Prof’s Point of Brew- Your Father’s Day Beer

Prof’s Point of Brew: Your Father’s Day Beer

If you only buy one beer for dad this Father’s Day, make it a Stone & Wood Cloud Catcher.

The style.

Cloud Catcher is an Australian Pale Ale, which means it uses the Australian grown and developed hop varieties Ella, Galaxy and Enigma. These give the beer a firm but not too bitter edge with an almost earthy hop character with hints of stone fruit and a light floral note. It’s a 5 per cent beer with great balance and a good beer for dad to try if he’s looking for something a bit more challenging than mainstream lagers.

The story

Cloud Catcher was first brewed to commemorate the opening of the new Stone & Wood brewery in Murwillumbah in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. Only ever meant as a keg-only one-off, it proved too popular with locals to ignore and it returned as a Limited Release 500ml bottle in the ‘Beers From Our Backyard’ series as a 5.5% ale but has now been re-released as core range beer in 330ml bottles.

The brewery

Stone & Wood is the story of three mates with a dream and the ‘get-up-and-go’ to, well, get up and get it done. Once working for ‘Big Beer’ but with the intention of one day breaking out on their own, the lads built a small brewery in Byron Bay with the intention of only ever brewing one or two beers which would be served straight from the serving tank and at local bars. The success of the original Pacific Ale (then called Draught Ale) saw the monster grow to the point that the boys have gone from strength to strength building a second brewery and today moving the original brewhouse to a bigger home in Byron Bay. The two original employees now number over 200 and Stone & Wood has become an emblem for living the Aussie dream.

Stone & Wood has become an emblem for living the Aussie dream.

The lesson

Brad, Jamie and Ross had always talked about one day doing their own thing, but it takes a certain amount of guts, business nous and marketing savvy to get it off the ground. They realised that they could ‘talk the talk’ forever – sometimes you just have to walk the walk. Never say never. As dads, we are sometimes expected to treat all our kids the same, even though they are different. Cloud Catcher was never intended to be a core beer but life is sometimes not as clear-cut as we want or expect it to be. Trust your gut and back yourself. You’re actually pretty bloody good at this parenting caper.

The other lesson

Mount Warning is the large and impressively craggy rocky outcrop which looks over the new Stone & Wood brewery at ‘Mur’bah’. The original inhabitants called it ‘Wollumbin’, meaning Clod Catcher. So there you go. Beer can teach us all new things.

Pete Mitcham is one of Australia’s leading beer personalities and a regular contributor to The Dad Website.

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