There’s no doubt about it – Melbourne’s west is winning. One thing it's been missing, though, is a great brewery. Enter The Nest. For more than three years, Danielle Allen and Jayne Lewis have flitted between locations using other peoples' tanks to produce their tasty Golden and Sunset Ales under the name Two Birds Brewing. But no longer. After securing a lease in March last year, the duo now has its own place, replete with a bar and food by Collingwood's Rockwell And Sons.
The Nest, as they've called it, is housed in a former sheet-metal factory, WG Goetz and Sons. It's a neat twist of fate – among other things, the company once built beer-can-making machines. “We wanted a building with a bit of character," Lewis says. "I live in Yarraville, and I think this part of the world has been crying out for something like this." Granted, the excellent Junction Beer Hall is just down the road, but it doesn't brew anything, let alone Taco Beer (flaked corn, citra hops, coriander leaf, lime peel) or Sesame Snap-Chat (oats and sesame seeds).
The food is similarly enticing, from snacks (rosemary and thyme popcorn, Parmesan shortbread and goats’ curd “oreo”) to four kinds of cheese boards (one for each beer). Fancy sandwiches take care of mains, with fillings such as bacon jam and smoked scamorza cheese.
"The food's kind of simple in appearance, but there's a lot of layered flavours in there,” says Casey Wall, Rockwell's co-owner and a long-time friend of Two Birds. He plans to hire a head chef soon, but for the time being, he's cooking everything himself. "We just want to make people drink more beer. It's a brewery, not a restaurant," he says. "You can totally eat a full meal – it's not just snacks – but people come to the brewery to drink beer."