The No. 1 salami pizza is spicy and scoff-able. Photo: Melanie Faith Dove
Location Times Square, New York, 2006.
The mission Covertly extract 15 brewing tanks from the third floor of a defunct Manhattan brewery.
IT WAS A SIMPLE ENOUGH PLAN. Brothers Andrew and David Ong – local bayside lads – decided to open a brewery. They were living in the US, scoping out Seattle's highly developed craft beer scene, when they found a top deal on some equipment. But how to move it from Times Square for shipping to Australia?
Manhattan authorities refused the use of large trucks, but a New Jersey trucking company took on the job and, from 2am, their trucks came every 15 minutes, with a forklift running on the sidewalk.
2 brothers brewery is packed and pumping every Thursday and Friday. Photo: Melanie Faith Dove
"The only thing we didn't plan on was the theatre next door screening The Lion King," Andrew says. "At 1am, heaps of people emptied out onto the street."
So began 2 Brothers, a microbrewery and pizzeria in an industrial Moorabbin back-block. It has won umpteen awards for its ales, pilsners and lagers, and is packed every Thursday and Friday with punters wolfing down pizzas and listening to live music.
The pizzas aren't "gourmet" – the thin, chewy bases are bought in – but they land hot and fast, even when it's pumping, and there's love in the simple toppings.
Choose from a list of five. The No. 1 is a spicy number, bedded with calabrese, napoli and mozzarella, and with an even scattering of chillies, black olives, Spanish onion and green capsicum. Or there's the vego No. 4, with mushroom and pineapple, olives and capsicum.
"Pizza of the month" can take a wacky turn – mine had bacon, feta, mushroom, capsicum and barbecue sauce, creating a too-sweet combo not quite balanced by its savoury flavours. It all got scoffed, though.
My favourite thing on the antipasto platter was the the super-tasty, cheesy, herby pizza but the other ingredients could have been more home-made.
It's informal food, all of it exactly right with 2 Brothers' German-style pilsner, a Kung Fu rice lager, or a Baltic-style porter.
Six of the nine beers on tap are poured directly from the shiny tanks behind the big wooden bar, meaning the beer is ultra-fresh.
So, six years on and, for the Ong brothers, it was all worth it. And to that New Jersey trucking company: cheers!
Do ... Take a free brewery tour; Thursdays at 6.30pm
Don't ... Drink too much James Brown, an 8.8 per cent Belgian ale with "extra funk". Woo! Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about!
Dish ... The No. 1 salami pizza
Vibe ... Buzzing and bar-like
- 03 9553 1177
- Cuisine - Italian
- Prices - Pizzas & antipasto, $8-$15
- Features - Cheap and cheerful, Bar, Licensed
- Owners - David Ong, Andrew Ong
- Cards accepted - EFTPOS, Mastercard, Visa
- Opening Hours - Thurs, 4-10pm; Fri, noon-midnight
- Author - Nina Rousseau