Our recent Pilot Batch Brewer hopping around the Byron brew deck
Our Pilot Batch beers are experimental brews created by our team of talented brewers, with occasional help from collaborators within our community, all at our Pilot Brewery in Byron Bay.
These small batch brews are special, limited and, once gone, may never return. The Pilot Batch brewery is a space for our brewers to get creative – an opportunity to trial weird and wonderful things, turning the brewery into an experimental playground to get a little fruity.
Every three months, one of our brewers takes up the helm in our Byron brewery, running the day-to-day operations. During this time, they have the chance to brew their favourite beers and run the Pilot Batch program.
Meet our recent Pilot Batch brewer, Tom Iacono.
Give us a bit of background about yourself…
I’m originally from the Yarra Valley in VIC (home to some of Australia’s best wines).
Prior to coming to Stone & Wood, I’d been working as a cheesemaker for about 10 years across VIC, NSW and QLD. Most recently, I was running my own cultured butter business out of Byron.
I accidentally fell into beer, starting off in kombucha and then making my way to the big brewery in Murwillumbah. I’ve been brewing for about 5 years now and, like cheesemaking, I love the variety it brings.
What are your favourite styles of beer and why?
I’m a lover of IPA’s and hop forward beers but I also enjoy and appreciate all beer styles.
What will you be brewing during your time here in Byron?
As many different types and styles as possible!
Any beers you’re really excited about brewing and why?
I recently created a Whole Hop Cone English Pale here at Byron. This requires taking fresh hop flowers (or leaf) and using those in the brew rather than a pellet. They are a more intense flavour, so it means adjusting brewing techniques to get it just right.
What do you like about using the Pilot Batch brewery to experiment?
I love the hands-on experience and manual labour that working in a smaller brewery brings.