Bubbles and sunshine for cider on the Coast
  • Friday 08 November 2019
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Sunshine Coast award-winning cider company – Sunshine Coast Cider – has officially opened its first commercial site, after growing their home-based business over two years.

Woombye couple Martin and Regine Rellstab are the only Queenslanders using the traditional cider-making style to produce their Brut+ Méthode Traditionelle Sparkling Cider. They use only Queensland products and have 25 generations of cider-making experience behind them.

They started off corking their cider in their basement with a hand corker in 2017, sharing their product with friends, and in just two years they have developed a national reputation, picked up major supply contracts, and now have a brand new $1 million facility in Kunda Park on the Sunshine Coast.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson officially opened the business’ first commercial property today (November 8), and helped the Woombye couple launch their new product – Sunset Cider, a medium dry, lighter and more easy-drinking version of their renowned range.

“Congratulations to the Rellstabs and their high quality, boutique products,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It is great to see a family-owned, local business expanding and helping to put our healthy, smart, creative region on the food and beverage map by offering a Queensland first – a Brut+ Méthode Traditionelle Sparkling Cider,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The Sunshine Coast is one of the most exciting business destinations in Australia, thanks to the innovative local businesses we have here.

“Sunshine Coast Cider is a great addition to our fast-growing food and agribusiness high-value industry, and become one more of the 900 businesses in this industry that contribute more than $700 million to our regional economy each year.”

Mrs Rellstab said the new building had a tasting room and sales office as well as bottling, labelling and fermenting machines to keep up with the growing demand.

“Our sales have tripled in two years, it’s been amazing,” Mrs Rellstab said.

“We work with local farmers and other agribusinesses in the Sunshine Coast.

“The local programs such as GrowCoastal and the Food and Agribusiness Network and council have all been very supportive and helpful.

“Why would you want to have a business anywhere else?”

The company’s success has been buoyed by a Cider Australia 2018 Silver award for their Sunshine Cider and bronze awards for their Bottle Fermented and Brut+ Sparkling Cider.  The Sydney Royal Beer and Cider Show 2018 brought another bronze award.

Strong supporters of the local community, the couple showcased their cider making heritage with cider master classes in August as part of The Curated Plate food festival. Locals can now access tastings and purchase direct from their new cellar door.

The couple have strong sustainability principles, employing circular economy processes and recyclables, avoiding the use of plastics and eliminating waste wherever possible.  They have also committed to donating one percent of all sales to help farmers.

Mayor Jamieson said that Sunshine Coast Council is delighted that the Rellstabs have decided to establish their new premises in the region wished them all the best with their future growth. 

Sunshine Coast Cider public launch events:

1-5pm, Friday 8 November and 10am - 4pm, Saturday 9 November - local food, cider and entertainment. Sunshine Coast Cider 1/4 Conara Road, Kunda Park.

 

Sunshine Coast Cider story:

It has been a long journey over many generations to get Sunshine Coast Cider to where it is today. Mr Rellstab grew up on a small family farm near Zurich, Switzerland and said, “I can trace back 25 generations of cider-makers in my family as well as five generations of apple farmers”.

“I was an apple farmer in Switzerland myself for 18 years before we moved to Australia. Then I worked in a different sort of apples in Brisbane – the computer type of Apple before we moved to Woombye. We love the Sunshine Coast - we got married in Coolum in 2013.

“When I was growing up, we had large cellars underneath our farmhouse. Those cellars were filled with big oak barrels; almost 3m-high. And those barrels were filled with cider.

“We grew the apples that we picked, crushed and pressed. Indeed, my family were 25th generation cider makers. The resulting apple juice was poured into those big oak barrels. During the colder winter months, this delicious apple juice slowly started fermenting and by spring it had transformed into the most refreshing Apple Cider. THIS is what I call ‘Delicious Cider made the traditional way.”

Now they want to give back to their community, and having recently made a large donation to help one farm ravaged by fire, Mr Rellstab said they will be donating 1% of all sales to help farmers and to support the planet, after spending time with Stanthorpe farmers and seeing the terrible drought conditions they are trying to survive through.

“We might lose our Queensland apples and won’t be able to continue to be an all-Queensland product and these farmers are really struggling. It is heartbreaking,” he said.

 

Council Business Support:

  • Our Invest team can help you to expand into the Sunshine Coast – download the Invest app today
  • Business Gateway connects businesses to local projects and procurement opportunities
  • Export Program supports local businesses considering exporting
  • Level Up helps small businesses to connect to the NBN and up-skill in technology
  • Business Development program supports local businesses to thrive
  • B-Well & Prosper provides wellbeing and business resources
  • Food Handling training sessions available
  • ecoBiz provides tools and training to improve efficiencies and reduce resources