfort food and created something even more special.”

Valdez explains the vision of the restaurant is to recreate the comfort food many locals experienced growing up in Hawaii. He is proud of the fact his chefs have gone through culinary school and are now creating the dishes they had as children-the food they watched their mothers, aunties and uncles make.

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Kuleana Farm in Hawi on the Big Island

Hemispheres Magazine – The Drink

April 10, 2019

It's hard to think of rum without imagining the Caribbean, but Kuleana Rum Works, the first licensed rum distillery on the island of Hawaii, hopes to change that.

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West Hawaii Today: Sugar cane and rum in Hawaii — Back to the future

West Hawaii Today: Sugar cane and rum in Hawaii — Back to the future

January 07, 2019

There’s a unique new business venture that reaches back to the past and reworks it for the future that has taken shape in Kohala recently.

It’s something that honors the unique sense of place that is Hawaii, marries that to emerging trends in the craft beverage industry, and puts a smart value-added spin on a local agricultural resource.

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Hawai'i Life: Real Estate Market & Trends

Hawai'i Life: Real Estate Market & Trends

December 26, 2018

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West Hawai'i Today

West Hawai'i Today

December 17, 2018

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