Brothers now the kings of cordial

For 40 years two brothers have been responsible for making a sweet part of Hills history.

John Kats, 57, and his brother Roelie, 63, recently celebrated 40 years of service with Oakbank family company J & AG Johnston, largely making cordials.

John Kats, 57, and older brother Roelie, 63, began working for J & AG Johnston in 1972 and today every bottle of the traditional cordial made by the Oakbank family business is mixed, bottled, labelled and sometimes delivered by their hands.
Depending on the season the brothers produce about 4000 litres of cordial a week containing up to 1900kg of sugar.
In the past the pair would have to carry 30kg bags of sugar up stairs in the heritage-listed Johnston brewery building for manufacturing but now the sugar comes in 15kg bags … and they have the luxury of a goods elevator.
Making cordial is a job both brothers love although Roelie Kats admits that having to taste test every batch has put him off sweet drinks at home.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.