By Kyle Swartz
July 2, 2019 – Maui Brewing Company, Hawaii’s largest independent craft brewery, has announced a major brand expansion with the introduction of a ready-to-drink canned cocktail line, Kupu Spirits.
In the Hawaiian language, the word “kupu” means “to sprout” or “to grow.” “Kupu” is often represented by the new growth of an established fern where the shoot grows from the center of the trunk, its strength and protection derived from the original base.
“The name Kupu Spirits was chosen to symbolize the brand as part of the natural growth of Maui Brewing Company,” explains Garrett Marrero, co-founder and CEO of Maui Brewing Company and Kupu Spirits. “The ready-to-enjoy cocktail category grew by over 40% in the last year, which showed us not only an opportunity, but a need to expand our craft in order to meet consumer demand for variety, flavor and convenience, starting in our home state.”
Kupu Spirits launches in Hawaii with three craft cocktail varieties: Whiskey Cola, Whiskey Ginger, and Gin & Tonic.
Kupu Spirits Whiskey is a white whiskey distilled from malted barley and local Maui corn, briefly aged in oak barrels, while Kupu Spirits Gin features a proprietary blend of botanicals including juniper, kaffir lime, local oranges from Marrero’s property, lemon peel, grains of paradise, and hibiscus. The craft cocktails blend Kupu Spirits whiskey and gin with Maui Brewing Company’s Island Sodas, which are created in-house using all-natural ingredients like cane sugar, local island honey, and Hawaii-grown ginger.
Kupu Spirits products are distilled and packaged at Maui Brewing Company’s “grid independent” facility, which is powered by a 1.2MW array of solar panels that cover the building’s roof, awning and carports.
Kupu Spirits launches with initial availability throughout the Hawaiian Islands in single-serve cans and four count packs. Key retail accounts include Whole Foods, Safeway, Foodland and Tamura’s, among others. Kupu Spirits products are available to retailers through the brand’s wholesale partner, Paradise Beverages, and can also be found at select restaurant, bar and resort partners, including Maui Brewing Company’s four restaurant locations throughout Maui and Oahu. While the initial focus will center upon meeting demand for RTD cocktails in the local Hawaii market, Kupu Spirits looks forward to expanding distribution to the mainland in the near future.