Tweed brewery pays homage to ancestors
ONCE a year, the team at Stone & Wood pay homage to their brewing ancestors and produce Stone Beer, drawing on time honoured technique to deliver a truly impressive drop.
This rich, full-bodied limited release beer is produced by hot stones dropped into brew kettle to help caramelise the malts in the beer.
The end result is beautiful porter with coffee head and delivering a roasted chocolate/coffee aroma and a brew with is packed with flavour and ideal for this time of year.
It is well-balanced with just a hint of sweetness initially which gives way to smooth malt flavour which fills the palate and leaves you definitely wanting more.
At 7.2, it is a very strong beer but it's not one simply to be chugged down - this is a brew to be enjoyed slowly.
It's also a beer which you wouldn't' have a session on as it is filling (and warming) but that's what it is intended to do.
This is almost what I term as a dessert beer - not because it is sweet but because it is a classic drop to unwind with after a good meal.
It would go well with a dark rich dessert, a good cheese or my favourite, a decent port.
Being a once a year special, this is worth tracking down - smart people even order in advance but you may be lucky to find some floating around some stockists or at the Byron Bay brewery.
Sadly it goes very fast and is in demand each year so you may have to hunt for it.
This special beer is a highlight each year of Stone & Wood - I just wish they found more rocks to make a bigger batch!
Definitely allow this to warm once opened- best served in a brandy balloon shaped glass to fully appreciate the aroma and flavour. It is not cheap with 500ml ceramic crocks at around $25. To find where you make sample this drop visit www.stoneandwood.com.au
AT this time of the year, most people are rugging up against the winter westerlies but I would prefer to go to the fridge and chill out with a Newstead Westerlies.
The latest seasonal offering from the Brisbane brewer is a dark malty lager designed to take the chill out of your bones with a smooth, flavoursome drop.
As a dark beer lover, this tempting black brew with a milk coffee coloured head offers a roast/chocolate/malt nose - an indication of what is to come.
This isn't as heavy as some olds and is much smoother than some stouts but is no lightweight at 5.3 per cent.
For a black beer is also has a surprising crispness to it which makes it extremely sessionable.
As such, it isn't a heavy black beer but it isn't thin on flavour though fans of more robust black and dark beers might beg to differ.
It does the job in winter as a warmer and like many dark beers, it should be allowed to sit a spell to enhance the characteristics.
It is well-balanced without compromising flavour.
Newstead Westerlies would go well with a hearty stew or rich soup with crusty bread or simply to enjoy in front of the fire with friends.
Being a limited release, it might not be on the shelves for long so you may have to ask your local bottlo it they can get some or visit the Newstead Brewing website to find out where it's stocked.
Obviously serve cold but allow to sit a bit if you can in a decent glass. At around $20 for a 375ml four pack. To find where it is stocked visit www.newsteadbrewing.com.au