We aren’t going anywhere…
While there’s been a fair bit of industry change and news over the last month or so, not a lot has changed for us since we put up a blog post called “In Beer We Trust” almost exactly two years ago. (Post copied below)
With a number of small breweries being bought out by large global brewers, and the same global brewers launching brands that on the surface look like small breweries, it can be tricky to know who is behind the brand on the label of the beer you are buying.
When you buy a beer with a Stone & Wood label on it, you can have faith in it because you know what you’re getting, you know who the people are behind it, and you know what they stand for.
We remain firmly focussed on being a local independent brewery that supports the community, one that takes care of the earth we walk on, and one that believes in our employees being co-owners in the business.
Check out the link here to see who’s behind a long list of “small” beers that are actually owned by a short list of big corporates.
In Beer We Trust
After a lot of announcements about small breweries all around the world being bought by, or “selling out” to, large global breweries recently, there is a lot of rumour, speculation and finger pointing going on in the local beer industry.
The exits from the industry that we are seeing overseas and here in Australia appears to be mostly driven by long time brewery founders deciding that they have done their time, or they have seen their businesses outgrow their ability to manage them. For others their business has not been able to reach the scale where it can provide an annual return to its owners, so the best way to get a return on their sweat and investment is to sell. Of course there are some operators who have obviously got into it to make a quick buck, and jumped ship at the first sign of a pay cheque.
We are both amused, annoyed and angered that we continually hear our name being thrown around as “the next one to go”, or that “those guys are just in it for the money”.
But we can understand why some people want to speculate or start rumours about the future of Stone & Wood or other breweries.
It’s a matter of trust (or a lack of it) that is driving that. People are supporting small businesses like Stone & Wood because they can’t trust big business and politicians anymore. Sadly, when small breweries who for years have played the anti-corporate card, sell out, it starts to tear away at that trust again.
If people are looking for who might be next, or who’s in it just for the money, then maybe they should be looking at those breweries who step back away from the hard calls, and don’t fully commit to the industry that they are part of, or the communities they operate in.
We work hard everyday to build people’s trust and faith in our business. We know it can’t just be expected, and that it has to be earned.
Over the years we have made tough decision after tough decision that should prove that we are truly, fiercely and proudly independent spirits, and aren’t “just in it for the money”.
In 2012 we bought our shares back from our friends at Little Creatures when a big corporate got too close.
When other brewers of a similar size to us choose to buy their beer from another brewer instead of brewing it all themselves, we have steadfastly refused to budge from our position that we will brew all of our own beer, despite the fact that we have had to let a massive demand for our beer go unmet.
We made the tough choice to invest heavily in our local community and build a new brewery in the region instead of outsourcing our growth, and having beer contract brewed. We value our local community and those that support us, so we are creating jobs and adding value to our good partners (our local suppliers). It astonishes us that some brewers will quite happily buy their beer from other breweries on the other side of the country or the world, and in doing so turn their back on the people that support them.
We are committed to having our highly talented team be co-owners in the business. Each year we welcome more of our team as partners and shareholders in Stone & Wood, and after our annual offer next month more than 50% of our team will be shareholders.
We are ensuring that we tread lightly on the earth we walk on, and through our Green Feet program we recently invested more than $200,000 on solar energy at our Murwillumbah brewery, and are committed to sustainable practices in our breweries to improve energy and water efficiencies.
Giving back to our community is a fundamental promise we have made to ourselves, and our inGrained program has been established to facilitate that. In the last twelve months we have donated over $100,000 from our own funds, and worked hard to raise a further $50,000 which has been directly provided to community programs and grass roots causes.
Importantly, we the founders of Stone & Wood are still highly engaged in and excited by the work we and the highly capable team are putting in to build a sustainable independent brewing business that the good people of the Northern Rivers can be proud of.
We are more than happy with the personal return we get from the business, and are comfortable that it’s feeding our families and our souls.
We’re having more fun now than we ever have, there’s lots to do, and we’re more about buying, building and bolting things on than selling them. Our recent announcements about the launch of our business incubator, the new sales and distribution business, and the new cider business, are testament to that.
To put it simply, we aren’t going anywhere.
