It's a sign of the growing maturity (in some senses, at least) of the local craft beer industry that I've spent a fair bit of time over the past few days writing about beers that have many, many years under their belts. That includes Stone & Wood's Stone Beer, which started out as a bit of fun for the Byron Bay brewery's founders and has evolved a little over the years before settling upon "wood-fired porter". These days it comes with not only its own brew day celebration but a festival marking its launch too.
At the centre is, of course, the beer itself (typically accompanied by a barrel-aged version of the previous year's vintage). In 2022, they've created arguably the easiest-going of the lot. As it pours, it looks lighter in body than my memory suggests, while the mahogany-hued porter is relatively light on palate too. For the most part, it's a choc-cacao affair, with a little nuttiness (turns out there's ground wattleseed in the mix) and drying roast. Let it warm and maybe there's something leathery in there too, before an oily slickness carrying the earthy, dark molasses-flecked bitterness ensures a dry finish.