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Sydney Rum Distillery ramping up operations

Sydney Rum Distillery: Artist's Render

Ambitious start-up Sydney Rum Distillery has appointed a CEO as it pursues Series B funding for its production facility.

Founded by spirits industry professional Chris Middleton and manufacturing and retail veteran David Ward, Sydney Rum Distillery has been in planning since 2014.

Ward told Drinks Adventures the venture has so far raised more than $4 million in capital from an investor base that includes logistics specialist Paul David and timber and hardware merchant Danny Gattone.

Starward Whisky co-founder and chairman Chris Middleton, whose CV includes a stint as global brand director for Jack Daniel’s, also remains a significant shareholder.

Sydney Rum Distillery recently announced it had appointed Steve Magarry, who was most recently group distiller for Bickfords – owner of pioneering Queensland rum brand Beenleigh and 23rd Street Distillery in South Australia – as its CEO.

“His diverse experience positions him well to help drive the next growth phase of our business; our vision to build globally admired rum brands, using Australian ingenuity to blend ‘best of breed’ international rums, plus producing premium Australian provenance rums via a sustainable ‘craft with scale’ distillery,” Ward said in a statement.

Ward told Drinks Adventures that Sydney Rum Distillery’s current Series B funding round will deliver the necessary capital to construct its production facility.

The column and pot still with capacity to produce 1.2 million litres of pure alcohol a year is forecast to be commissioned in the last quarter of 2023.

“At full throttle we’ll be purchasing about ten per cent of the molasses produced in Australia,” said Ward.

In the meantime, SRD is sourcing new make spirit as well as mature rum on the international market, as it begins establishing its own product portfolio.

Ward told Drinks Adventures that Sydney Rum Distillery’s current Series B funding round will deliver the necessary capital to construct its production facility, and fund the launch of its first rum in the last quarter of 2022.

The column and pot still with capacity to produce 1.2 million litres of pure alcohol a year is forecast to be commissioned in the last quarter of 2023.

“At full throttle we’ll be purchasing about ten per cent of the molasses produced in Australia,” said Ward.

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