One was working as a bullet-dodging physio in the Bronx, the other as a number-crunching aeronautical engineer in Seattle when the Ong brothers, Dave and Andrew, fell in love with the big flavours of the US craft beer scene. On returning to Australia, they struggled to find beers that satisfied their palates and decided to abandon their former careers and brew their own.
Andrew headed back to the US to gain hands-on craft brewing experience and source the best brewing equipment they could afford, Dave scoured southeast Melbourne in search of a suitable location. Six months later, the brothers purchased a gleaming, copper clad brewhouse from the bankrupt Times Square Brewery and shipped it over from the Big Apple in five 40ft shipping containers.
It now sits as the backdrop to their Moorabbin Beer Hall, one of Bayside's best kept secrets thanks to its location tucked away on an industrial estate. The Beer Hall was closed for a few weeks early in 2016 for a total refit, which included the installation of a new 15 tap system to allow the brother to pour even more beer and cider. There's a "leafy industrial beer garden" too and food trucks are a regular feature too.
Their regular lineup of beers features American brown and amber ales, a German style pilsner and delicious rice lager, while they also make a pear cider. Among their limited release specials is the Voodoo Porter, which walked away with the title of Best Victorian Beer at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards, James Brown strong Belgian Ale, various hoppy drops and, usually around GABS, something big, rich and hearty. They've been regular collectors of trophies at the annual Australian International Beer Awards too.
Melbourne's southeast has become a thriving hub for microbreweries, but it was 2 Brothers who first brought craft beer to the region. And while you can find 2 Brothers beers widely across Victoria, the Beer Hall remains the best place to enjoy them, especially since its refresh.