Ours is a tricky story to tell succinctly.
We are a complicated business. We don’t just make one thing and sell it one way. We are cheesemakers, farmers, bakers and brewers. We sell our cheese and beer directly to consumers through our online store, at our pop-up restaurant, in our busy Cellar Door, at our retail shop in Hobart and at markets and events all over Australia. In this regards, and in other ways too, we are different from most cheesemakers in Australia.
We are passionate and skilled artisans. Our craft is rooted in tradition and our methods are uncompromising. Our production is small and reflects the seasonality of where we live. We usually take the hard road, the less profitable road, but it always feels like the more meaningful choice to make.
There are really two strong themes that guide everything we do. First, we aim to make products that have a very strong connection to the place they are made: TASMANIA. We are not trying to make the best French cheese or German beer that we can. That does not make any sense to us. And secondly, we love having a very close relationship with the people who consume our products. Our supply chain only has two links in it: us and you.
The business started as an exploration of Nick’s interest in cheese. These days, Nick is supported by a bunch of exceptionally talented people. So now, together, we are pursuing our shared passions.
BRUNY ISLAND CHEESE CO.
Founded by Nick Haddow in 2003, Bruny Island Cheese Co. was started after Nick spent 10 years working with specialist cheese makers in many different countries around the world.
Nick is a staunch traditionalist, who recognises that great cheese was made for centuries before modern technology played a role. He believes passionately in the old way of making and maturing cheese. For him and Head Cheesemaker, Luke Jackson, cheese making is a pursuit of integrity and flavour.
Made and matured using traditional techniques, our range of cheeses changes seasonally and are highly regarded as being some of the finest artisan cheeses made in Australia. We want our cheeses to reflect the seasonal nature of our Huon Valley dairy farm and our herd of rare breed cows. We want our cheeses to show a distinctly Tasmanian character.
Although most people know us as cheesemakers, the name Bruny Island Cheese Co represent so much more - on Bruny Island we also have a Woodfired bakery and our busy Cellar Door, where you can sit under the Blackwoods and taste what we make. It is also where you will find our Brewery.
BRUNY ISLAND BEER CO.
In 2016 we started making craft beer. Locally grown ingredients and an eye towards Tasmania's seasons and sensibilities are what guides our beers down an unconventional path.
In keeping with our dairy roots, a collection of decommissioned milk vats was repurposed into a 15 hectolitre brewhouse, located behind our cheesery. All our beers are open fermented, bottle conditioned and free from preservatives.
Nick’s vision for the brewery is delivered by Head Brewer Luke Rutland. True to the ethos that underpins our farming and cheesemaking, the goal in our Brewery is to create intrinsically Tasmanian flavours and explore the rare opportunity offered by a Brewery and Cheesery operating alongside each other.
Our range include half a dozen regular brews as well as several experimental and seasonal releases each year that showcase the incredible quality brewing ingredients that we have on our doorstep in Tasmania.
GLEN HUON DAIRY CO.
Then in 2017 we became farmers.
Our dairy farm is everything that Nick and farm manager Richard Butler dreamed it would be – a showcase of ethical, sustainable, small-scale, organic dairy farming that is all about maximising animal welfare and milk quality.
Our herd is made up of three old breeds which are no longer considered commercially viable: Brown Swiss, Australian Dairy Shorthorn and Normande - all excellent dual-purpose breeds for both cheesemaking and beef production but are breeds that have fallen from favour by large dairy farms who opt for breeds which provide much large milk production. In addition to these three breeds we use Speckled Park bulls to maximise our beef quality.
Our farm is unlike almost every other dairy farm in Australia. Not being part of the industrial dairy system means that we are able to make choices about how we farm - choices which commercial dairy farms do not have the privilege of making. This means that we are able to prioritise things like ethics, environmental stewardship, animal welfare and flavour.
That makes our farm pretty bloody special and something we are incredibly proud of.
We’d love to show you around some time.