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Aloha!  I just recently got my membership in ADI and am in the process of opening a Farm-Distillery on the Big Island of Hawaii.  I have a 20 acre farm between the Volcanoes National Park and Hilo where I am growing Kayinja Bananas and several vareities of figs to produce a local brandy under a wood fired still.  We are planning to open around May 2019, which is when my banana fruit are likely to mature.  With the help of the University of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Agriculture Research Center, we're cloning 1000 Kayinjas that are native to Central and Eastern Africa used to produce locally banana wines and in some cases distilled into a wonderful spirit.  I've also planted numerous fig trees and will be taking on bee hives to produce even more variations of a local farm to table brandy.  This will be a true farm distillery, with the inputs entirely from my farm.  

I trained at Distillique in South Africa a few years ago and it really helped set me this plan in motion.  While not as well known in the US, they are the only school I found that specializes in fruit based spirits and I returned for their brandy class.  I recently attended Duncan Holiday's distillation course in Vermont, which gave me any useful tweaks to my business plan after meeting with numerous startups and learning their experience.  I look forward to attending ADI's 2018 conference in Portland and hoping to eventually be part of a Hawaiian Guild of Distillers.  

Mahalo!

 

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