Meet the Finalists - Burra Brewing Co.
The Burra Brewing Company is a microbrewery located in the beautiful rolling hills of Korumburra, the gateway to South Gippsland.
Known for their friendly service, the brewery offers wood fired pizza in a sunlit beer garden, with the perfect accompaniment being their natural, handcrafted beers, all brewed on site.
Korumburra's One Tree Hill is one of the areas most recognised landmarks and features on their logo. As the name states it's One Tree on a hill, standing independent and proud, just like the Burra Brewing Co.
The business embraces sustainability by offering refillable growlers and squealers, doing away with all unnecessary packaging.
Like all hospitality businesses, Burra Brewing has had to reposition themselves in this Covid impacted year, sadly having to close brewery to customers. In this time, they have been focussed on the wholesale business for beer and the pizza restaurant has focused on takeaway which, prior to Covid, was not something they were offering.
The pizza takeaway pivot has proved to be profitable during the lockdown, enabling the business to ride through the current challenges.
The core business for the brewery is in South Gippsland, with over 60 different clients making up about 70% of their customer base. The Burra Brewery Co team put a lot of emphasis on not being just salespeople, but rather look to develop a relationship with customer and outlets. They are always happy to bring clients to the brewery to help them get to the products and to further strengthen their relationship.
Their product, their approach to business and their passion for their industry has earned them a spot in the finalists circle for the Excellence in Agribusiness Award for Small Food and Drink Manufacturers with less than 10 employees, sponsored by Latrobe City Council.
Craft beer is increasingly popular, and the Burra Brewery Co has positioned themselves as “Your Craft Beer”. They are very aware of the market and trends through a combination of talking to consumers and extensive market analysis to identify trends and opportunities.
They see their beers as an easy introduction to craft beer without being “too out there”
Once it is possible to fully open the brewery to visitors again, they will continue to focus on the local market, whilst also actively work with the tourism sector to attract visitors to the region.
They have room to expand and would like to continue to do so, recognising that capacity and cash flow can be barriers to expansion, but they’re confident they have the right plans in place to accommodate growth.
Aside their own beer product range, the Burra Brewery Co has been innovative in developing partnerships with local businesses and organisations.
Building on their “Your Craft Beer” they have developed beers directly for clients such as local butchers and sports clubs enabling them to be involved in the process of making the beer, naming and packaging the beer with their logo.
They have an innovation plan in place which is regularly reviewed, and their business is focused on creating an environment where people will come to enjoy the experience.
Deservedly, they've secured a finalist spot in two categories in this year's Excellence in Agribusiness Awards - the Excellence in Small Food & Drink Manufacturuers, sponsored by Latrobe City Council, and the Excellence in Entrepreneurship, sponsored by Commonwealth Bank.
Brewer Phil believes “fresh is best” and this is carried through in both the beer and food service streams of the business.
Hospitality relies heavily on the personality and passion of their staff, and this South Gippsland business values the importance of the staff and fully supports their training, including bringing in external support where needed to assist with training.
The Awards judges were impressed with what they heard and saw, describing Burra Brewing Co as a very good business that is entrepreneurial, and able to adapt quickly. They commended their approach to lead with new ideas but maintain a strong focus on consumer feedback.
Their commitment to continually having a strong analytical eye across all aspects of the market and business puts them in a strong position, despite the economic downturn faced in 2020.
The judges saw the key strengths in the business being their ability to identify where value lies, the importance of relationships and the ability to be innovative.
And brew great beer…!