Birmingham to host first major Rum Festival

Birmingham’s first full-scale festival of rum will take place on Saturday 2 July at bar and live music venue The Cuban Embassy.

The all-day event will see 500 visitors arrive to sample and discover rums from a host of brands and exhibitors. Experts and cocktail mixologists will be on hand to guide, inform and entertain the public.

The festival will take over the whole of the heritage Cuban-themed venue, spreading across two storeys, an outdoor courtyard and open-air balcony terrace.

The festival’s official sponsor is Bacardi. Founded in Cuba in 1862 by Don Facundo Bacardi Masso, the brand will showcase a range of white, gold and dark rums, and feature on the festival’s exclusive cocktail list.

Sati Tawana and Aaron Stubbs working in Bacardi’s on-trade sector in the Midlands said:

Bacardi is committed to investing in Birmingham’s independent bars and restaurants. We are keen to support Birmingham Rum Festival inspiring Birmingham’s emerging cocktail scene.

Being the world’s most awarded rum we have the pleasure of introducing Bacardi and the family of brands to city’s rum enthusiasts. Salud!

Key rum partners also include R L Seale’s, Doorly’s, Mezan and Brugal, a premium rum from the Dominican Republic. A total of 130 different rums will be available, ranging from dark to white to spiced varieties.

There will be a special focus on the exotic and diverse provenance of rums, with bottles from Bermuda, Mauritius, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Guatemala and more.

Specialist retailer The Drinks Emporium will host a Rum Shop, where visitors will be able to browse and buy from a curated selection of bottles.

Organisers aim to create ‘a lively carnival atmosphere’, with live salsa, samba and reggae music performances scheduled throughout the day.

Street food will also be a prominent feature of the festival. A menu of Latin American and Caribbean-inspired dishes will complement the rum selection.

Birmingham has an increasingly vibrant drinks scene, with spirits a key player. The city’s annual whisky and gin festivals attract sellout crowds each year.

Both drinks have seen a rise in on-trade presence, and now rum is also generating increasing interest as bars and pubs like The Cuban Embassy expand their ranges.

Birmingham Rum Festival is organised by food and drink guide Dine Birmingham, with ticketing and promotional support via national lifestyle platform Design My Night.

The event is also backed by Visit Birmingham, the city’s official tourism partnership.

The festival follows a series of successful tasting events featuring premium rums like Ron Zacapa, a heritage Guatemalan brand distributed in the UK by Diageo.

Birmingham Rum Festival takes place on 2 July. More information and tickets are available at the official website