Bullant Brewery, Bruthen
Neil Triggs and his wife Lois moved from Melbourne to Sarsfield 40 years ago and haven't looked back. Having established the successful Stringybark Cottages B&B accommodation, Neil and Lois are conquering the microbrewery market with Bullant Brewery in Bruthen to the delight of locals and visitors.
While the genesis of Bullant Brewery was largely in response to guests' desires for a decent feed and to visit winery cellar doors, combined with an inspiring visit to Margaret River, it could be argued that Neil and Lois were looking for an excuse to never leave the area.
'This place just gets you, slowly but surely. Everything's great – the climate, all the different things you can do in the region. We've got the lakes, the mountains, the high country and the coast. You're spoilt for choice if you want to go fishing and there's horse riding up in the mountains,' says Neil.
'Pretty much anything you could ask for, we can offer it here or somewhere close by, and you can't ask for much more than that.'
Running two successful businesses keeps Neil and Lois busy, but if they manage to nab some free time, especially in the autumn, they head up to the high country.
'One of our favourite family holidays when the kids were little was to go camping up at the Omeo Caravan Park. It was right on the Livingstone Creek and nice and quiet. Autumn is a great time of year to go because you get the nice cool nights and lovely warm days. And Lakes Entrance is a great place to visit too – I'm by no means a water baby, but there's plenty of other things to do without getting in the water, and it's just a beautiful place to visit.'
Having gradually become accustomed to life in Gippsland, Neil can't now imagine living in a place even as big as nearby Bairnsdale.
'We like to do our own thing in our own space, and there's plenty of that around here. And it's all pretty good looking space, too!'