Dust off the shaker, pick a few limes, track down some Glacé cherries and grab this cold craft – it’s perfect for cocktail hour conversations.
Origin – Bryon Bay. New South Wales
Size- 330mL bottle
Style- Pale Ale
It's a popular myth across the globe that if you hold a seashell to your ear, you can hear the sound of the sea. Such is the popularity of the Stone & Wood brand, that if you ask any craft beer lover from Byron Bay to Busselton, they'll tell you, if you hold an empty bottle from the world-famous Byron Bay brewery up your ear, you'll hear the sound waves crashing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean!
And you won't have difficulty finding an empty; each year Stone & Wood Brewing Co. sell over ten million litres. Though now living their own dream of quitting work for the man, and shedding the corporate garbage, it wasn't always like that. Granted, they didn't come to the table empty-handed. The founding trio of Brad Rogers, Jamie Cook and Ross Jurisich, worked together at CUB's craft beer arm of Matilda Bay, having come through the ranks at Foster's. Yet despite vast industry experience, in 2008 the lads were just like any others who put their houses on the line and rolled up their sleeves. They kicked off with two core beers, a lager and an ale, and, well, everyone knows rest of story – the latter, now known as Pacific Ale, has been awarded more accolades over the years than there are sharks in the deep.
Amazingly, while the Pacific has depth, there's no bite to it. Having come from a business that made the simple things in life so over-complicated, the mantra all along has been about simplicity and easy-drinking beers. It's a concept that carries over into this Cloud Catcher. Initially brewed as a one-off in 2014 to mark the opening of their second brewery, it takes its name from the Aboriginal name for Mt Warning, which stands over the site in Murwillumbah. Similar to the Pacific, demand, however, has seen it more recently make a move to bottle. Pop the top, and you'll see it's the only thing in common. Much like its big brother, it's dominated by tropical and stone fruit aromas and flavours, served up by the generous use of Galaxy, Ella and Enigma hop. With an additional 1.1 per cent ABV, the Cloud Catcher brings more body and complexity, while undoubtedly the Ella adds more apricot to the fruit salad mix.
Like most others from the sizable crew now at S&W, this little bottle of heavenly nectar could be mistaken for being delivered directly from the Garden of Eden rather than the surf coast of Byron Bay!