2021: A year in gluten free beer
What a crazy year! Firstly, we'd like to take the opportunity to thank you, because if you’re reading this, it probably means you've supported TWØBAYS in some way or another on our journey to date. If you haven't, we're hoping you will in 2022 – there are plenty of very exciting ideas bubbling away – Here's Cheers To You!
2021 started with national tap takeovers and a collaboration with Ball Park Music (Ball Park Bloom Witbier), and ended with the release of new brand - GFB - and a collaboration with Aussie Olympic long jumper Brooke Stratton (Margarita Sour). In between, we launched a national partnership with Grill'd, won gold medals for our IPA, Stargaze Hazy Pale and No Doubt Stout, added Lager and Session Ale to our core range, unleashed beer bundles and gift sets, and increased our taproom beers from 9 to 11! We also sent a West Coast IPA, Red IPA and Hazy Pale Ale across Australia, with our beer in more and more taps and fridges nationwide.
Here are the beery details:
January – Hot to Hop
There was once a time when people who avoided gluten were having to drink cider – or anything but beer! Then tasty gluten free beer came along, and even a few different styles to try. A gluten free Lager perhaps – or maybe even a gluten free Pale Ale.
Quite rightly, expectations have changed in recent years, and the West Coast IPA we released in January marked the 10th TWØBAYS beer style in cans. Hopped twice to unleash bold pine and citrus flavours – with hints of stone fruit on the nose – Hop The Wall was a belting beer to kick off the year.
We could feel the dial shifting on the growth of an Australian gluten free beer community, and our suspicions were confirmed when GABS Hottest 100 announced our XPA at #84 for New 2020 Beers and our Pale Ale at #94 in the Indie Beers list (110 overall)!
February – Taps on Tour
In February, we took our craft beer Taproom on tour to Sydney and Brisbane. Our Taproom is the place where we get to enjoy a beer with local TWØBAYS supporters and we were feeling that those interstate – who can't always access Mornington Peninsula breweries – were missing out on tasting all the new and exciting styles we brew exclusively for our own taps.
Taps on Tour was the first tap takeover in Australian gluten free beer history – at Hotel Sweeney's in Sydney and Brewski in Brisbane, with 9 of our Taproom beers making the trip north – one keg of each!
March – Free The Taps
In March we sent kegs all over Australia, with Perth, Hobart, Adelaide and Melbourne joining the party for Coeliac Awareness Week. 'Free The Taps' was embraced nationwide with 5 amazing craft beer venues turning over up to 5 taps for gluten free beer drinkers to explore the wonderful flavours available in craft beer.
Thanks to The Duke of Brunswick (Adelaide), Netherworld (Brisbane), The Crescent (Hobart), The Fox Hotel Collingwood (Melbourne), The Woolpack Hotel Redfern (Sydney) and Beer Corner (Perth) for a brilliant week, enabling us gluten free beer drinkers to enjoy a choice of brews on tap like everyone else!
April – Hello Lager
Lager joined our core range beer line-up in April – after endless requests and a few trials at the Taproom (Lowtide Lager, Czech Mate and Lager than Life). The crisp version of a German Pilsner that we decided upon is now kicking goals across Australia, with selected Dan Murphy's stores and heaps of independent retailers carrying the beer.
At 4.5% abv, it presents another entry point to the world of gluten free craft beer – especially for those who are not accustomed to the hop flavours and aromas of an ale style beer.
May – Gold & GABS
On the eve of releasing No Doubt Stout, it was announced that the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) judges had given the beer a gold medal – a massive result for us.
We also brewed 'That's Pine Bru!' for the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) – a hazy pineapple New England IPA with hops from New Zealand. GABS comes at the end of Good Beer Week (Gluten Free Good Beer Week for us), where we had multiple beers at a food-matched ‘Battle of the Beers’ – thanks again to our mates at The Fox Hotel Collingwood..
June – Bloomin' Marvellous!
After the fanfare around Ball Park Bloom – our Belgian Witbier collaboration with Queensland Indie band Ball Park Music – we were very pleased to donate $10,467 to Support Act, a charity doing amazing work to support music workers in need.
Thanks again to everyone who got behind the beer – those who tasted it and those who sold it – with a donation made for every can sold and every pot, schooner or pint poured.
Ball Park Music drummer Dan Hanson and singer Jen Boyce suffer from Coeliac Disease, so they understand the need for great gluten free beer, along with the need for support in the arts industry after a very challenging two years.
July – What's Big & Red?
We unleashed Big Red IPA (6.0% abv) just ahead of International IPA Day (5 August) after its even bigger brother - Imperial Red IPA (7.4% abv) - picked up a silver medal at the AIBAs. Kristian, Ajay and the brew team tightened a few things up, scaled down the alcohol a little and packed another brilliant gluten free beer.
August – International Beer Day
International IPA is the warm-up for International Beer Day just two days later, but there was a time when this was not a 'happy' day for all... when those among us who avoid gluten could not crack a can or raise a glass and say "I'll drink to that"!
We believe people should not have to miss out on these magic moments and milestones, because we think that any excuse to drink great drink beer (responsibly of course) is a great excuse! Whether it's over a footy game, a long overdue catch-up with friends, a big family feed, a cold winter night or a ripping summer day, it's why we brew a gluten free beer for every occasion.
September – Welcome GFB!
September 2021 was the biggest month since we opened for business in December 2018! We unveiled GFB (us second brand) and its first beer; an easy-drinking draught, based on a classic Aussie style. The launch was huge and we sold out after 24 hours!
We backed it up with a fifth TWØBAYS release, and an Aussie first, a gluten free Hazy Pale called Stargaze which went on to win a gold medal at the 2021 Indies in November.
To cap off an amazing month, we officially announced our partnership with Grill'd which means you can now grab our Pale Ale with one of their amazing gluten free Healthy Burgers or the ‘HFC’!
October – Blood, Sweat & Beers
We won Xero Australian Small Business of the Year!
Many people think the most strenuous part of running a brewery is choosing beer styles and names over a couple of cold ones. We were blown away to find out that Xero recognised the blood, sweat and tears (and beers) that goes into building a start-up craft brewery.
And we celebrated by launching a special-edition mixed slab; GFB vs Lager, so that drinkers could enjoy two different Lager styles.
November – Sweet & Sour
The sweet was another gold medal – this time for our IPA at the 2021 Indies – and the sour was our sixth and final speciality release for 2022 – a collaboration Margarita Sour!
Our mate and Olympic Long Jumper Brooke Stratton helped us choose the beer, brew the beer and pack the beer (based on her favourite cocktail), after returning from competing in the green and gold at the Tokyo Games. To be putting a beer out like Margarita Sour (a lime ‘Gose’ styled beer) was beyond our wildest dreams when we opened in December 2018 – and we're proud of how far we've come in three years.
We also released a fifth addition to the core range family in time for summer – an easy-drinking 3.5% (mid strength) Session Ale, which stands up with a beautiful full-bodied taste.
December – Tapping In
December rounded out another incredible year at TWØBAYS (especially given the challenges 2020 and 2021 threw at the world). We drew breath on our third birthday, then added another two taps at the Taproom – so we can now pour 11 beers – on top of releasing two new products in our online store; mixed beer gift packs and Choose Your Own Beer Bundles!
Thanks again to everyone who supported us in 2021. Bring on 2022!