Bundaberg - Ginger Beer

Over the years, many great things have emerged from our back sheds - billy carts, flower boxes and, of course, ginger beer. There, amidst oil cans, hand drills and pieces of four-by-two, the sweet smell of ginger beer tickled the nostrils of generations of back-yard tinkerers.
If all went well, the family savoured bottle after bottle of their brew. If not, well, someone had the job of cleaning up pints of exploded brew and, possibly, extracting glass from walls.
Some back-shed brewers refined their ginger beer recipes and came up with a pretty good brew. Not surprisingly, some of the more resourceful back yard brewers soon came up with hopeful business plans for their brew. Out of these shed-born dreams came many of Australia's pioneering ginger beer brewers.

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Johann Jacob Schweppe
Considered the father of the modern soft drinks industry, Johann Jacob Schweppe perfected a process for manufacturing carbonated mineral water. In 1783 he patented the process and pioneered the soft drink industry.
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks has a proud connection with Cadbury Schweppes, having in the past bottled and distributed Schweppes drinks for 25 years.

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The method or system of carbonation invented by Schweppe was given the name Geneva System or Geneva Apparatus. It consisted of a container which enclosed an agitator which generated carbon dioxide from a mixture of chalk and sulphuric acid. The gas was then passe throug water into a gasometer. Whith the aid of a pump the gas was then conveyed into a closed wooden carbonation vessel where it was dissolved in water under pressure with teh asssistance of an agitator. This apparatus was the first to make practical use of a compressing pump.

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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 pounds.
Bundaberg rum was first produced in 1888, 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.
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.
In 2000, the Bundaberg Rum company and distillery were sold to British company Diageo.

Source: On Site Information Board / wikipedia (Bundaberg Rum)