What with their Pacific Ale being named Australia’s Best Beer in the recent-released Critic’s Choice book – and their need to spend as much time as possible surfing off the Byron Bay coast – life’s rather busy for the Stone & Wood guys. But given their remarkable rise since launching their first beer back in 2008, we thought it only proper to poke our nose into their business to find out what makes them tick – and what beers get their taste buds tingling.
Favourite Australian beer (other than your own)?
Jamie Cook: Rogers
Brad Rogers: Alpha Pale Ale, still a huge fave especially on tap and fresh
Ross Jurisich: Still looking but Feral White is my current pick…
Epiphany beer – the one that set you on the road to becoming a brewer?
Jamie: Samuel Smiths Pale Ale from the hand pump
Brad: Lowenbrau Special, a dark German lager I had during the 1988 Brisbane Expo. [And you claimed you were a young buck only just started in the industry! – Crafty]
Desert island beer – the one to keep you going if you were stranded for the rest of your days?
Jamie: An endless tap of German Hefeâ¦
Brad: Fresh Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, (but really it’s our Pacific Ale)
Ross: Pacific Ale
Favourite beer and food match?
Jamie: Pork knuckle and a Munich Dunkel
Brad: Any beer, any pizza, anywhere, any time (and even better if I’ve made both the beer and the pizza)
Ross: Scones made with Pacific Ale (thanks to brewer Jayne)
What are we likely to hear cranking from the stereo on brew days?
Jamie: The Flaming Groovies, or any new wave, garage punk
Brad: Specials, The Clash, Paul Weller, Joy Division; in that order, loud, one after the other, all day long
Ross: Green Day
Favourite place to enjoy a drink?
Jamie: Any pub on the East Coast where you can see the Pacific Ocean – if I had to name one â¦ The Beach Hotel at Byron
Brad: Home, with friends and family, the beer fridge, the pizza oven and the stereo
Ross: The Rails Byron Bay
If you were a beer style, what would you be?
Jamie: An Alt Bier – Obscure and hard to pin down
Brad: Saison – hard to brew, hard to understand, hard to get right, but when you do…
Ross: Hefe [No explanation why so we’ll leave to you, readers. Perhaps he’s bananas? – Crafty]
The best thing you've ever traded for beer?
Jamie: A normal life!
Brad: I’m captain of contra, so there’s not much I haven’t traded beer for; probably the Xmas ham for New Year’s Eve
When I'm not making or drinking beer, you'll find me...
Jamie: Playing guitar or asleep – (yep sometimes in between beers!) [Really? Don’t believe that for a second! – Crafty]
Brad: On the ‘ranch’ with the wife, the kids, the chickens, the chillis; thinking about where the new pig pen will end up…
Your hope for beer in Australia?
Jamie: That beer across the full spectrum of flavour is enjoyed more people, and that communities grow to embrace their local breweries as an important part of society, not just brand factories.
Brad: More people drinking and understanding more about Australian craft beer and more people drinking less imported beer!
Ross: Just more craft…