The days of contract production are officially over for Two Birds Brewing, which has released a new Pale Ale as the first beer off its own packaging line.
Two Birds Pale joins Golden Ale, Sunset Ale and Taco in the brewer’s permanent range, replacing the session IPA, Bantam, which has been discontinued.
“Now that we’ve got the tasting room up and running, getting direct customer feedback has really given us insight into what people are asking for,” Two Birds’ Jayne Lewis told Australian Brews News.
“We did a special batch of a beer last year called Oaty McOatface and we got really good feedback on that, so it definitely helped us come to a decision to put a pale out there permanently.”
Lewis said the hopping rate and oat content had been increased for the current iteration of the beer, which is hazy from the addition of flaked and Golden Naked oats, and hopped with Amarillo, Australian Cascade and Mosaic.
No more contracting
With Pale paving the way, Two Birds has now begun producing its other beers on the new 12-head bottling line from Italian manufacturer, CIME, recently installed at The Nest, its brewery and taproom in Spotswood.
Since launching in 2011, Two Birds has produced its packaged beer at several different contract facilities, most recently Hawkers Beer.
“We’re not doing any more contract brewing, it will all be in-house from today onwards,” Lewis said.
“It’s a personal milestone for me, being able to have control of our own destiny and all of the beer that comes out under our label.
“It gives us great flexibility to do smaller packaging runs more often, meaning that our beer will be getting out to the world as fresh as possible.”
Co-founder Danielle Allen said expansion of the facility to incorporate the new packaging line had not required any external investment.
“We’ve got to a point in the business lifecycle where the bank would essentially loan us money for the first time. The business is still independently owned by Jayne and I,” she said.
With its current tank footprint, Two Birds now has capacity to brew up to about two million litres of beer a year at Spotswood.
The company’s current annual production is around one million litres and it is turning over $5 million a year, Allen told SmartCompany this week.
Cans v bottles
Allen said Two Birds will continue to use mobile canning providers to make Taco available in cans on an ongoing basis, following a successful debut last year.
“It exceeded our expectations to the point where we sold out well ahead of what we originally thought. We’re doing a couple more runs in the next few weeks so we’ll be putting some more cans out of taco before the end of the summer period,” she said.
“If we could have everything, of course we would have both, a canning line and a bottling line. We decided to launch our business with bottles and we believe we’ve got a strong footprint with them now, so we’ve put our money into the bottling line.
“It’s great that there are these mobile canners that have popped up and given us the opportunity to put out a can as well.”