For the most part, Stone & Wood's Counter Culture series has focused on creating beers at the cutting edge of the contemporary craft beer scene, or at least nudging the envelope with tongue, if not always planted, then at least hovering close to cheek. There's been something of a switch with the last couple, however. They closed summer 2022 with a celebration of Tasmanian hops in a dank and in no little way bitter IPA; now they follow up with a beer celebrating harvest of another kind (or belatedly getting in on commemorations for the 50th anniversary of Neil Young's Harvest).
What we do see with increasing frequency in beers is yuzu, the Japanese citrus fruit that packs a distinctive punch yet seems born to be added to beers as much as any fruit we've come across – those we'd heard of before they appeared in beer as well as those we hadn't. And in After The Harvest, it proves a willing foil for the fruity, softly spicy esters from the witbier strain and the impact of the more traditional coriander seeds and orange peel. European wheat beers tend to have a rounded softness of texture and the 7 percent ABV here just adds to the beer's fullness. What's more, just as you're wondering if it's a little on the sweet side, the yeast and wheat serve up a subtle yet welcome dryness.
You might not need too many to ensure a relaxing end to a day's harvesting, but it sure is a beer with a heart of gold.
NB If you're reading this in time, Stone & Wood are hosting a launch party at Hopscotch in Melbourne featuring the man behind the beer, Josh Waters. Details here.