The Gatherer moves to Two Birds in portfolio refresh

Two Birds Brewing is taking Stone & Wood Brewing brand The Gatherer under its wing and making a major move to fully canned beer, it announced today.

Two Birds co-founder Danielle Allen told Brews News that The Gatherer, debuted by Stone & Wood in 2017 was set to join the Two Birds lineup as part of a portfolio refresh.

“Right at the start when we joined Fermentum the idea was floated by [Stone & Wood co-founder] Jamie Cook, as he’d a brainwave about Taco and The Gatherer coming together as a range, as they have a similar drinker profile – they both have fruit and herb additions and they both are customer favourites at their respective brewery tasting rooms,” she explained.

“It also makes sense from an efficiency point of view; the Spotswood brewery is better suited to canning smaller run beers. Jayne and I were more than happy to take The Gatherer under our wing! Ecstatic even!”

But while the move makes sense, it does not herald a strategic shift for Two Birds as part of its role in the Fermentum group though, Allen explained.

“All of the Fermentum brands will continue to have their limited release and experimental sub-ranges – Counter Culture (Stone & Wood), Freshly Hatched (Fixation) and Flights of Fancy (Two Birds). This will not change. We all need to have a play!”

In its first big announcement since being acquired by Stone & Wood Brewing’s parent company Fermentum back in January, Two Birds also said that it was moving into cans after 10 years in bottles.

“We held onto bottles for a few reasons; our export customers favoured glass over can, we still had some solid national ranging in glass, and that’s volume we didn’t want to give up.

“Money isn’t always easy to come by and we had invested in a bottling line already. We also like glass from a personal point of view too.”

Allen and fellow co-founder Jayne Lewis said that their drinkers have grown and evolved, which led to the brand and range needing a refresh.

They explained that in 2020, Two Birds consulted its customers, some of whom said they perceived the brewery as being “a nervous brewery’, with a ‘fragmented brand’.

But this consultation also led to them moving fully into cans, with under 20 per cent of customers preferring beer in a bottle – 40 per cent preferred cans.

“Our 10-year survey demonstrated that more than a few of our drinkers had started to prefer cans over bottle, so it was a commercial decision in the end, around volume and growth, but simple reasons really!

“Fighting customer preference would only limit our sales potential and it was a decision we had to make,” Allen said.

As a result, Two Birds Brewing core range of Summer Ale, Pale Ale and Sunset Ale will be released in 375ml cans, and its Taco Beer will be released in 330ml cans in the next few weeks, launched under the range name Beers with a Twist.

This is the range that The Gatherer will be brought into, having already been canned and packaged at the Spotswood home of Two Birds in recent months.

Two Birds Brewing celebrated its 10th year in business this year. Hear more about co-founders Danielle Allen and Jayne Lewis and their journey with Two Birds on the beer is a Conversation podcast.

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