Stone & Wood has made a couple of appearances on Back of the Ferry. That’s as many as they’ve been able to make as they keep it pretty simple up in Byron. Generally Stone & Wood make two beers – Pale Lager and Pacific Ale (formerly known as Draught Ale). These have both been reviewed and both were enjoyed immensely – particularly the Pacific Ale.
It’s been way too long since I’ve been to Byron and the lads have come up with another reason to go – their Stone Beer. Now the S&W boys reckon that early brewers used to use stone and wood to make beer before the invention of steam power. Stone Beer is made using some of those pre-steam techniques as homage to the pioneers. The technique is to add “wood fired stones to the kettle to rouse the boil and caramelise the brew”. Hmmm – very Byron – but gees it works. Stone Beer is so special that it’s launched each time with a festival at the brewery. The latest launch (the 3rd) featured bands, pizzas, arty stalls and a surf flick. I think this’d be one beer launch the missus would join me at.
So, was the effort worth it? Well, the hardest part was getting my hands on some. This is pretty limited, but Porters at Balgowlah had a couple of the very attractive 500ml bottles lurking in their fridge. Helpfully, there was no paraphenalia accompanying their presence so I was able to snaffle one. I drew the short straw on the weekend and had to drive to a boozy lunch on the North Snore. I took my Stone Beer with me as my one tipple and waited until the wonderfully cooked Scotch Fillet arrived. It was a magnificent match – the complex, dark hued Stone Beer had plenty of hoppiness, but there was also a molasses flavour to it, without being sweet. It was big and handled the heavy marinade well. It’s worth waiting once a year for this beauty – and don’t hesitate if you see one – grab it.
Thursday is #IPADay, a US instigated day for people to drink IPAs. BotF will be joining in with a special IPA from Orange. See you out the back.