Business

Rum running across the ditch

Jade Hurst will carry her quota across the Tasman.
Jade Hurst will carry her quota across the Tasman. Janna Dixon

MORE than 100 years ago the Australian Government made it illegal to import rum that was not already aged, in a bid to protect the local industry - much like the country's controversial ban on New Zealand apples.

But unlike the apple law, lifted last year, the rum rule remains.

It has created problems for Auckland-based rum brand Stolen, which has enjoyed wild success selling its aged white and gold rums across the ditch. Stolen launched an overproof product this month but section 105a of the Customs Act 1901 has hampered its plans to export it to the lucrative Australian market.

So the brand's founders, Jamie Duff and Roger Holmes, are recruiting "mules" to carry the product to Sydney and Melbourne, two bottles at a time.

Duff said it was not illegal, as no money changed hands and the amount was within "personal" limits. The ultra-specialty product was given, not sold, to bars to show gratitude for stocking Stolen's other products.

The "mules" were compensated with cocktails.

The overproof rum, called SX9, was available in specialty bars and not stocked in liquor stores.

"Traditionally, it's not aged so it hangs on to its characteristics," Duff said. "It's 65 per cent alcohol so you don't want it falling into the wrong hands."

Twenty-five frequent travellers had signed up so far, including Jade Hurst, 30, who travels to Sydney four or five times a year.

She responded to an ambiguous "mules wanted" poster plastered on a Ponsonby electricity pole as she liked the idea of helping a local company and thought it was quite clever.

Her first rum run, to Darlinghurst night-spot Eau De Vie, was planned for May.

Stolen had given her a T-shirt emblazoned with the word Mule to wear through the airport. "I might have a jacket over it so I don't draw too much attention," she said.

Topics:  importing, protectionism, rum


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ipswich MP wants "royal commission into black lung"

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Minister for Corrective Services and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller at the official swearing-in ceremony when Queensland Parliament resumed in Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston. POOL IMAGES: FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE IN PRINT AND ONLINE

MP and coal miner's daughter wants royal commission into black lung

Callide power station owner enters receivership

Callide C power station (right) nestled in next to the highly-visible Callide B station (left) at Biloela.

IG Power elects not to make $50 million payment.

Biloela hosts CQ BMX championships

Riders at the BMX Queensland Central Zone Championships take to the track at the Callide Valley BMX Club. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Local riders lead the pack as track pasts first test.

Latest deals and offers

Bloody freezing! How cold was it where you are?

In case some of us were tricked into thinking it would be smooth sailing weather wise for the rest of winter, Queenslanders are waking up to icy temperatures

Ipswich MP wants "royal commission into black lung"

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Minister for Corrective Services and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller at the official swearing-in ceremony when Queensland Parliament resumed in Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston. POOL IMAGES: FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE IN PRINT AND ONLINE

MP and coal miner's daughter wants royal commission into black lung

Callide power station owner enters receivership

Callide C power station (right) nestled in next to the highly-visible Callide B station (left) at Biloela.

IG Power elects not to make $50 million payment.

Biloela hosts CQ BMX championships

Riders at the BMX Queensland Central Zone Championships take to the track at the Callide Valley BMX Club. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Local riders lead the pack as track pasts first test.

Nationals in position to strong-arm policy

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce last month.

Strong showing from regional party boosts case for greater role.

Panthers raise $8K for school chaplaincy

The Biloela Panthers (right, in special uniforms) and Rockhampton Brothers teams observe a minute's silence for suicide victims before the game at the Panthers' home ground last Saturday night.

Teams unite to support cause.

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles