Stone & Wood Brewery Tour

Brewery tour of Australia's most refreshing craft beer.

Stone & Wood Brewing Company produce some of the most refreshing beer we've ever tasted, and we say that with no hesitation. Brad, Jamie and Ross, the guys behind this great beer, grew tired of the corporate beer world and decided to take brewing back to basics. Using water from the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, their aim was to create a refreshing beer that was your go-to when relaxing after a day of surfing, watching a gig or hanging out with friends.

So, in 2008, Stone & Wood was born. The heart of Stone & Wood lies in its original brewery in Byron Bay. Building the site here was a conscious decision by the founders. The Stone & Wood boys envisioned a business that would support the people who support them and in a small community like Byron Bay, that's what it's all about. 'Ingrained' became their official community-focused initiative providing support to local charities who are involved in sustaining the local area, both socially and environmentally.

The Stone & Wood Brewery Tour runs for about an hour and gives an interesting insight into the history, philosophy and brewing process of this delicious beer. For just $12, you receive a beer on arrival, a tour of where the magic happens, and a tasting paddle of all five beers (Pacific Ale, Green Coast Lager, Garden Ale, Jasper Ale, and Cloud Catcher) to finish. This brewery is also where a lot of experimental and seasonal brews are made, so be sure to check if any are on tap when you go.

In the words of Stone & Wood, 'take things slowly and keep it simple'.

4 Boronia Place, Byron Bay, New South Wales, 2481


33 Acres Brewing Company

Nestled in-between the temperate Vancouver rainforest and the Pacific ocean, tucked away neatly in the up-and-coming Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, lies 33 Acres Brewing Company. Founded in 2013 by Josh Michnik, 33 Acres' vision started out of pure enjoyment for the binding elements of life. His idea is simple - with the natural elements of our surroundings and the spirit of community sharing (whether people are drinking, eating, chatting, working or reading) creativity is able to flourish and high quality products can be created. This vision can also be seen in the minimalistic, open and inviting layout of 33 Acres' beer tasting room. Crafted by Josh Michnik himself, the beer tasting room allows for simple and clean aesthetics. Wood, stone and white walls are balanced by the natural vibrance of neatly situated green plants for all to enjoy (my personal favourite is the cacti on the huge sharing table).

33 Acres Brewing Company's first product was beer. Nine beers and one cider to be exact. All of which are named after a certain element of life - 33 Acres of… life… ocean… sunshine… darkness… euphoria… nirvana… köbes,… welkin… sole (see photo below). I'm a big fan of Pale Ales so 33 Acres of Ocean was the choice for me. The golden-coloured brew managed to encapsulate everything I could want from a West Coast Pale Ale and more. It was hoppy (but not too hoppy) with a big floral flavour and notes of pine. Despite the high carbonation, this beer went down super smoothly and ended with a clean finish and a light caramel aftertaste. The beer tasting room allows everyone to enjoy these beautifully crafted craft beers. Most beers are available in glasses (12oz), growler fills (32oz, 64oz) or bottles (4 or 6 packs) - all of which are reasonably priced (see photo below). 

In 2015, 33 Acres expanded to the next best thing… coffee. And boy did they do it right! A smoothy and creamy latte (my go to at the moment) is served up perfectly on a logo-printed wooden block. The delicious coffee beans come from Heart Coffee Roasters (Portland, Oregon). HCR's focus is on uncompromising quality and this is seen in their use of green coffee, sourced from Central America, South America and Africa, which are then roasted to pure excellence. 

And it's not just liquids that 33 Acres flawlessly produce, they also have a simple yet delicious food menu divided into early, mid, and late options. Whether you're wanting a hearty brunch for the day ahead, a locally-made lunchtime sandwich or late night snacks consisting of cheese, meat and pretzels, 33 Acres has you covered. We were hiking the Grouse Grind that day, so brunch was in order. Served everyday until 2pm, the brunch menu is minimalist (toast, biscuits or granola) with an emphasis on quality over quantity. I opted for 'The Loaded', which consisted of creamy avocado, runny poached eggs, juicy honey ham and smoked cheddar served with a side of chilli jam atop of freshly baked sourdough bread from local artisan bread-enthusiasts, Nelson the Seagull. The portion was more than enough and presentation of the food was aesthetically aligned with the surrounding environment.

I'll definitely be heading back to 33 Acres Brewing Company when I'm next in Vancouver!

For more information, check out their website here.