Two Rupees Brewing Co might be located in a quiet industrial lot in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, but to write those words doesn’t quite capture the warmth that permeates through the brewery. There’s certainly a lot of it, and it's due to the friendly faces behind the brewery, Danny Perera and Amila Mendis.
Having grown up in Sri Lanka, it was soon after arriving in Melbourne that Danny and Amila quickly fell for their new city’s nascent beer scene. For Danny, his love for craft beer was born during his time working as a cook at Little Creatures’ former home in Brunswick Street while, for Amila, his move to Melbourne fortunately led to him living around the corner from Mountain Goat.
Together they’d visit breweries across the city before getting into homebrewing with a desire to find a space where they could make their beer for others, and welcome beer lovers inside, just as Melbourne’s breweries had welcomed them.
By midway through 2019, that dream was realised when they opened the doors to their own in an industrial unit in Clayton – a short walk from Monash University. Wanting to pay homage to their Sri Lankan roots, Danny and Amila eventually landed on Two Rupees in reference to their home country’s currency.
The old red brick building with high ceilings retains much of its charm as a former warehouse, and at its heart sits the 600 litre Two Rupees brewhouse, always serving as a reminder that manufacturing is still a part of Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Here, however, it's manufacturing combined with friendly, welcoming hospitality, where the taps pour hazy beers beside stouts, and where locals gather to watch a game of footy or cricket while enjoying the goods made on site.
Walk in through the brewery’s roller door and on a weeknight you’re likely to find either university staff or students drinking side by side, while on weekends Clayton locals come in to catch up with Danny and Amila and talk all things beer and, quite often, whisky too.
Originally their entire setup took up a small block with just enough space for their brewhouse, fermenters and taproom, But, a little over a year after opening, the pair took over the adjoining space too. The extra room allowed Two Rupees to install both a canning line and a kitchen in 2020, offering the chance for fans to enjoy their beers at home, and for pipping hot pizza, wings and Sri Lankan pan rolls to be shared across tables.
As for the beers, Danny and Amila retain the love of experimenting that led to them homebrewing in the first place so, rather than a core range, the Two Rupees tap list remains an ever-evolving beast. Head in and you’ll find them pouring a broad range that includes crisp craft lagers, classic IPAs, hazy pales and stouts, while the Starward barrels against the back wall hint at future plans too.
Undeniably, the best way to try them all is over a tasting paddle, with a slice of pizza in hand, enjoying the wonderful welcome that awaits you in this quiet street off a major highway in Clayton.