Bundaberg Rum

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Bundaberg Rum
Manufacturer Bundaberg Distilling Company
Distributor Diageo
Country of origin Australia
Introduced 1888
Colour Dark and White
Website http://www.bundabergrum.com.au

Bundaberg Rum is a dark rum produced in Bundaberg, Australia. It is often referred to as "Bundy". The Bundaberg Distilling Company owns its own cola-producing facility, which supplies the cola for its ready-to-drink Bundaberg Rum and Cola products.


Bundaberg Rum originated because the local sugar mills had a problem with what to do with the waste molasses after the sugar was extracted (it was heavy, difficult to transport and the costs of converting it to stock feed were rarely worth the effort). Sugar men first began to think of the profits that could be made from distilling. The vital meeting was held at the Royal Hotel on 1 August 1885, W M C Hickson served as the chairman, and other notables in attendance included all the big sugar mill owners of that time, W G Farquhar, F L Nott,S McDougall, T Penny, S H Bravo and A H Young, all to become the first directors of the Company. They started with a capital of 5,000.[1]

The Bundaberg Distilling Company began its operations in 1888.

Bundaberg rum was first produced in 1889, production ceased from 1907 to 1914 and from 1936 to 1939 after fires, the second of which caused rum from the factory to spill into the nearby Burnett River.[2]

H T Christsen Pty Ltd operated their own Bundaberg Rum bottling plant in Bourbong Street, Bundaberg at the rear of their large grocery and hardware business in the centre of town. The spirit was sold at UP and OP strength from their business. Spokesperson for the original family, Mr Rod Patch, recalls the origins of the shape of the current "Bundy Bottle". It originated from the Bushells Coffee Chicory bottle that Bundaberg folks sold to his grandfather at the firm for one penny a bottle, after which they were washed and filled with the famous spirit. The shape remains the same but the capacity has been increased to the current 700ml. Patch's great grandfather, Hans Truval Christsen, a Danish immigrant from Copenhagen and his son Frederick Christsen had an employment policy of employing staff from the Salvation Army faith in the rum bottling process as they were less likely to be tempted to sample the spirit. The Christsen family supported settlement farming families through hard times and these good deeds were acknowledged with the naming of Christsen Park at Bargara Beach.

In 1961, the company introduced the polar bear as its unusual choice of mascot, to imply that the rum could ward off the coldest chill.[3]

In 2000, the Bundaberg Rum company and distillery were sold to British company Diageo.[4]


Visitors Centre & Big Bundy Bottle

The Bundaberg Rum distillery is open to visitors for tours of the facility. There is also a museum which offers free samples of Bundaberg Rum products for visitors.


Bundaberg Rum is a major sponsor of the Australian Wallabies rugby union team and also sponsors the Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series. Bundaberg is also a sponsor of the NSW Waratahs.[5] Bundaberg Rum sponsored the rugby league ANZAC Test till 2009. Bundaberg Rum signed a 5-year deal with the NRL to be the official dark rum of the NRL. They are also the naming-rights sponsor of NRL Friday Night Football.


Bundaberg Rum has been distinguished with numerous awards. In 2011, Bundaberg Rum's Master Distillers' Collective rum was launched, with the first three releases, the 10 Year Old, Port Barrel and Golden Reserve, winning awards in the global stage.[6][7]


Bundaberg Rum has also been criticised for targeting its advertising towards young people and boys, through television commercials during NRL broadcasts, and other promotions.[8][9] A series of advertisements featuring the Bundaberg Rum bear, a polar bear known as Bundy R. Bear, were produced by advertising agency Leo Burnett to align the product 'with a larrikin approach to Australian mateship'.[10] The Bundaberg Rum bear first appeared in 1961. It was designed to soften rum's aggressive image and broaden its appeal from the traditional older male drinker to a more sociable audience.[11] The advertisements have been cited as a favourite among Australia's youth.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Information from 'Bundy A Centenary History' by Keith Dunstan.
  2. ^ Julia Robinson. Voices of Queensland: words from the sunshine state. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  3. ^ "Bundaberg Rum website – history section". Bundaberg Rum website. Retrieved 26 March 2008. 
  4. ^ Diago Press Release – Diageo acquires Bundaberg Rum from Bundaberg Sugar Group Ltd via Just-Drinks
  5. ^ Sponsors & Partners – NSW Rugby Archived on 24 January 2009
  6. ^ "Distillery Profile: Bundaberg Rum". Australian Bartender. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Mike, Knott. "Judges wowed by Bundy Rum". NewsMail. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  8. ^ ABC Radio National, 3 Nov 2002 Program: Background briefing Archived on 31 March 2009
  9. ^ Community Alcohol Action Network (CAAN) 'Grogwatch' Archived on 20 August 2006
  10. ^ Macleod, Duncan (19 August 2006). "Bundy Bear - Bundaberg Rum Mascot". The Inspiration Room. Retrieved 12 April 2015. Bundaberg Rum, a product of Queensland, Australia, has a polar bear for a mascot, Bundy R. Bear. Bundy has starred in a number of television advertisements 
  11. ^ McMahon, Brett. "50th Birthday of Bundy R. Bear". bundabergrumshowcase.com.au. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  12. ^ B&T Magazine, 20 December 2004 Story: "Young adults are a paradox for marketers"

External links[edit]