Kaimai Brewing and Distilling started out as a hobby and grew into a passion. They say every brewer wants to grow up to be a distiller and this has certainly proved true with the owners – Wayne and Kathy Chowles. The journey started some years ago with a batch of over ripe Feijoa and a tiny still which turned out the first batch of very average spirits, but the promise of great things to come. Over time, with many hours reading, learning and experimenting, we arrived at the point where we could call our work “fine Spirits” when we were awarded a gold medal for our Elizas Claim Gold Gin in the 2021 NZ Spirits awards.
Inspired by old stories of the gold mining era and Wayne’s background in the mining industry, we embarked on an adventure, to create a hand crafted/single batch gin which would celebrate the heritage of the area in which we live, the land, the people and the history of the Karangahake Gorge and surrounding areas.
In 2020 we secured a cellar door at the historic Waikino Hotel in the Karangahake Gorge, a perfect venue to meet the public and showcase our products. Our gin is proofed with pure artisan spring water and infused with a range of locally and internationally sourced botanicals which combine to create a truly unique flavour.
Since then we have expanded our range which now included five styles of gin, a spiced rum and, our newest edition a honey moonshine.