Australian Family Completes Major Investment in Local Rum

December 3, 2015
By Alana House
Three years on from its purchase of the historic Beenleigh Distillery in Queensland, Bickford’s Group of Companies including Vok Beverages has completed the $5 million upgrade of Australia’s oldest registered distillery and new visitor centre. The South Australian based, family-owned business has made this upgrade as part of a wider $25 million investment into Queensland and hopes to attract up to 200,000 visitors a year to the site as a result.

Dating back to 1884, Beenleigh Distillery has seen it all and the new visitor centre houses a museum which will be the starting point for distillery tours, telling the story of over 130 years of continuous distilling on the site half way between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

DSC_6610 Chris Illman with Beenleigh Distillery’s tour guide

“We will take visitors on a trip back in time through the still house, which still bears testament to the 1887 Albert River flood, to the giant barrel hall, where the air is thick with what is known as the Angel’s share – the spirit that evaporates from the barrel as the rum ages,” said Chris Illman, Group Marketing Director, Bickford’s Group of Companies.

Beenleigh is in the Logan district and Logan Mayor Pam Parker was keen to lend support to a major tourist initiative for the region. According to Mayor Parker, tourism adds more than $450 million a year to the Logan region and supports 2,600 local jobs.

“Great initiatives like this visitor centre can only boost those figures. The Beenleigh Artisan Distillery showcases the region’s fascinating history and resilient pioneers. It’s wonderful to see history honoured in this way”, Mayor Parker said.

Many of us are familiar with Beenleigh Rum, but a lesser known fact is that this is also the home of Inner Circle Rum – a brand, as with Beenleigh, that has changed ownership numerous times over the last 15 years. Both rums have won the IWSC ‘best rum in the world’ accolade, Beenleigh in 1995 and Inner Circle a few years later – quality heritage is here in abundance.

“We are not interested in being the biggest rum distiller in the country. We want to be the best. And we want Australian rum drinkers to have a real option, just as vodka and Scotch drinkers have choices in their categories,” said Illman.

Beenleigh Rum is positioned as a premium alternative for Australian rum, starting at a RRP of $42.

“Our changes here aren’t just structural. We have been busy re-imagining our products and what we have now is a craft range that will reinvigorate the rum category in Australia”, Illman concluded.

For a full list of Beenleigh products visit

Distillery (2) Outside of the old distillery
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