Given the runaway success of their Pacific Ale, the Stone & Wood team has little time to do anything but brew batch after batch of it these days (well, when not surfing or hanging out at the beach, anyway). But they do like to find time for their annual Stone Beer brew, the beer that involves head brewer Brad Rogers pulling out the rocks he's been lugging around since his days brewing in Fiji, superheating them over a fire and using them in the brewing process. It's a recreation of an ancient brewing technique and one that allows them to mess around a little with the recipe year on year. For while this year's Stone Beer, launched at a pair of festivals in Byron and Melbourne, clocks in at the same ABV as last year's, it's a somewhat different beast. A slightly deeper red than last year's, it also boasts a heavier body and flavour, with the sweeter caramels of 2010 replaced by darker toffees in a beer with greater bitterness and a hint of smokiness. In fact, despite coming out of one of the sunniest spots in the world, it wouldn't be out of place being served over a bar in Scotland.