It isn’t often you see the phrase “Sex On The Beach” in a Maui County Liquor Commission agenda, but it does happen from time to time. For instance, the commission’s May 9, 2007 hearing, which included a preliminary hearing—the first of two required of all prospective liquor licensees—for Hawaiian Islands Spirits.
Back in late March, Hawaiian Islands Spirits formed a partnership of sorts with Maui Land and Pineapple Co. to open a distillery in one of ML&P’s Kahului buildings and use pineapple juice to distill various alcoholic blends and “other than standard wine.” News of the agreement made all the big papers—including this one—but at least one Liquor Commissioner didn’t seem to have read about it. In fact, that commissioner—Chairperson Frances Meshulam—didn’t even seem to read Hawaiian Islands Spirits’ actual license application, which was sitting in front of her.
“Are you having problems with your lease?” Meshulam asked company vice president Robert Gunter.
“No ma’am,” Gunter said.
Meshulam frowned. “Well, usually an executed lease is the first thing you get,” she said.
Gunter paused. “We have an executed lease with Maui Pineapple Co.,” he said.
Eventually, Commissioner Curt Morimoto finally asked Gunter—in a roundabout way and without actually mentioning the words “Sex On The Beach”—why that was printed on the agenda.
Gunter replied that LC officials had suggested he list every possible drink his distillery might someday produce—Flavored Whisky, Melon Ball, Harvey Wallbanger, etc.—irrespective of whether he immediately planned to make them. You know, just in case.
The panel approved Gunter’s preliminary application. His final public hearing should come up at the commission’s June meeting.