2 Halfs Brewing Distilling has officially opened its doors in Alexandria after two years in development.
Founded by husband and wife duo Kirk and Dragana Bozinovski, the idea for opening 2 Halfs first occurred in 2019 after Kirk completed a Brewmaster course at VLB Berlin.
“We deliberately spelt halves using the alternative form ‘halfs’ for no other reason than just feeling like it! After all, the English language doesn’t make sense a lot of the time, especially coming from two people who had to learn it as a second language,” said Dragana Bozinovski.
With the duo being European migrants and Kirk having over 30 years of homebrewing experience, the pair wanted to have a brewpub to showcase their passion for European-style lagers.
“After years of dreaming about opening up his own brewery so that he could share his passion with others, he felt it was time to step out of his comfort zone and enter the Australian brewing industry,” said Dragana.
But the process to get there would prove to be a long and gruelling one as working full-time, council constraints and COVID-19 pressures delayed their plans.
“We had more enthusiasm than experience and unfortunately, we felt that we made some ill-informed decisions in our early stages of developmental planning,” she explained.
Originally, the pair were looking to base the brewpub in the Sutherland Shire and had even signed a lease, however, due to issues with the council, they had to withdraw and look somewhere else.
Once they settled on their current Alexandria location, the pair faced development application difficulties with the application itself taking over a year to be approved.
“The waiting game was very draining and disheartening. As new kids in the game, we did not know enough people in the industry to ask for advice.
“We love where we are now. Our site is on the smaller side of what we would have liked, however it is in the middle of the 24-hour precinct zone and we have many amazing businesses within close distance,” Bozinovski said.
For anyone wanting to open a new brewery, she offered some free advice.
“There were a lot of unexpected expenses so whatever budget you have prepared at the beginning, we say double it!
“If we could go back and do things differently, we would get our development application for brewing first and then apply for a taproom.”
With a current capacity of 30, the brewpub caters for locals with its beer lineup and kitchen which serves pizza along with a brewers board.
“Our focus is to have the locals of Alexandria being our regular customers as well as craft beer lovers from Sydney and beyond, drinking fresh and local,” explained Bozinovski.
In terms of brewing, for now, Kirk is the main brewer on-site with their current lineup brewed on a 500L, three-vessel Jinan Rainbow Machinery kit.
Some of their current lineup includes some seasonal releases like a German-style pilsner, two pale ales, an American style wheat beer and a brown porter served carbonated.
“The plan is to have four lagers and four ales on our current eight tap system, however these lagers and ales will be updated regularly,” she said.
With the brewing half of the business already in full swing, the duo want to expand the distilling side of things.
“Distilling will be a great addition and we would like to offer a taste of Europe with some traditional European spirits, including a focus on Dutch-style gin, along with a classic whiskey.
“We do not intend to expand too much and instead we would like to focus on offering a friendly place where locals can appreciate the process and energy that goes into brewing and distilling while having a chat with Kirk or myself,” said Bozinovski.
After a successful opening in May, Bozinovski was thankful for the community rallying around the new brewpub.
“We are open Thursdays to Sundays and we have had a lot of fun over the past few weeks with business growing by the week.
“We are looking forward to being a part of the community and the beer industry,” she said.
2 Halfs Brewing Distilling is now open at 2 Stokes Ave, Alexandria NSW 2015.
Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.