Red Bluff Brewery in Lake Bunga closed during the last COVID-19 restrictions to build a new bar and reception area.
It reopened on September 25 and even though the weather was not great, owner, Wayne Burnett, was pleased to be almost booked out.
“We have hit the ground running since we reopened and last weekend was also booked out,” he said.
It is a true family business with Wayne, Donna and two of their children, Jack and Aimee, on board.
“We also employ some casuals and as the business builds up will be looking for more,” Wayne said.
“At the moment we are open Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm, but are hoping to open Thursday and
Sunday as well in the future.” The concept is to have food trucks at the brewery so it is a whole culinary experience. “At the moment we have The Tank which has wood fired pizzas, souvlakis and I highly recommend their crispy lamb salad,” Wayne said.
As of last weekend they also have the Q Shack, which has American barbecued ribs, wings, smoked meats and burgers.
In the future Wayne is getting another van which he hopes will provide an opportunity for chefs from around the district to highlight their culinary delights.
Wayne and Donna initially ran the property as a gardening supplies business, but started brewing commercially in 2017.
The concept snowballed to the stage where they have closed the nursery side of the business down.
“The first time the restrictions were lifted we started expanding the brewery idea,” Wayne said.
“We have so much room to make this work, there is plenty of parking for caravans and coaches and we will be able to cater for tour groups.
“Our beer styles are mainstream to cater for the 98 per cent of beer lovers, but we also have seasonal brews with different flavours and styles that people may not have experienced before.”
Wayne tries to source local ingredients as much as possible with strawberries coming from Gippsland Strawberries and other fruit from Nicholson Fruit Farm.
An interesting concept is being developed through Monash
University in Churchill, which is supporting research into whether a grain growing business would be viable in Gippsland.
If you are not a beer lover there is also Trattore Cider Company from West Gippsland’s ciders and their sparkling fruit ciders, which are non alcoholic.
“We also have Lakes Entrance Wyanga Park wines and Blue Gables wines from Maffra,” Wayne said.
With the warmer weather ahead, the additional outdoor dining area should prove popular with the local community and holidaymakers.
Red Bluff Brewery’s Wayne Burnett in the brewery’s new bar and indoor area. The brewery opened on September 25, catering for both indoor and outdoor service with The Tank wood fired pizza and Q Shack American barbecue on site providing food.