— Our Story —

Imagine the lush, green Windward side of O‘ahu, where the verdant Ko‘olau Range receives more rainfall than anywhere else on the island – about five million gallons a day!
This life-giving rainwater is naturally filtered through layers of volcanic rock for decades, until it reaches the aquifer that feeds the pristine artesian well Ko‘olau Distillery uses for its spirits.

Ko'olau Distillery was founded in 2018 and is a disabled veteran-owned business. Just as our founders dedicated their lives in service to the country with the United States Marine Corps, earning honors and commendations — often at great sacrifice — they believe in earnest stewardship of our beautiful island home and its finite resources, giving back to the local community as well the military community.


Ko‘olau Distillery Partners: Ian Brooks, Eric and Ginger Dill


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Partner - Chief Executive Officer

Eric Dill

Eric, a U.S. Marine Corp veteran, served 27 years in a variety of combat units, deploying three times to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. He first became intrigued about distilling spirits while in Iraq when soldiers in another unit were busted for making moonshine in their barracks. Eric later learned how to distill whiskey from a fellow Marine and friend who owns an amazing distillery in Indianapolis. While distilling with that friend, he decided that upon retirement from the Marine Corps he would make whiskey and surf. So here he is making whiskey and surfing as much as he can...
Partner - Chief Operations Officer

Ian Brooks

Ian, also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, served 24 years as a Marine Infantry Officer, deploying to combat zones overseas multiple times. During a 2007 deployment, he was designated the U.S. Civil-Military Leader of Rhamadi, Iraq during the ``Awakening`` where the U.S. military partnered with local leaders to turn the tide against Al Qaeda in Iraq. Ian's efforts during the deployment were captured in an award-winning National Geographic special, and he has a street named after him in Rhamadi. Ian has a passion for sweet bourbons with a single large cube of ice. He is the perfect host to the many visitors of Ko'olau Distillery, loves the company of friends and shares his whiskey with anyone.
Administrative Director

Ginger Dill

Ginger is the unstoppable engine that makes Ko'olau Distillery successful. She handles all of the company’s administration and compliance aspects. The only thing Ginger works harder on than the distillery is her family. Ginger avoids the limelight and shuns attention, preferring the self-satisfaction of a job done well. She really enjoys a whiskey sour but would prefer we made vodka...
Lead Distiller

Olivia Babiec

Olivia brings her expertise from Philadelphia where she finished her undergrad degree and began her distilling career in 2015. Originally from the East Coast, Olivia moved to Oahu in June of 2021 and joined the Ko'olau Distillery team. The creativity of distilling is what draws her to the craft. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Brewing and Distilling. Olivia is also an experienced rower and enjoys puzzles.
Assistant Distiller

Justin Rivera

Justin, a retired U.S. Navy Chief, hails from Waimanalo and was raised in Texas. His aloha is Texas-sized! An experienced homebrewer, he has many accolades in the local homebrewing scene, alongside his wife, winning 9 medals in diverse categories including Best IPA and Best-in-Show Overall at the 2019 Hawaii Homebrew Competition. He represented Hawaii for the first season finale competition on VICE TV series BEERLAND. Justin is deeply dedicated to brewing, trading shore-leaves while deployed to volunteer at breweries in Saipan, Guam, Alaska, Oahu, and Maui. He is excited to dive into distilling, broadening his horizons to someday open his own brewery/distillery.
Assistant Distiller

Robert Kerr

Robert became a homebrewer during the pandemic and, like Justin, makes a fine IPA. Robert originally interned at Ko'olau Distillery, and his keen interest in distilling and dedication earned him a permanent position at the conclusion of his internship. He is majoring in Finance at UH Manoa and will graduate in the Fall of 2021. When he is not studying and putting in long hours distilling, he works on developing his 3D printing business and enjoys surfing.
Aloha! From our hearts to your homes and establishments, our veteran-owned, Hawai‘i-based business would love to hear from you via email or phone. アロハ!当社に対するご質問やお問い合わせ、ご意見をお聞かせください。連絡先は以下になります。
Phone: 電話: 808-261-0685
Email・メールアドレス: info@koolaudistillery.com
Physical Address・ 実在住所 905 Kapaa Quarry Pl Building 50 Kailua, Unit 14 HI 96734. Mailing Address ・ 郵便住所: 905 Kalaniana'ole Highway, Unit 5014, Kailua, Hawai'i 96734