As a tribute to the brewers of the Middle Ages we brew this beer by adding wood fired stones to the kettle to rouse the boil and intensify the malt characters of the brew.
Long before the wizardry of steam was invented, brewers used stone and wood to brew their daily beer. They built a fire to heat large stones until they were hot enough to be added to their wooden vats to create a boiling brew. Apart from the obvious heating effects, the brewing stones also caramelised the brew to create subtle but rich toffee like flavours.
We have a perfectly good boiler, but it is those intense malt flavours from caramelising the wort that we have gone to great lengths to create. To add further complexity we then added the sticky cooled stones to the fermenter to let the yeast have a real treat feeding on the “wort candy” during fermentation.
Another year, another Stone Beer
Winter marks a special place in the calendar at the Stone & Wood brewery, because it’s that time of the year when we get out our stones and heat them in a wood fire at the brewery as part of brewing our limited release Stone Beer. It’s a beer that has evolved over the years and the 2012 brew is no exception.
After releasing our Jasper Ale as our year round dark ale earlier this year, we had the opportunity to take yet another look at Stone Beer and see where it fitted amongst our range of beers.
Because we only brew and release Stone Beer once a year we have noticed a lot of beer lovers hanging onto the beer and pulling out bottles from time to time over the year between releases. It’s great to see people getting into the spirit of a vintage approach to the beer, so we have improved the beer’s ability to age, at least over the year.
Although our previous releases of Stone Beer were a deep red, the research we’ve done into the traditional steinbiers found that they were much darker ales. However, when we looked at all the current German beer styles, there are no ales darker than Alt bier (apart from wheat beers), so there is a real hole in the spectrum.
So we thought that we could take the learnings from the last few years, add some darker roasted malts and use more of the noble hops (Hersbrucker) to create a darker, higher alcohol ale with a firmer bitterness.
The 2012 “vintage” Stone Beer marks a big step forward as we continually look at ways to brew a beer that captures the essence of what our mediaeval forefathers were doing, and gives today’s beer lovers an ale that surprises them on release and ages intriguingly over the year ahead.
Stone & Wood Stone Beer – 2012
Aroma: roasted malt and spicy hops
Palate: dark chocolate, aniseed and rich malts
Finish: firm, bitter and dry
We only make Stone Beer in small batches so it may not be available all year round.
You can currently buy the limited edition ceramic vintage bottle direct via our online store….. Limited numbers so be quick!