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Happy 80th Birthday, Cliff Fleming!
Today, 1 June 2023, we’re wishing happy birthday to our Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Founder and Master Brewer, Cliff Fleming. For those who don’t know the story behind Cliff Fleming, let us fill you in on this momentous birthday occasion.
Cast your sights back to 1968, where Cliff Fleming first launched the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks business alongside his wife Lee, and parents, Gladys and Neville. The story started with the purchase of Electra Breweries (Bundaberg) Pty Ltd, a bottling and fermenting business found in the region of Bundaberg. Within five years of becoming a family-owned and operated business, the production had grown so extensively that the family needed an upgrade to their facilities. Within a few months of making this decision, the business had moved into its new operational site on Bargara Road, Bundaberg – where it still remains today.
The beginning of operations at Bargara Road saw Cliff focused on the local market, manufacturing and selling franchised drinks across the region – but in his spare time, Cliff had struck gold with the development of his Bundaberg Ginger Beer. Fast forward to the 1980s and the now iconic Ginger Beer had started to take off with distribution being secured across supermarkets in Australia and New Zealand. At this same point in time, Cliff stepped up into the position of CEO.
During his time as CEO, Cliff was always the champion of keeping it local. He was committed to keeping the money, the work, and the operations right where they began – in the Bundaberg region. This dedication to local extended even further in 2004 when he planted his first ever ginger crop in Bundaberg, determined to create a constant supply from his hometown soil. Now, almost 20 years on, the iconic Ginger Beer is brewed exclusively with ginger that has been grown in our region.
Locally grown ginger aside, there is so much that goes into crafting a Bundaberg brew. From using the finest ingredients, through to day-long brewing methods that extract maximum flavour, Cliff has truly created a range unlike any other. Through keeping with the times and ensuring authentic taste and flavour remains the key focus, he has managed to keep the business in front of mind for over five decades – an extraordinary feat not many others have achieved. Cliff has built a business passionate about quality and taste, and that’s a legacy that will extend long into the future of our brewing.
He may have spent much of his time in business crafting a range rich in flavour, however the business he has created is just as rich in family history. With 13 brews under his belt and distribution around the globe, he has proven that if something is worth brewing, it’s worth brewing well. Today, we’re into our fourth generation of family involvement – and our Founder, Cliff Fleming, is at the heart of this success.
Over the last 55 years, we have learnt so much from Cliff and we thank him for the wisdom, the knowledge, and the memories. He really is our very own Aussie legend.
Cheers to you Cliff, Happy 80th Birthday!