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Success starts in the lab: Stone & Wood

January 27, 2016
Bridesmaid no more: Pacific Ale

Bridesmaid no more: Pacific Ale (Photo by Darren Smith Craftbeerscapade.com)

A relentless focus on beer quality and consistency has been key to the success of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, brewery co-founder Ross Jurisich said yesterday, as the beer took out top spot in the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers of 2015.

Stone & Wood reclaimed the number one position after three years of dominance by Feral Brewing Hop Hog, which slipped back into number two position.

“What a great result… We’ve been the bridesmaid for a few years running now,” Jurisich told Radio Brews News.

He said Pacific Ale has become the ‘go-to beer’ for a lot of drinkers because of its reliability.

“It’s just a consistency thing we feel. We really have invested very heavily in ensuring that the quality stays our number one priority,” he said.

“People are voting with their feet and they’re not disappointed each time they go back for one, they know what they’re going to get.”

Jurisich said Stone & Wood now employs three people in the laboratory at its second brewery in Murwillumbah.

“We have a draught beer specialist that we’ve just appointed. His role is to visit craft beer venues from one end of the country to the other and train bar staff and cellarpeople in how a beer should be stored and how it should be poured,” he said.

“I don’t know of another brewery in our competitive set that has someone like that out in the field.”

We struggled again at Christmas
Jurisich revealed Stone & Wood had once again struggled to keep up with the seemingly insatiable demand for Pacific Ale in the leadup to Christmas.

“Your listeners would know that they may not have been able to get as much over Christmas, because we haven’t been able to make enough beer again,” he said.

“We thought we would have been better placed… We keep saying that year after year. We had some fermenters arrive but we didn’t get to commission them as quickly as we wanted.”

The full list of the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers of 2015 is available here.

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