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.

Overcrowded car no clowning matter to magistrate

DRINK DRIVING: The man was fined $1000 and had his licence suspended for 3 months.

$1000 fine for meatworker after birthday bungle.

Panthers come out on top in 9-a-side competition

BREAK THROUGH: The Panthers combinations came through on the night to win the competition.

Biloela exacts sweet revenge against Woorabinda.

Theodore Men's Shed group launches at old SES headquarters

HARD YAKKA: Theodore Men's Shed members work on a barbecue before the organisation's launch last Saturday.

Group aims to give purpose to retired and isolated men in Theodore.

Local Partners

Novel with lots of heart

Be transported to another world with A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!