Founder Jayne Lewis To Leave Two Birds

Jayne Lewis, who founded Two Birds Brewing with long-time mate Danielle Allen in 2011, is set to leave the game-changing operation in the coming weeks. After 12 years at the helm of what was Australia's first female-owned brewing company, Jayne is going to become a consultant, with the intention being to share the wisdom gained from navigating a successful path through a traditionally male-dominated industry as much as the knowledge that helped her amass accolades throughout her time at Mountain Goat and Two Birds.

The decision to move on comes on the back of a period that's been momentous, even by the standards of an industry that's experiencing a tumultuous time.

In January 2021, Jayne and Dani sold their Spotwood-based brewery to Fermentum, the drinks company founded by Stone & Wood's founders; eight months later, Fermentum was acquired by Lion/Kirin in the biggest acquisition in Australian beer since Little World Beverages (owner of Little Creatures and White Rabbit) was bought by Lion a decade earlier.

Describing the decision to leave the business she founded and led to multiple major trophies as "the end of an era", Jayne told The Crafty Pint the role "wasn't doing it for me anymore", and that it was "time to do something fresh, and to see what else there is to do."

Of her move into consulting, she says: "I'm looking to the more people centric side of things: coaching, training, that end of the spectrum."

Within this role, her aim is to assist small businesses who don't have the resources to have their own HR department ensure they create positive, inclusive workplaces, and to help them understand how to manage issues should they arise.

"The idea has been forming for a while now," Jayne says. "Advocacy is what really interests me."

She says the decision to leave Two Birds "comes with a stack of emotions", adding: "It's something we've built up, and we achieved so much over the time. But it feels like the right time; I'm happy to see it go on and do other great things."

After moving into the beer industry at Matilda Bay, following stints making cider at Little Creatures and, prior to that, as a winemaker, Jayne was head brewer at Mountain Goat before striking out with Dani in 2011. Their first release, Golden Ale, helped put Two Birds on the map in a big way, while their second beer, Sunset Ale, went on to win two champion trophies at the Australian International Beer Awards, a competition at which they also claimed Champion Medium Australian Brewery in 2016.

The brewery also forged high profile partnerships outside the world of beer, while Jayne has been a driving force establishing equality and opportunity for women within brewing. She is a co-founder of the industry advocacy group, Drinks Agents For Change in 2020, as has played a key role in the rise of Pink Boots Australia. Drinks Agents For Change (initially Beer Agents For Change) has been working to make the wider community a safer and more welcoming place for all, and conducted the craft beer industry's first diversity survey.

In a media statement announcing her departure, she said: “It’s been a wild ride since starting Two Birds 12 years ago alongside Danielle. It has been such an amazing experience, I’ve learnt so much and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and the beers that we’ve made!

"It’s tinged with sadness, but it feels like it's time to start fresh with a new challenge. I’m not going far though, as my plan is to move into people-centric training and coaching for the brewing industry."

Co-founder Danielle said, “Starting a brewery together wasn’t such a crazy idea after all! We learned an incredible amount along the way and enjoyed many beers together. 

Jayne led the way for the Two Birds brand to represent women in beer, along with pushing the boundaries of the craft, I wish her success in her next endeavours.”


Read our Ten Lessons From Ten Years feature with Jayne and Dani here and our feature on Jayne that was part of our series recognising 25 of the most influential people in beer to mark the end of the last decade here.


Two Birds co-founders Dani and Jayne at a beer festival in the early years of the brewing company.

 

Media Statement: Farewell To Jayne

Melbourne-based brewery, Two Birds Brewing, today announced the departure of co-founder and Australian brewing legend, Jayne Lewis.

After 12 years of dedication at Two Birds, Jayne has decided to pursue new opportunities that allow her to spread her wings in another direction within the industry. 

During her tenure at Two Birds, Jayne has been an instrumental part of the company's growth and success, playing a key role as head brewer of Two Birds' award-winning range of craft beers.

Co-founder of Australia’s first female-founded brewery alongside Danielle Allen, Jayne has become a formidable force not only as a brewer, but as an industry leader. For many years, Jayne has been a driving force behind establishing equality and opportunity for women within brewing, leading her to co-found the industry advocacy group, Drinks Agents For Change in 2020.

In 2022, Beer & Brewer Magazine recognised Jayne’s contribution to the brewing industry, awarding her their Lifetime Achievement Award.

On her decision to leave Two Birds, Jayne said: “It’s been a wild ride since starting Two Birds 12 years ago alongside Danielle. It has been such an amazing experience, I’ve learnt so much and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and the beers that we’ve made!

It’s tinged with sadness, but it feels like it's time to start fresh with a new challenge. I’m not going far though, as my plan is to move into people-centric training and coaching for the brewing industry."

On the departure of Jayne, Two Birds Co-Founder Danielle said, “Starting a brewery together wasn’t such a crazy idea after all! We learned an incredible amount along the way and enjoyed many beers together.

Jayne led the way for the Two Birds brand to represent women in beer, along with pushing the boundaries of the craft, I wish her success in her next endeavours.”

On Jayne’s contribution, Fermentum Managing Director, Rod O’Connell said, “Jayne’s contribution to Two Birds, Fermentum and the broader brewing industry over the past 12 years can’t be understated.

A gold-medal-winning brewer, a much-loved leader and a passionate advocate for women in our industry, Jayne has made incredible connections in this time and cleared pathways for those who have followed her. We wish Jayne all the best in her exciting new venture that will see her continue to have an impact in the industry we all love.”

As Two Birds proudly delivers its exceptional range of craft beer to its customers, the launch of brand’s 5th edition of the ‘Warrior Woman’ International Women’s Day beer at The Nest on Wednesday 8 March provides a fitting opportunity to toast Jayne’s many achievements and contribution to brewing.

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