By James Atkinson
Stone & Wood Brewing Company will undertake another expansion of its Byron Bay, NSW-based brewery in response to continued strong demand for its beers.
Co-founder Jamie Cook told TheShout that after increasing the brewery's capacity in June last year by 30 per cent, Stone & Wood is now set to invest in more equipment to increase its output by another 50 per cent over the next three months.
He said the brewer's 25-hectolitre brewhouse was designed to be scalable to a maximum output of about 1.7 million litres per year through the addition of extra fermentation tanks.
"We expanded the brewery in winter thinking that the additional capacity would get us through summer, however we have just been blown away by the support and requests for our beer, and we are now once again having to ration out the stocks," he said.
"A lot of people have been very supportive and understanding, and we are constantly told 'it's a nice problem to have', but it is very frustrating to know there are people out there who want to drink our beer, but can't find it."
Stone & Wood brews its Pacific Ale and Lager all year round, and once a year rolls out a limited release Stone Beer.
Co-founder and chief brewer Brad Rogers attributed the brand's success to continued strong growth in the craft beer category and the popularity of its Pacific Ale.
"We try to keep things pretty simple at the brewery and we have always concentrated on brewing a couple of beers and doing them well," he said.
"We are always thinking about other beers we could be doing, and although we have a few things sitting on the shelf that we could roll out when we have the space and capacity to do them, we need to keep focused on our existing beers for a little longer."
Stone & Wood has also announced it plans to expand its travelling sales force.
"Craft beer is all about working on growing the category as well as growing your brand," said co-founder Ross Jurisich.
"Every week we are seeing more trade customers making the switch and getting behind craft beer and we want to be there to support them."