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.
This June alongside close friends Salumi and Harvest we’ll be bringing produce from the Northern Rivers to Brissy, for an intimate Pop Up dinner that celebrates everything handcrafted, local and sustainable. For us, good locally sourced food and beer go hand in hand…
We’ll be set up Wednesday 1st June, at Wandering Cooks, the hub of Brisbane food culture, pouring fresh, local beer to match a tailored Harvest dinner and deli treats from Salumi.
Meet the Maker provides an opportunity to gain insight into the world of the ‘makers’, so drop by, have a beer, a bite to eat and a chat with our Northern Rivers crew: head chef from Harvest Bret Cameron, Salumi’s Michael Dlask or our Brissy rep Hugh!
Dinner will be served from 5:00PM and formal ‘Meet the Maker’ convo starts at 7:00PM. Tickets are $12.00, include a beer on arrival and can be purchased here, or on the door.
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
Our latest video…
Film and edit: The Noun Collective – David Child and Katrina Parker
Now’s your chance!
We’re not only building a sustainable brewing business that the good people of the Northern Rivers can be proud of, but we’re also hell bent on building one of the best brewing teams in the country.
The team at Stone & Wood are incredibly proud of our brewers for their commitment, enthusiasm and passion for their craft. They are an ever-expanding team of both experienced brewers and talented fast learners.
Applications are now open for an intake of brewers with all levels of experience.
-a seasoned commercial brewer looking to further your career
-a madly passionate home brewer who dreams of going pro
-so seriously into beer you’ve decided on a brewing career, or
-a recent graduate after studying an allied field
Then this is your chance to join our team!
What’s on offer?
The right candidates will be offered a full-time role that suits their current skills and experience within our brewing team.
Stone & Wood offers a brewer’s development program, which is in place to provide a pathway for individual development. Along with fully funded and supported education and training we aim to help our team become the best brewers they can be.
What to do?
Have a look around our website and social platforms to get some insight into what makes us tick…
Write a concise cover letter that includes:
-an example or two of how you fit with the culture and ethos of Stone & Wood
-which Stone & Wood beer is your favourite and why, and
-what you really love about brewing beer
Send your application with cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
*We are accepting applications until the end of November.
Bringing Australia to the UK
Whenever we’re in the UK a catch up with old friends from Camden Town Brewery is always on the cards and this time, we brewed a beer with them!
You can call our connection a brotherhood, which over the years has given both breweries opportunities in different markets and a more global perspective.
Camden Town Brewery started from humble beginnings in North London underneath The Horseshoe pub in Hampstead, where founder Jason Cuppaidge set out to brew better lager. Since then Camden has become a destination brewery with a cult like following, championing a unique style lager and an array of seasonal specials.
The locales of Camden and the Northern Rivers share a comparable mindset; alternative, creative and laid back. This combined with the two breweries’ similar ethos makes collaborating and uniting with Camden an enjoyable walk in the park.
This UK trip rather than catching up over beers, we worked side by side with their brewery crew to produce a collaboration brew, The Versus Lager. As soon as we were given the opportunity, Brad jumped on a plane with a bunch of fresh Aussie Hops (including Galaxy) to get straight to work. Whilst it’s still Winter at home, this brew is perfect for UK’s summertime, it’s a hop charged lager, showcasing tropical mango and pineapple aromas with a refreshing finish
To celebrate we’re launching the beer today at their ‘Aussie Cookout’, underneath Camden’s tanks. The event has sold out but if your keen to try and you’re in London, jump on their website and they’ll point you in the right direction.
What an excuse to cross the waters and spend time with a like-minded team.