Anyone paying close attention to goings on at Stone & Wood for the past couple of years, if asked to choose what style of beer they might next add to their roster, may well have plumped for a red-hued ale. Their beer for last year's inaugural Great Australasian Beer Spectapular was the Red Relief Ale, while they've been tweaking their annual Stone Beer release year-on-year too. And so it is, with the Jasper - inspired by the colour of the earth of the hinterland that borders their Byron Bay home - joining the Pacific and Lager as a year-round release. Quite how they found time to introduce it given the ever-surging demand for their Pacific and constant expansion is a small wonder; that it's a beer boasting balance and repeat drinkability isn't. It's the brewery's trademark and the Jasper, which they describe as something of a German Alt, American Amber, British Brown Ale hybrid, blends some sweet and toasty caramel and chocolate malt flavours with some subtle, earthy and gently spicy old world hop characters in a beer you'd picture yourself knocking back by the pint in a welcoming boozer. Perhaps that's why they've put it in 500ml bottles instead of stubbies...
- Amber Ale