The Two Birds Brewing gals are now pouring beers fresh from their own brew-house with chicken skin snacks on the side
This brewery has been a long time coming. For years, Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen of Two Birds Brewing have been a mobile operation, renting tank space to turn out their Sunset Ales. But finally, they’ve downed roots at a place of their own. Better yet, it's got six taps a pouring to the public, and some very clever food from Rockwell and Sons.
The Nest is pretty far out in the wild west. Some would call that a rsiky move, but you've got to love beer fans – they’re a dedicated bunch, and it’s quickly become a destination. On a Sunday, schools of local families with pyjama-clad children are getting on with northside craft beer lovers, and pretty much everyone is out to get loose. Easy done when each bar trip scores you a palate of samples. Two Bird's signature Sunset Ale and Golden Ale are on offer, as is their new lightweight Bantam IPA and Lewis's citrus, coriander and lime Taco Beer – refreshing! There are also rotating guest taps from the Bird’s favourite breweries, and if you like it, you can also take it home in a growler.
Not into beer? They also have basic spirits and sodas, and a thrillingly unspecified “red” and “white” wine by the glass. But their Red Snapper is a real winner – a Bloody Mary made with gin and garnished with a very phallic arrangement of a cornichon between olives, a stick of celery and house-made ancho chile beef jerky. Do not pass go.
Apparently, there’s only a small combi oven and a double induction stove in the kitchen, but Casey Wall – the Rockwell and Sons chef currently holding the title for Melbourne’s best Southern Fried chicken and sliuttiest burger, stuffed with Kraft cheese – still manages to pump out beer-friendly snacks. The parmesan biscuits sandwiching goat’s curd are like Arnott’s Cheds, with a touch of class. Double your gribenes order – it’s fried chicken skin with a Jewish name, here made non-kosher with a whipped side of soft cheese quark and pickled red onions. There’s also an expertly constructed roast chicken terrine and a smoked hot dog covered in pork mince chilli with a zig-zag of mustard, white onions and house-made pickles.
If getting on a train and going a handful of stops past Footscray scares you, don’t let it. The Nest is only a 400-metre stumble from the station, and if you come early enough, you can jam in a trip to Candied Bakery for an apple pie thick shake. Looking delicious, Spotswood.