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Published June 14th 2021
Queensland's iconic rum distillery
Bundaberg Rum Distillery was established in 1888 when a group of seven locals joined forces to take the by-product of the local sugar industry and use it as the basis for rum production.
Bundaberg Rum is produced in this East Bundaberg plant and exported around the world. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media
Their first batch was produced in 1889 for local consumption with subsequent production sent to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in 1890.
Between 1890 and 1893, a severely depressed economy saw the fledgling business fall into receivership. Once again purchased by a group of local businessmen, the company was able to continue production and work its way out of difficulty. It really hasn't looked back since.
Bundaberg Distillery is ideally located in the heart of Queensland's sugar cane country. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media
Today visitors Bundaberg Rum are taken on a guided tour of the working distillery, following the step by step process of turning a gluggy, sticky mess into a range of highly valued, top-shelf rums.
You'll start at the molasses well holding 5-million litres of the sweet, very sticky substance. Molasses is the by-product of processing sugar cane into sugar. It's clarified or cleaned up in the tanks before water and yeast are added and left to ferment for 2-days.
The liquid, at about 8% alcohol, is then distilled, twice in fact, before it's allowed to condense into raw rum.
The immature rum, now at 78% alcohol, is pumped into oak vats where it will mature for 2-years before blending and bottling.
A 1-hour tour of the plant is a great way to see the science of rum making .....
..... and the retail area and tasting bar provide a fitting end to the event. Photos: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media
From here, the tour moves on to the Rum Tasting Bar and the opportunity to sample some of Bundaberg's finest produce.
The tour takes about 1-hour and includes two tastings.
The retail store is open 10 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday and 10 AM to 4 PM Saturday and Sunday.
Tours run every hour on the hour between 10 AM and 3 PM Monday to Friday and 10 AM and 2 PM on weekends and Public Holidays.
You can save 15% off the cost of your tour simply by booking online.
Visitors are requested to arrive between 30 and 45 minutes prior to the tour start time in order to visit the distilleries museum. You won't be able to go back to the museum at the end of the tour.
Tickets cost Adults $28.50, Seniors $23.75, Children $14.25 and a Family (2A 3C) $71.25.
No visit to Bundaberg would be complete without a visit to the cities iconic Bundaberg Rum Distillery. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media
Due to the risk of ignition, nothing with a battery in it is allowed on the tour so no cameras phones or car keys. Secure lockers are available for storing these items while you're in the distillery.
Bundaberg Rum Distillery tour is a fabulous opportunity to visit an iconic Australian industry, get to understand the science of rum production and sample some truly great produce.
Why? Donít miss the opportunity to visit an iconic Australian industry, get to understand the science of rum making and sample some truly great produce.
When:The retail store is open 10 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday and 10 AM to 4 PM Saturday and Sunday. Tours run every hour on the hour between 10 AM and 3 PM Monday to Friday and 10 AM and 2 PM on weekends and Public Holidays.