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 16 tap system to allow the brothers to pour even more beer and cider (with a 17th tap in the shape of a hand pump that's used now and again). There's a "leafy industrial beer garden" too and food trucks are a regular feature.
Their regular lineup of beers features American brown and amber ales, a German style pilsner and delicious rice lager, while they also make a pair of ciders and, since 2016, a trophy winning pale ale. The trophy for Pay Day, one of two they collected at the annual Australian International Beer Awards, was merely the latest in a long line of awards accolades for the brewery.
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.