Stone and Wood Brewing
The popular coastal holiday destination of Byron Bay is the location for one of the country’s newest and most exciting craft breweries – Stone & Wood. The partners behind the venture include a trio of former Matilda Bay Brewing employees – brewer Brad Rogers and marketing/sales guys Jamie Cook and Ross Jurisich – plus local pub owner Tom Mooney. A new 24-hectolitre Canadian built plant was installed in late 2008 and Stone & Wood Draught Ale (renamed Pacific Ale in late 2010) rolled out in early December that year. The cloudy, golden ale is brewed with a generous dash of wheat and hopped with Galaxy, a relatively new Australian-bred variety that is available in whole hop cones. ‘It’s brewed to be served fresh in the many great watering holes down the road,’ says Rogers. ‘Therefore, we don’t need to filter or pasteurize it. We want it served over the bar just like it is in our storage tank at the brewery.’ Intermediate plans are to distribute the draught ale within the northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland region, while a bottled product (probably a lager, Rogers hints) will be released some time during 2009 for the national market. Rogers spent more than a decade working within the Foster’s empire, running their Fijian brewery, Masthead Brewery (Sanctuary Cove, Queensland) and, ultimately, Matilda Bay Brewing. He is a trained winemaker and also ran the Foster’s-owned distillery during his time in Fiji. Over the length of his brewing career Rogers has honed classic beer styles and also created some ground-breaking ones, including a honey wheat ale (Beez Neez) and a coffee-infused beer (Crema); his latest creation defies categorisation or, rather, re-defines the rather broad concept of a truly Australian pale ale.
‘I will now sing a medley of my hit,’ Sammy Davis Junior once famously quipped, and Stone & Wood’s solitary brew (to date) is a highly original Australian pale ale, which deserves to be a hit.
Stone & Wood Pacific Ale
Behind the Label
Stone & Wood sounds a bit like a law firm (or a sub-set of the Rolling Stones, perhaps) but, intriguingly, has nothing to do with anyone’s surnames. ‘There is something elemental about brewing,’ says beer-marketing guru Jamie Cook, by way of explanation. And, of course, ‘Fire & Water Brewing’ doesn’t have quite the same connotation, even if they are more obvious elements used in the brewing process. Cook says the name ‘sounded pretty good and, in the fullness of time, it will make sense’. Stone & Wood Pacific Ale is uncomplicated and generic in name, and neatly avoids being pigeonholed as any existing style.
4 Boronia Place, Byron Bay 2481
Tours by appointment
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