07 July 2023

Australian brewer Lion kills Two Birds (a craft brewer) with one move

Australia | The pun was unavoidable. Kirin-owned Lion not only decided to close Two Bird’s Spotswood brewery and taproom in Melbourne, which was founded by two women, the iconic brand will be discontinued too.

The company, on 22 June, cited declining sales as the reason for the closure. Six permanent and seven casual team members will lose their jobs.

This is not the first craft brewery Lion has shuttered, and the reason given makes business sense. However, in a year dotted with voluntary administrations and closures throughout Australia’s brewing and hospitality industry, this one will have more impact than most, even after co-founder Jayne Lewis left the business in February this year.

Two Birds – an Australian slang for women – was founded in 2011 as a contract brand by brewer Jayne Lewis and marketing expert Danielle Allen before opening a brewery, with an annual capacity of 20,000 hl beer, and a taproom (“The Nest”) in Spotswood in 2014.

The ways of the world

Two Birds probably never reached full capacity, which made the founders accept an offer from the macro craft brewer Stone & Wood’s parent company Fermentum, in January 2021. Fermentum itself was sold to Lion eight months later.

Over its 12 years in business, Two Birds built its brand as Australia’s first female-founded brewing company and established itself as a leader in inclusion as much as on the quality of its multi-awarded beers, media said.

Lion advised that the final day of trading at The Nest will be 21 July. Two Birds’ beers will be available for sale until stock runs out.

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