Lucha Brewing Co. opens in Brisbane

Family-owned brewery Lucha Brewing Co. has opened in the western suburb of Seventeen Mile Rocks in Brisbane.

The team behind Lucha Brewing consists of Damien and Sandra Odger, who first wanted to open a brewery after working in the public sector for many years.

“[We] have worked in ‘the system’ all our lives and wanted to do something creative,” explained Sandra.

“After a few life changing events, we realised it was time to take a chance and go for it. We have saved and saved and re-mortgaged and self-funded, so it is 100 per cent a family owned and operated micro-brewery.”

The brewery is situated in an industrial precinct in Seventeen Mile Rocks, which took the team about a year to find, according to Odger.

“We decided on the area fairly early as we knew it quite well by living there and the size was determined by the little money we had,” she said.

“The industrial area we chose is really characteristic and quite small compared to modern day industrial precincts. It also has a number of nice suburbs, meaning the local community can easily walk [to it]. Once we saw it, we knew it was the right place but it took a year of looking.”

Once the team decided on the location, the development process began, with the team facing various issues over communication with the local council.

“We used a town planning service which was handy as we didn’t know the system, however as a result, we didn’t know the council people so we felt like we were dealing with faceless people.

“Communication and understanding was about ticking boxes rather than conversational understanding.”

Paired with issues presented by the pandemic, the development disruptions added up, as Odger explained.

“As an estimate, I would say COVID-19 further delayed our start up efforts by a year. We had our applications with council for pretty much the whole of 2020.”

While reflecting on the challenges, Odger also offered some advice to other breweries-in-planning.

“Prepare for things to take a long time, a lot longer than you think.”

Sitting around 40-50 patrons, the Lucha brewery also has a taproom with the aim of providing a relaxing space for the local community, according to Odger.

“We envisaged serving the local and brewing community through the taproom and hopefully selling kegs locally also.

“Customers would be mostly made up of people from the nearby suburbs and craft beer enthusiasts.”

In terms of the beer, all brewing is done on a Braumeister 200L system, with Damien at the helm. Currently on tap, the brewery has its Session Ale, an IPA and IPA Red as well as beers from other Brisbane breweries including Aether Brewing Co.

The brewery officially opened in late February on the same weekend the recent flooding disaster made its impact. While it was a tough time to open, the brewery wasn’t directly affected, according to Odger.

“It was hard to open for a day and then have to close due to flooding. Luckily for us we were able to focus on helping the community as the brewery itself was kept dry,” she said.

For now, the team looks forward to providing for the local community, as Odger explained.

“The brewing and local community are wonderfully supportive and we are genuinely loving serving them our beers and having a chat.”

Lucha Brewing Co. is open Fridays to Sundays at 7/500 Seventeen Mile Rocks Rd, Seventeen Mile Rocks, QLD 4073.

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