Fermentum snaps up Two Birds Brewing

Articles published under the media release byline are news produced by the relevant business and remain unedited by Brews News. This media release was circulated by Fermentum.

Today we are announcing that Two Birds has joined the Fermentum family of businesses following Fermentum’s acquisition of the Two Birds brewery, tap room and brands.

As of today, co-founders Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen will start a new chapter in their journey as they look to continue driving Two Birds as a distinct business unit at Fermentum.

“For Two Birds to continue striving towards our vision, we realised we needed to join forces with another business for an injection of broader knowledge and experience, some much needed capital and a spark of energy”, Danielle Allen, Co-founder of Two Birds comments.

The team at Fermentum has been on the lookout for opportunities with a good brand and a production footprint in the right market that could help us evolve and develop for some time.

We have always admired what Jayne and Danielle have achieved since they launched their fledgling business in 2011.

They have a unique origin story and by blazing a trail for diversity they have provided an inspiration for everyone in our industry as it strives to develop and embrace diversity and inclusion at a level which is a true reflection of our society.

However, Jayne and Danielle’s achievements are broader and deeper than that.

Jayne’s ability to develop and brew award winning beers and Danielle’s capability and tenacity in building the brand and gaining a foothold in the marketplace has seen them create a successful and respected brewing business from the ground up.

We are looking forward to working with Jayne and Danielle as they lead the Two Birds business through the next exciting chapter including celebrating the 10th Birthday later in the year.

Jayne Lewis, fellow Two Birds Co-founder adds “We are excited by the opportunity to keep building on the Two Birds legacy as part of Fermentum. We admire what the team have achieved with Stone & Wood over its 12 years, and they obviously have the know how around how to build a business through sustainable growth”.

Having a scalable brewery at Spotswood in Melbourne provides Fermentum with the opportunity to invest in its capability and capacity and will allow us to save on beer miles by moving production of Fixation Brewing Co products closer to its home market.

Two Birds Brewing Co will join Stone & Wood Brewing Co, Fixation Brewing Co, Forest for the Trees, Granite Belt Cider Co, Sunrise Drinks and Square Keg in the Fermentum Family of Businesses.

Each business plays a crucial role within the family by providing a range of complimentary products and services whilst also offering further development opportunities for our team of co-owners.

The Two Birds products will be sold through Square Keg in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, by the Stone & Wood team in Qld and New South Wales.

Major brewery expansion ahead for Fermentum

We continue to be constrained by our production capacity at our Murwillumbah brewery as once again we didn’t get through the Christmas peak without having to allocate stock.

Whilst COVID-19 had an impact on our rate of growth through the first period of lockdowns we have been blown away by our resilience and the traction we have gained as we have grown out of the shutdown period.

Transferring the production of Fixation beers to Spotswood will help us deal with the on-going growth in the short term.

However, looking ahead we know we have to take the next step in building production capacity as brewing in our current location may be unsustainable in the long term.

For some years now we have been working up a long-term solution to our capacity challenges.

Four years ago, we purchased a 34,000 sq mtr block of land just down the road from our existing brewery in Murwillumbah.

Two years ago, we completed a scope and design project which provided us with a shovel ready project plan to build a large-scale brewery capable of producing an annual volume of 40 million litres but expandable over time to around 80 million litres.

Developing the larger brewery will require a major investment and we’re currently working throughthe funding process and are exploring all options – cash reserves, debt, capital raise or a potential IPO.

Given this would be a majorinvestment in the region and would provide employment opportunities and drive much needed local manufacturing growth we believe there is also a role for all levels of government to play in supporting and funding the project.

The initial stage of the brewery build would be around $50M and would involve building out the site and infrastructure, installing a new 200hl brewhouse and packaging lines, plus relocating existing equipment from our current site. Further investment over time would be required to expand capacity in line with growth.

To wrap up

Whilst we were impacted last financial year by COVID-19, we have started this year with real momentum as all of our key brands continue to grow. Our largest brand, Stone & Wood Original Pacific Ale, has continued on with its sustained growth despite the arrival of other brands in the summer ale segment and the demand is showing no sign of easing.

The exciting addition of the Two Birds business which has been funded from cash reserves will provide further potential growth in volume, earnings and opportunities for the team.

We have a strong balance sheet and are well placed to look at other opportunities that fit with our strategy, however the brewery expansion project is now a major focus for us.

Whilst we aren’t under immediate pressure, there is a ticking clock there so the work around that investment and funding structure is underway.

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