Lion has announced it is closing Australia’s first female-owned brewery, Two Birds Brewing. Two Birds was founded by Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen in 2011.
The brewery was bought by the Fermentum group in 2021, which was then purchased by Lion later the same year.
Head of Marketing for Fermentum Ed Jamison said: “While Two Birds Brewing has won a number of local and international brewing awards, sales have been on a downtrend for several years.
“Despite continued marketing investment, it is not showing signs of a turnaround, and we’ve made the difficult decision to cease brewing Two Birds and close ‘The Nest’ taproom in Spotswood, Victoria.”
The closure will impact six permanent and seven casual team members, with redeployment opportunities currently being explored in other parts of Lion. If no alternative roles are available, redundancy, outplacement support and counselling will be provided to impacted team members.
Fermentum’s Supply Chain Leader Rich Crowe said: “I’d like to recognise the Two Birds Brewing founders, Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen, who have blazed a trail for diversity and inclusion in brewing in opening Australia’s first female founded brewery. Closing Two Birds is a difficult decision that has not been taken lightly and we want to continue to acknowledge and celebrate their unique contribution both to the Fermentum team and the wider industry.
“We have been working through this with Jayne and Danielle and, with their support, plan to continue their annual tradition of brewing an International Women’s Day ‘Warrior Woman’ brew alongside our women brewers. We will also be working with them on an ongoing mentoring and scholarship program that complements Lion’s existing range of DEI programs.”
The brewery posted the following message on its website:
Two Birds co-founder Danielle Allen said: “The legacy of Two Birds will continue to live on, not only in the hearts of those who have enjoyed our unique brews but also in the progress we have made towards gender equality in the brewing world.
“We are honoured to have played a role in shifting perceptions, fostering inclusivity, and empowering countless women to follow their dreams within this industry and others.”
Co-founder Jayne Lewis, who left the brewery in February, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I respond to the recent press release from Fermentum announcing the closure of Two Birds Brewing. As a co-founder of this beloved venture, which I nurtured for 10 years before selling it 2.5 years ago and departing just two months ago, I can’t help but feel a profound sense of sadness for the dedicated team who poured their hearts and souls into making this brand what it is today.
“More than just a product, Two Birds represented the values of diversity, inclusion, and the unwavering belief in oneself. It thrived as a beacon of hope for those who sought to break barriers and embrace their unique identities. I am immensely proud of the legacy we have built, and it brings me solace to know that Fermentum will continue to carry that torch forward, by continuing the Warrior Woman brand and investing in scholarships to further the careers of women in their business.
“The challenges faced by the industry, including supply chain pressures and escalating prices, have been immense. In these trying times, I recognise that individuals are also grappling with their own difficulties. It is in this spirit of empathy and solidarity that I issue a sincere call to arms to support the businesses you love, if you find yourself in a position to do so.
“When we rally behind the businesses that have touched our lives, we not only uplift them, but also contribute to the vitality of our communities. Small acts of support, whether it be choosing to purchase from local establishments, sharing positive experiences on social media, or offering words of encouragement, can make a world of difference.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey. Thank you to everyone who ever supported us, bought our beer, visited The Nest or turned up to an event.
“To fellow founder Danielle and the staff who believed in our purpose and gave their blood, sweat and tears to push this brand forward – together, we have accomplished remarkable things, and I have no doubt that the same spirit of determination and passion will fuel amazing things in the future.
“While this isn’t the outcome that I had hoped for, I believe that what we built was a success that I am immensely proud of and I will never die wondering.”
“Thank you for your support and for standing alongside us throughout the years.”
The final day of trade at ‘The Nest’ will be Friday, 21 July 2023 and Two Birds Brewing beers will be available for sale until stock runs out.