When you think of Bundaberg, two drinks instantly come to mind: Bundaberg Rum and Bundaberg Ginger Beer. Although I’m not particularly fond of rum, I enjoy drinking a bottle of the famously named ginger beer each week.

Spending New Year’s Eve in Bundaberg was an unexpected decision. My nephew had been staying with his family in Bundaberg for the past week, which required a six-hour drive each way from Lismore to pick him up.

“Definitely feels like we’re in Queensland,” one of the group remarked over dinner last night. The heat and Queensland’s savannah country create a unique atmosphere that distinguishes it from life back in Northern NSW. Even the cars look different up here, with far more 4WDs on the road. Although I slept for a fair bit of the journey, it was a welcome change to do something a little different.

Of course, when you’re in Bundaberg, it’s almost obligatory to visit the factories where these world-renowned drinks are produced. But when I asked a colleague who lives in Bundaberg for travel suggestions, he recommended the smaller Kalki Moon Distillery, named after the Bundaberg suburb, Kalkie.

During the hour-long guided tour of the distillery, the owner and founder informed us that he had worked as a Master Distiller at the much larger “bear,” the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, for over a decade. Since going out on his own, he has established a boutique label that produces vodka, gin, and rum. The distillery, he informed us, had grown exponentially since its establishment in 2017.

Sniffing “pure alcohol” at the Kalki Moon Distillery at Bundaberg

His talk was well-received by the 30 or so people on the tour. He filled in lots of detail, which I barely knew, about where he sources the products, about distillation, and about how he creates the different products. He described this “family and friends” project with passion.

Barrels at the Kalki Moon Distillery at Bundaberg
Bottles at the Kalki Moon Distillery at Bundaberg

At just $15 (which included two healthy-sized spirit tastings), we thought the tour was an excellent (and good value) way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon. Of the many breakthrough moments, it was the idea of blending locally-made gin with locally-made ginger beer for a “Gin Gin Mule” that resonated. “It’s not named after the nearby town of Gin Gin”, he assured us. Note for future – it mixes well.

Tastings at the Kalki Moon Distillery at Bundaberg

We’re heading back to Lismore this morning, so we won’t get to see the soft drink factory, but overall it’s been a pretty interesting 24 hours or so in Bundy.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

3 Replies to “Bundy”

  1. Happy New Year. I like the sound of gin and ginger beer. They should work well together. The tour is good value at $15 for at least an hour.

  2. We stayed around for extra hour or so and enjoyed further cocktails. Yummy. We had to go and see my nephew, but like the other people on the tour could have stayed much longer.

  3. Update: I called in to my local small bar today and ordered a gin and ginger beer. The barman who I have a friendly relationship was sceptical, but was open to the idea :)

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