Jamie, Brad and Ross
Watch our ‘The Way It Should be’ video.
A garden party like no other… join us Sunday 23 October as we bring a taste of the Northern Rivers to The Oaks in Sydney.
Cold kegs of Garden Ale, Pacific Ale, Cloud Catcher and limited release Big Scrub will be flowing from the taps in the Garden Pavilion from 2-5PM. We’re also sending our brewer Loui down, who’ll be talking the talk and answering any beery questions the good people of Sydney may have!
It wouldn’t be a taste of the Northern Rivers without our close friends Salumi. Joining us, they’ll be setting up a pop up stall of delicious Billinudgel cured meats to tantalise taste buds and compliment the brews!
The Oaks menu is looking smokey… The kitchen will be serving brisket and pulled pork burgers all arvo, redeemable for two of the five tokens received by purchasing a ticket.
In between good food and beers, they’ll be games of Giant Jenga and live tunes from The Leah Brett Duo just to keep the good times rolling…
So join us, tickets are $33 and include five tokens redeemable for food or beers and, the first one hundred tickets receive a limited edition Stone & Wood X The Oaks tote bag packed with extra goodies… Be quick event tickets on sale now!
The Oaks Hotel Photo Courtesy – 2HungryGuys
No need to waste good beer!
As it’s beer o’clock on a Friday arvo, we wanted to give you an update on our voluntary recall relating to a very small number of Pacific Ale bottles from one small production run.
The team have worked with our trade customers and have removed that batch from sale.
Unless you have a bottle or a carton with the date code 25.02.17, there’s no need to waste good beer or go thirsty this weekend!
Due to our high standard of quality procedures, we instigated the partial recall as a precautionary measure. All other Pacific Ale out there and our other products are fine and tasting great!
For further information or to contact us: Pacific Ale – Product Recall
Annually a select group from our team make a pilgrimage South for the highly anticipated Tasmanian hop harvest. It’s a prized event paying tribute to the incredible ‘Humulus lupulus’…particularly Galaxy and its integral part in our brewing process.
Read more about Viren, one of our local Road Crew’s experience on his Tour of the Galaxy…
Day One – Our first taste of Tassie…
Flying out early from Coolangatta we arrived in Hobart just before midday. Brad collected and delivered us straight to Moo Brew, where Head-Brewer Dave McGill greeted us with a cold can of their latest creation and showed us around while detailing the artful Moo Brew story. Our crew was lucky enough to try a range of their brews, and special mention must go to their barrel-aged stout, which was…absolutely gorgeous!
Following Moo Brew we headed to MONA (Museum Of Old and New Art). A tour of MONA is, for lack of a better word, an ‘experience’ – and one that you are unlikely to forget.
Our next stop was the New Sydney Hotel, a Hobart institution. We enjoyed Pacific Ales and were joined by the guys from Willie Smith Cider for an epic seafood feast. To top off the first day we stopped in at Nant, a local distillery bar to enjoy a nightcap.
Day Two – Appreciation for the Craft…Whisky & Cider
Our second morning was spent at Lark Distillery, meeting early we were greeted by Head Distiller Chris Thompson with a cheeky “breakfast whisky”. Chris shared his knowledge, enthusiasm, and creations. He kindly gave us a sample at each stage of the distilling process including the: fermenting wash (mash), raw spirit, young, old and even the musically influenced barrels.
Our next visit took us up over the mountains and into the picturesque Huon Valley, a.k.a ‘The Apple Isle’, we caught up with fourth generation apple grower and partner in Willie Smith’s Cider Co, Andrew Smith. Enjoying an apple fresh from the orchard, Andrew shared the Cidery’s history, his story and visions for the future. We then explored the ‘Apple Store’ where by use of near freezing temperatures and CO2 to prevent oxidisation, they keep their apples super fresh. The aroma from the ‘Apple Store’ was unbelievably fresh…sweet and totally unforgettable. We finished our time at the cidery with a quick tour and a fresh lunch accompanied by Willie Smith’s finest in their epic cellar door, ‘The Apple Shed’.
