Stone & Wood's much-loved beers and their mellow Byron Bay-inspired vibes can now be sampled in the heart of Brisbane after the brewery opened a taproom in Fortitude Valley.
Given the explosion of craft beer in Brisbane through the 2010s, an expansion into Brisbane with their first venue outside of Byron was a natural progression and a means of sinking their roots deeper within the wider region they refer to as their "backyard". And the resurgent Fortitude Valley felt like the ideal spot for their new home.
After a two-year hunt for the right location in the Valley, they finally landed upon the perfect space: the heritage-listed former Trails Ltd Ice & Cold Stores building in Bridge Street. The search was followed by a lengthy approvals process, then a considered and deliberate approach to restoration and development of the site into a venue befitting the Stone & Wood name, before they welcomed the Brisbane community with open arms.
The interior design offers a thoughtful nod to the building’s history, lending it an industrial feel: steel beams and polished concrete catch the eye, while plenty of natural touches and greenery create an environment that brings a bit of the Northern NSW coast to the city. All warm tones and natural greens, the team was keen to keep any additions understated, instead showcasing the natural beauty of the building, something aided by roller doors that open wide to let the light stream in.
Behind the long bar sits an eight hectolitre brewery with five fermenters, intentionally placed to shorten the distance between fresh beer and consumer, as well as encouraging interaction between the brewer and the customer on brew days. The brewing system is dedicated to creating small batch beers exclusively for the Brisbane venue, while the rest of the taps feature the Stone & Wood core lineup plus a rotating selection of pilot batches, Counter Culture beers and Treehouse Cider.
Given they're a B Corp business whose ethos is centred around community and beer as a force for good, Stone & Wood are also keen to ensure they are adding to the local community. One way in which they aim to do this is by providing an inviting and inclusive space for anyone and everyone to meet over a beer, whether in the 90 seat taproom or at an event held in the function space. On a weekday, you’re as likely to find drinkers in hi-vis as you are folks in suits; on weekends, the number of kids and dogs in tow increases exponentially.
The rotating canteen is another way in which Stone & Wood are bringing the local community into their story while carving out their own place in that community – the aim is to provide a local business with a platform to reach new customers by serving the hungry hordes at the taproom for eight to twelve weeks at a time.
The team working at the venue are all given training through the Cicerone's Certified Beer Server program, and they combine that knowledge with their love of beer and community to deliver the sort of service and experience we've come to expect from the trailblazing brewery over the past decade and more.
Taken together, it makes Stone & Wood’s taproom a terrific addition to the Fortitude Valley beer scene. And, whether you’re just visiting Stone & Wood or including it as a stop on a (responsible, of course) beer crawl, you’re guaranteed to find good beer and good times at this outpost of Byron Bay’s finest.