How we’re feeling, where we’re at and how the brewery’s coming along…
It really hurts the team here at Stone & Wood when fans of our beer can’t get their hands on it.
With every day that goes by, and every email, post or tweet expressing disappointment about not being able to buy our beer, our hearts just get a little more torn.
We have been working day and night to pump as much beer out of our little shed in Byron Bay as possible, but it’s just not enough. We are getting stock back on shelves – just in time for it to disappear again.
This isn’t a new feeling for us. We have been in this situation more often than not over the short life of the brewery. As we have been continuously building extra capacity at our Byron Bay brewery over the last five years, the people of Australia’s thirst for our beer just keeps growing…
About six months ago we announced that we would be building an additional brewery in Murwillumbah (just north of Byron Bay) to try and meet the demand. It was a decision that we didn’t make lightly. It’s a big investment for us, and there could have been an easier option. We could have followed the path of many others and just outsourced our production to another brewing company. But that would have gone against what we truly value, our sense of community and the authenticity of our business.
The local community here in the Northern Rivers have been incredibly supportive of Stone & Wood since day one, and we couldn’t just turn our back on them and get someone else to make our beer in another part of the country. If our business is growing due to the encouragement and support of the local community then we should be investing in them by building our own brewing capacity here.
The same people who have been putting their hand in their pocket to buy our beer should have the opportunity to benefit from our investment. From the plumber, the refrigeration guys, the crane drivers, the electrician, the local government officers to the concrete guys – they are all getting to play a part in our future.
We have already employed more local people in readiness for the new brewery and that will continue as we grow. At a time when the regional areas in this country need employment we are happy to be doing our bit.
Building a new brewery whilst you are running another one flat out isn’t an easy exercise, but the team have really been enjoying playing their part in putting the new brewery together. It was something the three of us experienced six years ago and now it’s great to see them enjoy the experience of assembling the brewhouse.
Yes, it pains us that we can’t have our beer on the shelf when people are looking for it, but it would have torn the heart out of Stone & Wood to disregard our civil duty to our local region, and the opportunity for our team to grow, both in numbers and personality.
It’s a big project to build a brewery and sometimes it takes longer than you think, but you have to get it right – you only get one shot at it. The new brewery is quickly coming together now and it won’t be too much longer before we are putting the first brew through.
We are so thankful to our customers in the bars and bottle shops, and the fans of our beer, for their loyalty over the years and for the patience they have shown as we try and catch up.
So hang in there … we’ll be with you soon.