Upon returning to Hobart we caught up with Pete Brown, a UK craft beer hero, accomplished writer and all round legend, who would be joining us for the remainder of our Tassie trip. In preparation for the next day’s tour at Hop Products Australia, we enjoyed a few hoppy Pacific Ale’s, before heading to the Smolt, an awesome dining experience where impressive is an understatement.
Day Three – The holy shrine of hops, Hop Products Australia (HPA)
Our crew was filled with stoke as we cruised along the Derwent River towards Bushy Park (the hop gardens of Hop Products Australia). As the rain subsided we arrived at HPA, and had the pleasure of listening to Tim Lord as he explained the hop growing history of Tassie and his thoughts on the industry’s future. Driving our beer truck (Clyde) into the towering bines we dissected hop cones and learnt about these wonderful Lupulin producers, witnessing the entire process from harvesting, cone stripping, cleaning, drying and packing.
As Hop Products Australia is an integral part of Stone & Wood’s story and future, it was amazing to better understand these incredible, unique ingredients and their vital importance to the taste of our beers.
Day Four – Festival of the Stone Tour Tasmania…
Day Four of the Tour of the Galaxy coincided with the Fourth Stop of our Festival of the Stone Tour, which meant we had an arvo Clean Up and After Party ahead!
We joined forces with the salty legends from the Clean Coast Collective, where we spent time appreciating and cleaning the dunes of the beautiful Cornelian Bay. Working together, the crew managed to collect several kilos of Marine debris, it was a terrific effort and by 5PM when the After Party kicked off we were ready for a cold frothy or two and some live entertainment…
The Festival of the Stone Tour Clean Up and After Party was an exclamation mark on a brilliant weekend, one filled with an appreciation for the craft, quality ingredients, good food and great company!
If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying a beer made with Galaxy Hops, our Pacific Ale is available to purchase online.
Born & raised in Byron Bay, Stone & Wood takes a fresh approach to brewing beer in the Northern Rivers of NSW, one of the greatest places on Earth. We pride ourselves on brewing beer “that’s simply good to drink”.
We are also ingrained in our local communities, supporting the people who support us, and staying true to our role as a regional brewer.
The Gold Coast and adjoining Northern Rivers are embracing the craft beer movement. New venues are popping up and existing venues are changing their beer offerings, so it’s an exciting time to join our Gold Coast Road Crew, You don’t have to be a beer geek, but you do need to be into beer and have a sound knowledge of the ever-changing landscape.
This is a special role for someone who shares our values, loves our beer, loves the “Goldie”, understands what makes us tick and wants to be a part of a growing team that actually enjoys spending time with each other on the weekend, and a culture that prides itself on taking it slow and keeping it simple.
The role will include:
-Showcasing our brand amongst the ever-growing beer community
-Off-premise tastings. Which often includes introducing a drinker to Stone & Wood. (You get to see the look on their face as they wonder how they’ve lived this long without ever having tasted a Stone & Wood brew.)
-Coordinating brand activations
-Participating in events and festivals
-Beer education in the trade
-Growing the brand in our backyard
-And importantly, supporting our customers
Ideally, you would have previous experience in sales and marketing within the beverage industry.
You must hold a full drivers license and a current NSW & QLD RSA.
Sound like the perfect job for you?
Jump on our new website to see what makes us tick, then send your resume and brief cover letter explaining what you can bring to Stone & Wood, to email@example.com.
Applications close Friday 1st of April.
Photo Credit: The Beach People
Make prioritising ‘what’s good in life’ important this year! January we’re pouring at a number of epic events across the country…so get along and ensure your resolution begins with good food, good times and of course…good beer.
7th Jan Driftlab Art Exhibition ‘James McMillan’ Newrybar
10th Jan Sunday Session North Wollongong Hotel
17th Jan Sunday Session North Wollongong Hotel
23rd-24th Victoria Cider & Pork Festival Yarra Valley
24thJan Sunday Session North Wollongong Hotel
23rd Jan Stone & Wood Session * TBA Byron Brewery
30th Jan Pure Pleasure Exhibition Secret Garden Byron Bay
30th Jan Tidal’s ‘Small Cinema’ Screening Maroochydore Sunny Coast
31stJan Sunday Session North Wollongong Hotel
Photo Courtesy- The Beach People