A cold, rainy Spring Friday evening is often non conducive to visiting a brewery and experiencing all that it has to offer. Unseasonal weather aside, a visit to The Nest is a must for craft beer lovers. We are glad we braved the conditions.
There's something about the venue I couldn't put my finger on. The tasting space, come bar, come eating house is an interesting mix and exactly what I want to find in a brew house. We did wander out to check out the possibility of sitting in the brewery itself but weather gods suggested this might be a bit much so to the bar we went. It's an eclectic mix of furnishings and accoutrement but its is absolutely non pretentious, welcoming and relaxing. Good move by the team to not fuss too much which I am sure is intentional. The mural in the brewery of the West Gate Bridge is a ripper and sitting among the scent of brewing beer is intoxicating, but not for this warm blooded mammal who is still not as fond of the cold as he should be.
It's a diverse crowd, clearly providing something for the local population to enjoy as well as attracting craft beer lovers who want to experience this corner of the world in Spotswood. A short walk from the railways station and not far from Grazeland, a spot filled with interesting eating options and a veritable foodie's playground however you don't need to leave for good food.
But back to beer. We wanted to try the special beers, small batches brewed and on offer for short periods of time on the taps. We started with a Salty BS - a salted Blueberry Sour which was a piquant little beer which was definitely sour and salty, but also tasted like beer. There has been a great deal of sour beer consumed of late in the Scoffer HQ and I am pretty convinced there will be more. A lot of it tastes less like beer and more like sour juice. The joy of this little zinger is it still tastes like beer. It has the necessary bitterness at the back of the palate while the front offered the lovely sour berry notes. It's well textured and well rounded, and was good enough for a second.
A second fruit inspired beer is The Gatherer. Its promises watermelon, mint and cucumber and as good as it was, it seemed a bit thinner in structure. I liked it, but didn't love it. The Beer Scoffer was all over a pale ale to start but moved to another of the tap specials, a Hazy as Flock very Hazy IPA. It was a definite winner, thick and creamy and drinking like a 4.5% ABV beer yet packed a punch at 6.5%. He waxed lyrical about the mesmerising suspension, which is well over my head but exactly in his wheelhouse.
Food wise, you are well sorted from something vegan to some very meaty and delicious dishes. We decided to snack. Onion rings are ridiculously good and we may or may not have had a second helping, with house made BBQ sauce which was sweet and spicy. The food mostly nods to the beer, with some beer inspired dishes and great use of beer across the menu. Cheese burger spring rolls and some mad chicken wings were also winners with another house made sauce, a thick and creamy ranch needing to be consumed by the spoonful.
What we loved most about this space was the friendly, knowledgable and relaxed service. A shout out to Tom who looked after us really well. The rest oft he team clearly have a passion for craft beer, and care a lot about what they do. They seem invested in the space being the best it can.
Whether you are a lover of craft beer or just want somewhere in Melbourne's inner west, it is indeed worth the wander to run your palate through the range of beers on tap. Non beer drinkers will find some cider and a few cocktails on tap, including an Aperol spritz. We are looking forward to heading back for another visit with more time on our hands and to try more of the specials made by brewers Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen.
Two Birds Brewery - The Nest is at 136 Hall Street Spotswood.
Open Thursday & Friday 4-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, Sunday 12-8pm