Beenleigh Artisan Rum is more than just a rum, in fact it is more than just a spirit – it is a tribute to bold Australian enterprise and the stuff that legends are made of.
Welcome to the Australia’s oldest registered distillery and the people and the rum that made it what it is today You’ll find tall stories, colourful characters, and a heritage as rich and distinctive as Beenleigh Rum itself.
The Beginnings - 1884
In 1865 a duo from England by the names of John Davy and Francis Gooding purchased 300 acres of land fronting the Albert River. They named the clearing after their old Devonshire farm, which was called Beenleigh.
Originally, they had intended to grow cotton on this land, but as fate would have it, a more lucrative alternative presented itself- sugar cane.
As legend would have it, around the same time, a man called James Stewart, known as ‘The Bosun’ was operating a floating sugar mill, aboard the S.S. Walrus, along the Albert and Logan Rivers. He soon found a productive use for the excess molasses he produced- making Rum on the sly.
One day in 1884 the SS Walrus washed ashore on our banks. No-one was aboard- except The Bosun’s Copper Pot still. Beenleigh Artisan Distillery was born
The Big Red Shed
At the end of Distillery Road there’s an old red building that is, in parts, the original Beenleigh Distillery from 1884. It’s home to ‘The Old Copper’.
The Old Copper is a very special Copper Pot Still that has a signature shape and style known as a Vat Still. It is the only one of its kind in Australia. Other similar international examples of this equipment include the Port Mourant Still- famous for classic Demerara style Rum. Another significant link between Beenleigh Distillery and Demerara is that our previous Distillers once worked with similar stills along the Demerara River, Guyana in the early 1900s.
We are true artisan distillers. Only four people work in The Big Red Shed, including our Master Distiller, who has been here for forty years. Our Distillers manage all parts of the Rum-making process, from fermentation, to nursing the still throughout the day, to cask-aging our exceptional Rum. Fine Australian Rum must legally mature for a minimum of two years to be sold as “Rum”- so we gently let our Beenleigh spirit age amongst our historic surroundings. You just can’t rush artisan Rum!