What is Craft Rum?


As we all know, rum is on the rise! In fact, at the time of writing, the UK rum category is set to be worth more than £840 million before the end of 2021, with much of the excitement and growth focussing on the craft and spiced rum sectors.

But what is craft rum, and what makes it so exciting? Below, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know about the craft rum revolution. Time to sit back, relax, and explore the wonderful world of rum like you never have before. 

What is Craft Rum, and What Makes it so Different?

Currently, most of the rum consumed in the UK is made up of mass-produced products from large commercial producers. Of course, there are some exceptional rums available from these large distilleries and producers, but none of them are craft…

For years, these big brands have been producing rum as quickly and as cheaply as possible; often creating low-end products that damage the perception of what great rum should taste like. 

In fact, some of the products created by these fat cats don’t even reach the minimum requirement to be considered a real rum – that being an ABV of at least 37.5%.

Enter craft rum – a fast-growing sector that’s capturing the attention of millions. Essentially, craft rum is the complete opposite of mass-produced rum: Craft rum producers take great pride in creating a premium product that’s often unique to the area or people that crafted it. The result is a sector that’s packed with diverse flavours and unique stories, allowing everyone to find a tipple they enjoy.

Devon Rum Company Premium Spiced Rum being poured into a glass of ice

Is Rum the Next Gin?

In 2019, the global craft rum market was valued at $1.06 billion USD, with Europe holding the largest revenue share with more than 35%. This is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% from 2020 to 2027, meaning that rum could indeed become “the next gin”. After all, it was the craft sector that breathed life back into gin not so long ago.

And there are similar themes at play, with spiced and flavoured rums becoming the major force in the increasing popularity of rum. Just like gin, the diversity of these exciting flavours and blends are inviting a whole new wave of drinkers to appreciate the spirit, whether that’s straight on the rocks, paired with mixers or in classic rum cocktails.

How is Craft Rum Made? 

Like all the best things in life, the production of craft rum can’t be rushed. It takes time, patience and passion.

Here again, the big commercial producers cut corners and costs, using cheaper ingredients and often adding unnecessary sugar and heavy doses of vanilla to disguise the inferiority of their base rums. The worst offenders will add synthetic flavourings, artificial sweeteners and colourings too. 

Meanwhile, craft rum producers use quality and ethically sourced ingredients, and macerate them with only the highest quality rums. They develop their own unique recipes and meticulously perfect them from one batch to the next. Of course, these processes are very manual and far more time consuming than mass-production. Inevitably, this often effects the cost of craft products, but boy is the extra few quid worth it!

Devon Rum Company Ethically Sourced Spices and Citrus Fruits for Spiced and Flavoured Rums

One of the biggest differences between mass-produced rums and craft rums is the quality of the water that’s used to bring the distillery strength of the rum down to a drinkable ABV (Alcohol by Volume) percentage. For rum, this ABV is typically 37.5-40%. However, some companies also produce overproof rums, and these can be a lot stronger – even up to 75%. The point here is that as much as half of a bottle of rum is water, making it a key ingredient that should not be scrimped on. 

Craft producers understand the importance water plays in creating a premium rum, which is why they will use a quality water source. A great example is how we use locally sourced spring water from our friends at Devoni Water. Their water comes from a natural spring that bubbles up on the edge of a meadow; a stone’s throw from the Devon villages of Beeson and Beesands, less than a mile from the sea. Now ask yourself if the big brands know where their water comes from?

Why Should You Choose Craft Rum? 

So, why should you choose craft rum? When you buy craft rum, you’re buying a story, you’re supporting the hard work and passion of smaller independent businesses, and you’re receiving a product from a company that cares greatly about what they are selling to you. In most cases, opting for a craft product will also mean that you’re helping to reduce impacts on the environment too, as many independent businesses are far more conscious of the affects their products have on the world around them.

Start your craft rum journey today with our award-winning range of artisan Spiced Rums; made by hand in the heart of Devon using a unique blend of Caribbean rums, locally sourced Devon spring water, aromatic spices, zesty citrus fruits, maple syrup and more.