Brad Rogers, brewer at Byron Bay’s Stone and Wood Brewery, says he tweaked this year’s Stone Beer to see it through the 12 months until the next release.
The annual brew uses a technique from the middle ages – heating stones and dropping them into the kettle. Rogers writes, “apart from the obvious heating effects, the brewing stones also caramelised the brew to create subtle but rich toffee-like flavours.
Rogers says a number of beer drinkers stretched their supplies over the year between releases – prompting the decision to build cellarability into the 2012 brew.
Brewers generally achieve this by upping the alcohol and hops and, in some cases conditioning the beer in bottle on its yeast sediment – Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale, for example.
Rogers dispensed with bottle conditioning, but increased the alcohol, added dark roasted malts and Hersbrucker hops for “firmer bitterness”.
Stone and Wood Limited Release Stone Beer 500ml $9.99
Stone beer 2012 moves from copper red to a deeper mahogany colour. The source of the deeper colour – dark, roasted malts – add their own toasty notes to the rich, sweet underlying toffee flavours. The full body reflects the robust 7.2 per cent alcohol and bitter hops bite all the way across the palate.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 22 August 2012 in The Canberra Times