Twofold — one of Auckland’s most anticipated new brewpubs — opened its door this week, bringing craft beer to Parnell’s famed restaurant strip and continuing a surge in recent openings in the country’s biggest city.

With former Alibi brewer Bernard Neate at the helm, Twofold is sure to draw beer fans to the Parnell Road venue that was formerly home of Woodpecker Hill restaurant and before that The Bog — an Irish bar, which Neate well remembers.

“I had my first pint of Guinness here when I was 17,” says Neate.

Neate needs no introduction for beer fans, having built an amazing reputation with Alibi Brewing and before that Governor in Auckland’s Arch Hill. At Alibi his beers won both critical acclaim and industry awards, with the Waiheke Island outfit winning the champion brewery title at the 2021 New Zealand Beer Awards.

He’s joining forces with John Austin, an American who married a Kiwi and moved to Wellington before landing in Auckland a few years ago.

Austin has worked for both the leading keg companies in New Zealand, Kegstar and Konvoy, and was also a prominent member of the now defunct Society of Beer Advocates — successfully running that organisation’s Winter Ales festival in Wellington.

His introduction to the brewing industry was a Colorado brewpup called Carbondale Beerworks.

“I just loved the idea of making the beer and selling it on-site, it was such a small closed loop. It was an owner-brewer-operated place. He brewed one day a week and didn’t really need help. But I got a job as a server I begged him to let me help on the brewing side until he did.

“I was there eight months or so, after university, just before moving to New Zealand.”

His wife, Alice, went to university in Denver, where Austin was on the swim team. They lived in Colorado for a while before deciding to move to New Zealand.

The brewpub’s name, Twofold, reflects the fact there are two families involved in the business with the four shareholders being John and Alice Austin and Bernard and Erica Neate.

John Austin and Bernard Neate

The bright modern space they’ve created is set against the backdrop of an 800-litre brewery, boldly on show right next to the bar.

They opened with two house beers which were contract-brewed  while they waited for the brewery to be installed — a Czech pale lager brewed with Sam Williamson at Pacific Coast and an IPA made with George Duncan at Duncan’s.

The opening night tap list also featured beers from Pacific Coast, Duncan’s, Urbanaut and a cider from The Alchemist. There are tap cocktails and a limited wine selection because the focus here is fully on the beer.

The lager and IPA will be part of a tight core range that will also feature a German-style Pilsner.

Neate says there will be seven taps, including two Czech-style side pour taps for lagers and pilsners that will be served directly from horizontal tanks.

In what he calls a “post-hazy” beer culture the range will veer towards traditional and traditional-with-a-twist — styles that reflect the owners’ personalities.

“In the post-hazy IPA era brewers are allowed again to create their own personal style and brew what they want and they’re allowed to be a bit different I feel, the beer will be about who we are and what we want to do.”


That includes styles such as a mild or perhaps Wee Heavy.

“We’ll still do funky hazies and West Coast IPAs, but along with that there will be more traditional styles, more lagers, some unusual lagers.”

How Austin and Neate ended up building a brewpub together is based on a mutual respect from doing business with each other when Neate was brewing and Austin was working for Konvoy. That grew into a friendship based on shared beliefs.

Both had dreamed separately of opening a small brewpub but it was always a question of when and how.

“I’d always wanted to do this, before Alibi, before Governor … back when Brothers Beer started I knew that this is what I wanted to be doing and it’s been in the back of my mind since then,” Neate said.

And Austin had dreams of recreating the vibe of Carbondale Beerworks in Colorado.

“Back when Covid was going around John rang me up and said ‘hey … weird question, but do you want to open a brewery?’.”

The idea sat for a while but when Konvoy made Austin redundant he decided it was time to turn the dream into a reality.

“In some ways it grew out of the amount of time we put into discussing it,” Austin says. “We would go to site visits together, and work on plans and after a while you get far enough down the track you think, yes.

“There were points throughout when it was like: ’are you sure you really want to do this?’.”

The last time they asked that question and answered in the affirmative was when the landlord confirmed they could lease the property.


And that commitment to the dream hasn’t wavered despite so much changing — for the worse — in the beer industry since the idea was first floated.

“The movement in the industry hasn’t shaken me at all,” says Neate. “I still think it’s a bloody good idea.”

Part of their likely success is the location, with Parnell being an affluent part of Auckland with great restaurants and high-end shops but, until now, completely lacking a craft beer venue.

Given the location, they are going for a higher level of food than might typically be found in a pub or bistro — somewhere between pub and fine dining.

They plan to open Wednesday afternoon through Sunday with the first half of the week dedicated to brew days.

They style of the fitout is mid-century American modern, and the design is light and bright.

They will serve in beer in three sizes — large 500ml beer mugs for lager and pilsner — 400ml glasses for IPAs and pale ales, and a 250ml “half”.


One thing Austin has bought from his time in Colorado is what they call “mug club”.

Members of Mug Club will get an engraved glass that sits behind the bar, one free beer a month and a yearly gift.

Right now it’s restricted to around 50 members and the cost is $250 each.

“If you’re in the mug club you’ll know the others,” Austin says. “We’ll have club night once a month, where the first beer will be free and we’ll shout some snacks.

“You will get a piece of merchandise every year and we aim to have a bit of fun with that … a branded harmonica has been mentioned, jandals, all sorts of things.

“Hopefully it will help build the Twofold community.”

What will definitely build the Twofold community is the excellent beer and a great vibe. The two Twofold beers poured on opening night were outstanding, with the West Coast IPA one of the best I’ve had this year.

The menu is outstanding in its range and is well-priced and bar-restaurant area is made of varied spaces — from a handful of outdoor tables to a small, enclosed courtyard area leading to a larger space.