Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
Being at one with the surroundings has been a strong characteristic of Stone and Wood Brewing.
The whole concept of the company when it was formed by Jamie Cook, Brad Rogers and Ross Jurisich in 2008 was to “get back to basics”.
It hasn’t been the case that the Byron Bay operation has shunned authority. The team just didn’t want to be beholden to it. The ethos was that it was better to be strong within your respective environment rather than look too far outside the community circle.
The philosophy presented Stone and Wood with plenty of challenges when the brewery had to open a second, bigger brewery, away from its spiritual home in Murwillumbah.
But the commemorative brew for the new premises shows Stone and Wood are still determined to be at one with their new territory.
Cloud Catcher and its label honour the mountain Wollumbin in NSW. The area is known by the indigenous as Cloud Catcher.
The Stone and Wood crew says the mountain is a symbol for “our connection to this region”. That bond was also recognised by the corporate world this month when the brewery won the Telstra NSW Regional Business Award.
However, back to the important stuff! The drink is supportive of the local theme with the use of Galaxy and Ella hops that give it a nice hoppy kick.
There is also a strong apricot on the nose and an orange colour in the poor.
Cloud Catcher gives the impression it is a drink worthy of the tropics, it is soft of mouthfeel but has a bitter finish.
In keeping with the celebration of the new brewery Stone and Wood are planning more limited release beers over the coming months.
The Sip Snip
Brewer: Stone and Wood, NSW
Style: Golden Ale
Alcohol content: 5.5%
Standard drinks: 2.2
Estimated calories: 165
The Sip Tip (rating): A few for a lazy Sunday
Average prices: $12 per bottle