Red Earth Brewery director Richie Foreman, head brewer Zeke Hower and Mamacitas’s Trish Allen have combined to bring some cheer to Cudgen during the COVID-19 crisis. Picture: BOB ANTHONY.
Red Earth Brewery director Richie Foreman, head brewer Zeke Hower and Mamacitas’s Trish Allen have combined to bring some cheer to Cudgen during the COVID-19 crisis. Picture: BOB ANTHONY.

The secret to making this Cudgen business squeal

THERE'S been a bit of growling and squealing going on at Cudgen lately but the locals aren't too worried.

In fact, they are welcoming it because it is all coming from Red Earth Brewery.

The Tweed's newest craft brewery had been open to the public for only a few months before the COVID-19 crisis hit, leaving the brewing team in a dilemma.

The prospect of not being able to serve people on site with draught beer posed an economic challenge but thanks to the support of the Tweed community, the brewery has been able to keep functioning, albeit on a smaller scale.

Red Earth director Tommy Lee-Lewis said the team had looked at the possibility of packaging its products to try and keep afloat but the cost of a canning line seemed prohibitive.

"Instead we went for selling growlers (two-litre) bottles and squealers (one-litre) which was something we had intended to do anyway and that has proven to be extremely popular, especially with the locals," he said

"By providing a way of keeping our product available has at least kept us functioning.

"We have sold a lot of growlers to locals who are coming back to get refills and now working with Mamacitas food truck which offers a range of Mexican dishes using local produce. This is a destination where people can come and get their food and drink takeaways."

Head brewer Zeke Hower said he was grateful for the support shown to Red Earth.

He said there was a real sense of 'ownership' from the community about the brewery.

"The locals feel like this is their brewery and without their support, things would have been tough.

"The beauty of having the various sizes of bottles means you can get a squealer to ­sample one type of beer and if you like it, get a growler next time."

Fellow director Richie Foreman said Red Earth was looking forward to further easing of restrictions to open up again to welcome to the public to eat and drink on site.

"We plan to establish a beer garden next to our shed which will allow people to enjoy the beauty of the area and atmosphere of being in an orchard," he said.

The Red Earth Brewery and Mamacitas is open for takeaways on Friday from noon-7pm and Saturdays from 1-7pm at 592 Cudgen Rd, ­Cudgen.