I glance at the business card in my hand.
Pickled Pig Brewery.
I don’t know what’s more implausible – a brewer named Paul Brewer, or the whimsical name ‘Pickled Pig’. Is this for real?
Absolutely! In fact it’s one of our few local craft breweries, located in Tweed Heads, making chemical-free, preservative-free ‘no hangover’ beer.
Selling his clothing manufacturing business and retired by the age of 50, Paul Brewer moved to the Gold Coast in 2009, spending two years fishing before he realised that he needed another challenge. He bought a liquidated U-brew-it business and embarked on the steep learning curve of understanding the recipes and processes for making beer.
Coming from a marketing background, designing and marketing the product was not a problem, however he found that drinks involved a different process, market and selling process to clothing.
Pickled Pig needed to find its own niche in the already overcrowded craft beer market. Being preservative free, Pickled Pig beers must be stored cold, but taste, price point and the eco-friendly practices of the plant (recycling boxes and bottles and refilling kegs) are distinguishing marks for Pickled Pig amongst other premium boutique beers.
Now in its fourth year, with twelve products in the range (Belgian, German and Dutch style beers as well as ginger beer), Pickled Pig Brewery has doubled its turnover annually since opening, the staff expanding to eleven people, all locals.
Pickled Pig wholesales to some of our best restaurants with personalised beer and labelling to specification, but there’s another side to the business which is quite surprising: personal customers and even a Brewing Club.
“People drink our beer and love it,” Paul tells us. “They also love making their own beer, but have found that when you brew beer at home, the product is not consistent. We’re a ‘hands on’ working brewery with commercial facilities, so the beer tastes far better than home brew. You can buy beer at the premises, however many people love being involved in the brewing process. They travel from Byron or Brisbane to make their beer just the way they like it. Get involved and your beer costs less; it’s quicker, cleaner, with a better taste, all at a third to a half the price of beer from a bottleshop!”
There’s also the catering side of the business, with kegs to go, weddings and 21st to cater for, ‘wheelie bins’ and keg fridges for sale and hire.
And the name?
“Pickled Pig sounds like fun, don’t you think?” Paul asks me.
“Yes. It’s a whole load of fun, Mr Brewer!” [I’m still nodding in amusement.]
18 Industry Drive, Tweed Heads South, NSW 2486
Open: Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm, Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun 10am – 3pm.
Ph: 07 5523 0808