Chapter 1 [1888 - 1913]

Inception, Depression and the mother of all bail-outs.

1888

bundaberg distillery is born

The brainchild of seven Queenslanders who realize there’s got to be a better use for the burgeoning sugar industry than making cake, Bundaberg Distillery is established with an initial production team of only five men. Rum was already popular in Australia thanks to the First Fleet, but from what we hear, it tasted pretty bad.

1889

why start small when you can start with gallons

The first batch of Bundaberg Rum rolls off the production line. All 22,5000 gallons of it. If you have an unmarked bottle of this somewhere in your basement, you should go out and buy yourself a lottery ticket.

1890

all or nothing.  bundy heads west.

A small supply of Bundaberg Rum is sent to Western Australia, where it goes down a treat. Sydney and Melbourne will follow, establishing Bundaberg’s national ambition early.

1890-93

selling out and buying in

A crippling economic depression leads the new distillery into receivership. Three upstanding men buy it back and Bundaberg lives to drink another day. We assume they were very smart businessmen, or maybe they just really liked rum.

1907

we didn't start the fire

Honestly, we didn’t. It breaks out in one of the still rooms in the dead of night and takes hours to put out, with loads of damage and ruined stock. Believe it or not, it isn’t even the worst one this century.