Byron Bay’s IPA fixation

Stone and Wood seizes IPA opportunity

Spotting an opportunity to brew and sell a fresh US west-coast IPA style locally, Byron Bay’s Stone and Wood Brewery recently established a new company devoted entirely to IPA.

The new venture, Fixation Brewing Company, rolled out the first kegs of its potent style  in December 2015 and says a packaged version will be available in March 2016.

The style is growing rapidly in Australia, as it is in the US. In America,  IPA volumes grew tenfold in volume between 2008 and 2015. In the same period, craft beers as a whole tripled in volume.

The powerful IPA style focuses on the hop  flower’s wide aromatic and flavour range and intense bitterness – generally offset, by necessity, against luxurious malt and high alcohol.

Because the wonderful hop aromatics fade fairly quickly, IPA needs to be drunk really fresh before the hops descend into a hard bitterness – as they have in the Adelaide Hills IPA reviewed today.


2 Brothers Kung Foo Rice Lager 330ml $4.90
Moorabin-based 2 Brothers Brewery uses rice in the brew to produce a clean, light-bodied lager. However, the brewers build delicious citrus and tropical-fruit flavour into the beer with hops. However, the hops season the beer without taking over the delicate palate and dry, moderately bitter finish

Prancing Pony Hopwork Orange IPA 330ml $5.50
IPAs often match powerful malt and turbo hops with high alcohol. But Prancing Horse, from the Adelaide Hills, restrains the alcohol to 4.8 per cent. The bottle, purchased in Canberra, may have been old, as the fruity, aromatic hop notes had given way to a resiny, dry bitterness.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2016
First published 19 and 20 January 2016 in and the Canberra Times