MAJOR MILESTONE: Bundaberg Brewed Drinks CEO John McLean says a new facility is next on the cards for the company, which turns 50 on Friday.
MAJOR MILESTONE: Bundaberg Brewed Drinks CEO John McLean says a new facility is next on the cards for the company, which turns 50 on Friday. Mike Knott

Bundy Brewed Drinks makes 'special brew' to mark 50 years

THIS Friday will mark Bundaberg Brewed Drinks's 50th birthday, and CEO John McLean is ready to welcome both national and international guests to the city to celebrate.

About 28 international visitors will make the trip for the occasion, with the most far-flung popping over from Norway.

"We have a few coming from England, one from Germany, and China, so it's going to be a great night," Mr McLean said.

A "special brew" will also be revealed at the gala event.

"Cliff has come out of retirement to make 'Cliff's special brew,' and we've made 1000 bottles that we're letting out."

Former CEO and co-founder Cliff Fleming had described the company as "an overnight success that took 50 years to build," and Mr McLean couldn't agree more.

"Personally, you aim high and if you hit half way that's really good," he said.

"And we've hit more than half way, so I'm very proud of the results our team has achieved."

Although officially retired, Mr Fleming still has his input.

"He drives his motorhome around Australia, and he'll give me a ring and say 'We're not in this little shop here,' and the sales team are always aware when Cliff's on the road," Mr McLean said.

 

The soft drink company has maintained traction during a time where sugar is frowned upon, and the CEO believes its their focus on a "treat" beverage that's allowed them to withstand the criticism.

"We're about a balanced diet and about moderation, but we know that our consumers are after a high quality beverage and a reward, and we believe by using the real ingredients, and by that brewing process, we fit that niche in the world," he said.

 

Upgrading to a new facility is next on the cards for the brewing company.

"I's a very big project that we've been working on for two years now," Mr McLean said.

"We've got lots of new countries we're working with and talking to who can grow the revenue, and then we've got a whole innovation department where they're thinking of new products and new ways of making drinks, so we're never quiet."

Mr McLean said the company, which currently employs 183 people and is growing, will remain in the regional city for many years to come.

"Bundaberg is a powerhouse that is not just one brand and it's not just one industry," he said.

"We will never walk away from Bundaberg and we are proud of what our community can achieve."



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