Beenleigh Artisan Rum more than just a rum, more even 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!
DEDICATED TO OUR CRAFT
To craft a range of Award-Winning world-class rums, we start by using only the finest ingredients: pure Queensland rainwater, premium molasses and our own proprietary yeast. The secret ingredient is the passion and dedication of our team of artisan distillers.
FERMENTATION SHOULDN'T BE RUSHED
Our high-quality local molasses is mixed with our exclusive proprietary yeast and pure Queensland rainwater from our water supply dam. The yeast works its magic across several days and we create a ‘wash’ of 8% alcohol content to then supply to our Distillation stage.
INTO THE COPPERPOT STILL
After fermenting, we transfer and boil the wash through our ‘continuous column’. Then comes the special part. We capture the ‘heart’ of the spirit and transfer it to our 15,000 Litre Copper Pot Still, and heat it to 80°C. Our artisan distillers keep a close watch, checking it carefully every hour for 12 hours, until it’s ready and tastes just right for the next stage in the crafting process.
Following distillation, our Beenleigh new-make cane spirit has already developed its unique, complex character. But it’s the final stage that makes all the difference. We take the cane spirit collected from the Stills and fill our historic wooden maturation vats that once held delicious Australian brandy. We leave the Spirit there for up to 2 years, to now be called and sold as Rum. In some cases, we age for 5, 10, even 15 years. Enough time for it to extract some of the mellow characteristics of the oak.
Our maturation process also consists of consists of using American Oak, ex-Bourbon casks, which contribute classic toffee, caramel, butterscotch flavour profiles to our maturing Rum stocks, perhaps for a decade or more.
This is what gives every bottle of finely crafted Beenleigh Rum its rich, luscious flavour and velvety-smooth finish.
We regard our Rum portfolio as a Single Blended Rum classification, utilising our Column and Pot distillation processes at the Beenleigh Artisan Distillery.