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 Jess Geranio, our resident brewer for June-August, whose former life as a water quality scientist prepared her for the world of experimental brewing.
Give us a bit of background about yourself…
I’ve always liked drinking beer but didn’t get into brewing for that reason alone. I started brewing with Stone & Wood only 2 1/2 years ago, before that I was a water quality scientist, so there are definitely some overlaps there. I guess I started brewing because I wanted a job that I enjoyed going to every day that uses both your brain and your body. And I have that! I love my job because there’s so much to learn and it’s really fun making beer.. and drinking it too!
What are your favourite styles of beer and why?
I like all different styles. I love stouts and sours but can’t go past lagers. Lagers are so easy to drink but still quite technical to make.
What will you be brewing during your time here in Byron?
Some beers I’ve really enjoyed making so far have been the Kviek Hazy IPA and this years Stone Beer. The Stone Beer I also had the opportunity to barrel. And there’s a tasty Coffee, Vanilla Milk Stout that’ll be on tap soon.
Any beers you’re really excited about brewing and why?
All of our pilot beers! But coming up is an Oyster Wit. I’ve never used oysters before so that’ll be a good brew. What’s cool about brewing here in Byron is also all the cellaring, dry hopping and looking after different styles of beer as they evolve until when they’re ready to drink. That’s really satisfying. Oh and the most exciting thing, all the cleaning 😉!
What do you like about using the Pilot Batch brewery to experiment?
The pilot brewhouse is small (like me), manual, very hands-on and really fun. It gives me the opportunity to be more creative and use my instincts, compared to focusing so much on the technical side of brewing, which I can get caught up in sometimes. So I like that a lot.