A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

A Bit of Bundy



Good evening everybody, I am Andy Robinson, I'm just turned 49 years old and I too am (cough, cough, sniffle, mumble) an alcoholic... Or I'm sure I would be if I ever got locked in where we visited next.

Another 400-ish Km heading north up Queensland's Bruce Highway we went and we finally made it to where Jodie's Mother lives with her partner Clifford, in the sleepy farming town of Bundaberg.

I might have given that little fact away the other day with my 'where have all the animals gone?' post in which Clifford and I set out early one morning to hunt kangaroos, but this was where we now found ourselves for the weekend, catching up with family and exploring the local scenery.

But how does that make me an alcoholic you might ask, and if you don't, I will happily sit here and wait for you to do so.... Oh good you finally asked (hurry up next time.. grr).

Mmm, I might be looking a
bit too gay here
Well Bundaberg it seems, is sugar land, and it has been since 1872 when it first began producing commercial sugar form sugar canes. It has acres upon acres of these cane things growing here and some of those canes eventually go to the Bundaberg distillery where in 1888 a group of farmers joined together to make rum with the by-products from the molasses the sugar canes were producing. And that is how Bundaberg rum and my reported troubles may have first come into being.

It was in 1888, that the first barrel of Bundaberg Rum literally rolled out of the distillery production line. And since then, Bundaberg Rum, through its trials and tribulations, has gained recognition as one of Australia's most famous of spirits. Later, in 1986 the Bundaberg Distilling Company appointed its first tour guide and a positive demand soon saw the need to expand the tourist operation. And that was possibly our cue to become a part of it this day.

Our guided tour around the distillery had us look, feel and taste our way through the makings of the Famous Aussie Spirit. Starting with the raw material molasses, to the aromas of maturing spirits, where our temptations ran high for a refreshing free sample or four in the bar with a variety of Bundy mixes and Rum liqueur based drinks.

Spot the real bear
It was a pretty good if short tour, during which we learned how the distillery had suffered a couple of setbacks; the first being a fire in 1907 and second a ‘big’ fire in 1936. And it was probably around then that they suddenly realised that what they were playing with was quite... Extremely Highly Flammable I guess and they have since started taking steps to help minimise any future of these 'combustion parties'. 

It must have been along with these steps that came the ban on the use of cameras, the wearing of watches and the carrying of anything battery powered (although why anyone would choose to use a vibrator on a tour of a distillery is beyond me... Oh they meant mobile phones, ooops). And as if that weren't enough, spare a thought for the hard of hearing too that were rendered instantly deaf upon surrendering their hearing aids. Don't anyone tell them about my pacemaker eek.

Other than that, we generally had a good time as we looked back at the Bundaberg rum advertising history, came face to face with the famous Bundaberg Rum Bear, drank merrily of his wares (well, being the designated drinker, that post fell on my shoulders and I was only too happy to take on the samples Jodie (the designated driver) would have had to suffer hee hee), bought freely of said wares and generally ran amok of the place. Even the hat was recognised on this jolly and was further adorned with assorted pins to help commemorate the day.

Click here to view the full Bundaberg Rum Album
After the tour, the bar, the shop and the ubiquitous ice cream, we jumped back into the car (because the term putt-putt is somewhat frowned upon), set the sat nav for our next destination and followed the verbal instructions of… “Drive around the corner”.

We were at Bundy Kegs. A small cooperage (barrel making facility) owned by Schmeiders. That's the company that produces the massive storage kegs for Bundy distillery, which was more a collection of talented people making barrels, carving woods, blowing glass etc being presented through a free to enter gallery come shop display type thing where rather than laying down any hard earned, yours truly decided to take photos instead. It was a good stop, some interesting stuff and it was an half an hour well spent.

Click here to see the full Bundy Kegs Cooperage Album

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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