SB meets… David Adamson, Beach Bum Beverages
We spoke to Beach Bum Beverages founder and CEO David Adamson, a Scottish entrepreneur who’s been working in the drinks industry for more than a decade, about the inspiration behind the brand, and what sets it apart from the rest of the pack.
What’s the story of Beach Bum Rum?
Beach Bum Rum is inspired by Mauritius, an island which has been producing the best rum in the Indian Ocean since 1852. Most consumers see Mauritius as a holiday destination, but are unaware of the quality of rum being produced on the island. We want to put Mauritian rum on the map. Our labels feature Mauritius’ native flora and fauna, including the native orchids – the boucle d’oreille, the Moka mountain range, Tamarind waterfalls, the palm fronted beaches and island lifestyle.
How did you come up with the name?
The inspiration came from the desire to create a brand that connects with today’s modern consumer. Beach Bum Rum represents good times on holiday, by the beach away from the office and, dare I say it, the dreary British rain. Our iconic beach bum is Reginald Smith, who used to toil away at the office in rainy, grey Slough selling insurance. After many years dreaming of sunshine and good times he escapes to Mauritius to live his best life by the surf, with a Daiquiri in hand and is known as Reggie to all.
Which markets have you entered? Where are you looking to expand?
We’re currently in around 12 countries. Right now we’re looking to expand into France, Germany, Spain and China.
Which markets are the strongest for rum and for your brand?
Interestingly, Eastern Europe is really strong for our brands, our partners Extraprodukty in Slovakia and Finestore in Romania are doing really well for us. The UK and the US are obviously big markets for premium rum; we’re in the process of restructuring our channels in these markets to make more of an impact.
What trends are you noticing in rum?
There is starting to be a shift towards consumers trying new products and premiumisation of the category. I like the fact that in rum, consumers have such a wide choice of categories and styles to choose from. A lot of media ‘aficionados’ are trying to regulate the category and define what ‘real’ rum is, however I feel this is detrimental to the category’s growth and also hints at a bit of arrogance. Rum’s history has always been global with many different styles being produced in various ways, unlike for example single malt from Scotland, which is steeped in tradition.
What challenges have you faced?
Like other categories, glass and raw goods costs have spiralled in the last 1218 months and haven’t come back down – our bottles cost nearly three times what they did two or three years ago. The demand for aged liquid has skyrocketed, so access to this segment has become more restricted.
What makes Mauritian rum different to rum produced in other countries?
Mostly its terroir. Mauritius’ average annual climate is around 4°C cooler than the Caribbean and Central America, where a lot of the world’s traditional rums are made. This results in rums that are a little lighter and more delicate in style than other areas. The remoteness of the island also means that the weather systems that hit Mauritius leave rainwater which is very pure and free from pollution.
What’s in the pipeline for the year?
To launch Beach Bum Rum in a few new markets before the end of the year and support our existing partners to prepare for the festive season effectively. We’re also going out for our second round of investment funding, which will help catapult growth into 2024. There are a number of plans already in place for next year, which may include a new aged blend or potentially a black rum.
This interview can be found in the October 2023 issue of The Spirits Business magazine, out now.