New spirit in town
FORMER Bundaberg Rum Master Distiller Rick Prosser is hoping to bring a new spirit to the city with a venture he is setting up.
Mr Prosser is in charge of getting Waterview Distilling up and running, and he admits he is starting from "ground zero".
"At the moment it's a matter of getting the brand out there," he said.
Mr Prosser sees Waterview Distilling as catering to a niche market.
"We're certainly not going to be competing with Bundaberg Rum," he said.
But he says it has been 110 years since there were two distilleries in operation in Bundaberg.
Mr Prosser says Waterview will produce several different spirits, including rum, vodka and whisky.
And he recognises the new venture will need a lot of hard work to achieve its goals.
"The support to get the concept up and running has been tremendous," he said.
But Mr Prosser says the first task will be finding the land on which to build the new venture.
"The first goal is to build a bondstore," he said.
"Once we've got a bondstore we can start building vats to warehouse the spirits."
A bondstore, he explained, is where the alcohol is kept under bond because the excise and taxes on it have not yet been paid to the government.
Then he plans to start looking for a still.
Mr Prosser said the search for a still would probably take him to Tasmania, which had a really good and active distilling community.
He said part of the dream for Waterview was to give back to the community.
"We want at least 10% of the profit going back into community events," he said.
Mr Prosser said he would start next week seriously looking at what was available in Bundaberg to get Waterview started, and trying to find infrastructure.