Ahead of the Wallabies matches with France, Stone & Wood have announced their Green Coast Lager is now the rugby union team's official beer, meaning it will be available at all upcoming tests.
In a media release issued late on Friday (June 18), the Northern Rivers-based brewing company announced they were partnering with Rugby Australia and the Wallabies.
In the statement, Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said: “We’re delighted to welcome Stone & Wood’s Green Coast Lager to the rugby family. Stone & Wood are passionate about quality, community and giving back, and the Australian Rugby community share those common values.
“Australian Rugby is entering a very exciting period, kicking off with the eToro France Series next month before blockbusters against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina on home soil."
The partnership deal sees Stone & Wood replace previous beer sponsor Yenda, with the brewery's cofounder Ross Jurisich telling The Crafty Pint that the partnership gives them the chance to lift the beer's profile and they're always looking to partner anywhere there's a focus on communities, which they think rugby does a great job with.
"We’re always looking for opportunities to partner with different kinds of activities, whether it be the arts, local sport or music," Ross says. "Anywhere that communities are coming together is a good opportunity for us to participate."
For some craft beer fans, the brewery's flagship Pacific Ale might seem like a more natural choice for the brewery but Ross says they picked Green Coast because the taste profile suits a wider audience.
"In our bubble of indie or craft beer, some would suggest that Pacific Ale is mainstream, but it’s far from it," Ross says. "Hoppy ales are still a niche category in Australia, so Green Coast gives us a chance to engage with more drinkers."
Ross says feedback for the deal has already been great and the partnership was good timing for both the team and the brewery and adds that how the beer will pour during upcoming tests will depend on each venue, with some contracted, some partially contracted and some completely flexible.
"Our intention is just for rugby supporters to have a Green Coast wherever we can make it available," Ross says.
Green Coast Lager, which will be available for the Wallabies eToro Series against France, kicking off on Wednesday 7 July at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Tickets are available at wallabies.rugby.
This article was updated on Monday, June 21 to include comments from Stone & Wood's Ross Jurisich.
Stone & Wood's Green Coast was one of the top-performing beers in our recent pale lager blind tasting too.