Popular independent brewery Stone & Wood is saying ‘welcome back’ to ten patrons at a time, at its Brisbane and Byron locations from this weekend.
From Friday 15 May in Byron and Saturday 16 May in Brisbane, Stone & Wood is inviting up to 10 people at a time to their ‘Welcome Back’ sessions every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, where patrons pre-book their spots and preferred time slot online before heading to either brewery.
The much-welcomed move is in response to the state governments’ relaxed restrictions on gatherings from this weekend.
Although completely necessary, the restrictions have seen many industries, including hospitality, grind to a virtual halt over the last couple of months. Since closing their doors in response to COVID-19 in late March, both Stone & Wood’s Tasting Room in Byron Bay and its Brisbane brewery in Fortitude Valley have been operating as takeaway windows for local beer-lovers to purchase cartons, six-packs and 1L sharer bottles of beer.
Nick Boots, head of Stone & Wood, reflects on the period and how the team has gotten through things together.
“The closure of pubs, bars, restaurants and venues brought on a particularly tough period for venue-owners and people who work in hospitality – and it’s also been difficult for the beer industry, for the breweries who supply those venues with beer. For independent Australian breweries, this has certainly been the case.
“Fortunately, we’re one of 600-plus independent Australian breweries around the country, all of whom are resilient, resourceful and keen to see indie beer thrive well into the future. Reopening our doors for like another important step in keeping local brewing alive.”
Pre-booked sessions in the re-opened tasting rooms are $40 per person and include a three-beer tasting paddle, a meal, a brief tour with the Stone & Wood crew and a voucher for the bottle shop. There are four 100-minute sessions per Friday, Saturday and Sunday at both breweries between 12pm and 8pm.
Patrons can book a single spot or any number of spots up to 10 for their friends, or groups of 10 can book out an entire session and enjoy the brewery to themselves.
Stone & Wood’s specially trained crew will be keeping the breweries spotless and sanitised during and between the Welcome Back sessions. Any additional purchases will be card only, plus the crew will be practising physical distancing where possible.
The federal government’s recent announcement of the first phase of the Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia was most welcomed by the Stone & Wood, who are looking forward to hosting their respective communities in the breweries once again.
“We haven’t had people in our Tasting Room for a good seven weeks, so it feels great to welcome our community back and to provide an opportunity for them to enjoy a fresh beer with friends or close ones – out of the house finally,” says Nick.
Bookings can be made at stoneandwood.com.au.
In response to the government-mandated closures of pubs, clubs and venues around the country that came into effect late March, the independent Northern Rivers brewery has been part of the #KeepingLocalAlive campaign, a movement of independent breweries working to keep ‘indie’ Australian-owned beer alive during the last few months of restrictions.