When the first sip of crisp, bubbly cider passes your lips, it’s clear there is something immediately different about Ohana Cider House & Winery. Their award-winning Cheeky Tiki ciders are refreshing, fruity and not too sweet. They’re the so-called ‘goldilocks’ of ciders.
But it is no secret why Ohana owners Josh Phillips and Zoe Young are making a name for themselves. It’s actually very simple. “We use real ingredients, real Australian apples and everything is done naturally, in small batches,” Zoe said.
Unlike some commercial producers, there are no foreign concentrates, artificial flavours or aromas added to their product. In fact, their fresh apples are pressed on site. And while the batches may be small, the business continues to grow.
“We’re producing about 50,000 litres of cider each year, carefully crafted in 3000 litre batches,” Zoe said.
Their cider-producing journey is a unique one, with the couple leaving their desk jobs in Perth and purchasing a run-down tropical fruit orchard in Childers, indulging their passion for cider, winemaking and Hawaii.
When they began retailing their dry and sweet apple ciders into all Queensland Dan Murphy’s stores, they needed more space and equipment, prompting them to move into East Bundaberg and open a cellar door.
“You should definitely come and visit us, it is just a really fun time. You can come and hang out with your mates, hang out with us, have a drink, have a taste and even see what’s new,” Zoe said.
If you are a cider fan, the cellar door should be a regular stop. There are up to eight different ciders on tap, most of which aren’t available anywhere else. You can also buy through their online store.
Flavours like rose (a mix of apple and grape), pineapple, apple and pear, passionfruit and boozy lemon have all featured on the drinks menu.
“They will change depending on the season. Customers can try them, and we will bottle them to be taken home, fresh out of the keg. When the keg is empty a new flavour will come along,” Zoe said.
While cider is their most popular product, Ohana Winery still produce a range of fruit wines, such as their best-selling strawberry moscato, mango moscato, cold drip coffee liqueur and a tawny port, aptly named The Night Cap.