Ohana Winery and Cheeky Tiki Cider have reopened their doors with a fresh look that will give customers a chance to watch their handcrafted cider brew on site.
The beverage industry in the Bundaberg Region has had rapid growth during the past five years, and now Ohana Winery and Cheeky Tiki Cider owners Josh Phillips and Zoe Young are glad they took the leap to leave behind their corporate desk jobs in Western Australia to take a chance at running a winery in Childers.
The couple, in their early 30s, have spent time during the COVID-19 regulations to renovate their Bundaberg East cider house.
They have now reopened with new equipment that enables them to not only show customers first-hand how cider is made, but also to double the amount of cider production.
With the help of Baffle Beer Brewery and 12 months of patience, Zoe said they were able to acquire a Voran juicing machine that has all the bells and whistles to make producing cider a little easier.
“A friend of ours from Baffle Beer Brewery, Bert, used this exact machine when he was working in Germany, he immigrated to Australia and the brewery there never used it since,” Zoe said.
“It was a year in the making to get it here, it is the best-of-the-best when it comes to machinery, and new for us and it is just so exciting.”
Zoe said the old way of making cider used a multiple-step machine, and was a long, tedious process compared to their new Voran juicing line, that worked more efficiently, crushing more apples per day – meaning more cider production.
“The new machine is an all-in-one, continuous cycle that will allow us to double the amount of cider and we will have a slightly better yield,” Zoe said.
“It will also value-add to our business as other farms around the region can use it for juicing.”
She said the yield from the apple was now around the 75 per cent mark, compared to the previous 62 per cent, and as an added bonus the by-product of the apples were then given to Splitters Farm to help feed the rescue animals.
Ohana Winery Cheeky Tiki Cider spruces up
Along with the new machinery, customers can now see the cider-making process first-hand.
“Some people may not realise how you get from apples to the end product of cider,” Zoe said.
“Now we can show them as the new equipment is in full view after we ripped down a few walls and renovated.
“We also have the new lime liqueur, which is perfect to add some pizzazz to any lemon, lime and bitters.
“We have a very small footprint here, but we can pump out a lot of cider.”
Zoe said the life-changing move from the other side of Australia had paid off and the Bundaberg Region was growing with both industry and tourism.
“The entrepreneurial spirit in Bundaberg is just so alive, not only that but the fresh produce that is grown here; it’s so easy,” she said.
“For us, we do our passionfruit cider and get 800kg of passionfruit from Dahls Road and crush it down and it’s all just right there, so easy and convenient.
“It’s an exciting time to be in Bundaberg that’s for sure.”
Ohana Winery and Cheeky Tiki Cider currently produce 15 beverages, including eight different ciders and seven wines at their Bundaberg East facility.
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- Earlier news: Ohana cider production move caps off great year