Upon completing his studies at the esteemed University of Queensland, Alexander Bell, the mastermind behind Australia’s newest boutique rum distillery, charted an unconventional course. Departing from the traditional path in his field, he embarked on a venture to establish his own distillery, driven by the historical legacy of the long-lost Milton Rum Distillery, once an illustrious rum producer.
Leveraging his engineering skills, Bell ingeniously devised a compact continuous-column still that harmoniously merges seven distinct stills into a singular apparatus, bestowing the distillery with the remarkable ability to craft exceptional rum of unparalleled quality at a fraction of the cost borne by its counterparts.
Whilst traditional distilleries dutifully uphold artisanal methods, this visionary establishment pioneers novel production techniques and harnesses cutting-edge technology to replicate the phenomenal outcomes yielded by time-honoured practices. Consequently, it breathes life into a diverse array of locally concocted rum expressions, transcending geographical boundaries, and competes valiantly with industry giants, all whilst fostering affordability.
In addition to its awe-inspiring output capabilities, the distillery remains firm in its unwavering commitment to energy conservation and resource efficiency. Its meticulously tailored still operates with remarkable efficiency, consuming considerably diminished volumes of water and electricity when compared with traditional counterparts.
As an inspired touch, the distillery ingeniously harnesses the potential of food waste, utilising discarded fruit skins within its distillation process. These sustainable endeavours not only curtail operational costs but also minimise waste.
The fruits of their labour have not gone unnoticed. Milton Rum Distillery has been the recipient of a multitude of esteemed awards, including the coveted Melbourne International Spirits Competition prize for Australian Rum Distillery of the Year in 2020. Bell’s vision extends far beyond the confines of the distillery as he passionately sources ingredients from the surrounding Brisbane suburbs, thereby forging vital bonds with the local community.
Integral to the distillery’s triumph lies its active involvement in the Future Food Initiative, an empowering initiative spearheaded by the Brisbane Economic Development Agency. Through this transformative program, the distillery secures invaluable access to discerning investors, experienced mentors, and influential contacts within the expansive food industry, propelling its accelerated growth.
Collaborative partnerships with esteemed social enterprises, exemplified by HELP Enterprises, empower the distillery to achieve scalability whilst concurrently affording individuals with disabilities meaningful employment opportunities.
Bolstered by the unwavering support of BEDA, Milton Rum Distillery has successfully permeated the shelves of renowned chain liquor stores, including the likes of Dan Murphy’s, BWS, First Choice, and Vintage Cellars. And as Brisbane gears up to claim the spotlight in the countdown to 2032, Alexander Bell urges aspiring enterprises to seize the plethora of opportunities that await.
Regarding the market trends indicating rum as the next prominent spirit, Bell expresses confidence in their position to seize this opportunity. However, Bell also recognizes that sustainability and quality will be crucial drivers of value in the future, and as a result, they are committed to continuously improving their processes and value chain to enhance sustainability.