Heading home from a first visit to the Nest, Two Birds Brewing's home in the Melbourne suburb of Spotswood, a question arose in the Crafty mind: "Is there another brewing company in Australia that has nailed so many things as well when it comes to luring in new craft beer drinkers?" Having pondered the question on occasion since, we're going with: "No."
Sure, to date brewer Jayne Lewis hasn't been tempted to brew a 12 percent, 150 IBU, barrel-aged, spiced Belgian Imperial IPA to satisfy the extreme elements of the beer fancying world, but in every other respect, alongside long time friend and business partner, Danielle Allen, she's done a lot of things rather well to make Two Birds a brewery with incredibly broad appeal.
The branding is eye-catching and colourful and shot through with flashes of cheek. The Birds themselves are just as colourful (and full of cheek) and have put in tens of thousands of kilometres and countless hours to attend pretty much every beer event on the planet since they launched their first beer in August 2011, always managing to look glamorous even when hurting inside and proving relentlessly enthusiastic ambassadors for craft beer. The Nest, which has housed their brewery and bar since the middle of 2014, is equally bright and welcoming and has proved hugely popular since day one.
As for the beers, Jayne's mantra of "balance and approachability" may not be one to raise instantly the hairs on the back of a beer nerd's neck but, since launching with the wide appeal, crowd-pleasing Golden Ale, everything bearing the Two Birds name has packed plenty (but never too much) flavour, from trophy-winning regular releases such as the Sunset Ale and Taco to award-winning one-offs such as those brewed with the Pink Boots Society.
While on the subject of awards and trophies, it's not just the beers that have collected silverware; the brewery has won champion titles at the Australian International Beer Awards and Craft Beer Awards as, having started in winemaking in WA, dipped her toes into cider at Little Creatures then polished her beer education with Matilda Bay and Mountain Goat, Jayne has proved herself adept at crafting pocket gems of beers.
As for the Two Birds tale, it started out with Jayne and Danielle having their beers (Golden and Sunset) brewed under license at various breweries while searching for a home. Said home was found online by Jayne's husband, Louis Bucci, while waiting for a flight at LAX and, having been built in part by Louis (who has a wooden step named in his honour as a result) is now responsible for all Two Birds draught beer.
The Nest, as it's known, has grown steadily too, now pouring 12 beers (including a couple of guests) and offering up beer friendly food several days a week. The hospo side of things spills from the bar to take over as much brewery floor space as possible inside a warehouse where huge murals cover the walls not hidden by a growing forest of stainless steel.
In February 2017, the opened their own packaging line, having taken over the adjacent warehouse, thus bringing all production under their own roof and launching a new beer and look to mark the occasion. Two years on, they carried out another revamp of their home too, while winter 2019 saw Golden retired as a new IPA and Cider were added to their lineup instead.