beer review

Stone & Wood’s best beer yet

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You ready for a big call? No, make that a HUGE call. Stone & Wood’s new limited release beer Cloud Catcher is the best beer they’ve ever made.

Yes, that includes Pacific Ale, the beer that is so insanely popular the Stoners had to start up a new brewery in Murwillumbah to keep up with demand. The beer that wins the Local Taphouse Hottest 100 whenever Feral’s Hop Hog doesn’t. The beer that has surely made hundreds of people go “wow, I didn’t know beer could taste this good”.

Yep, Cloud Catcher is better.

It’s a special brew made to commemorate that new Murwillumbah brewery, which is in sight of Mt Warning. The name comes from a translation of the indigenous word for the mountain – Wollumbin. And if they don’t make more of it I’ll be quite displeased.

You know that thrill you get when you pour a beer, lift it to your nose and cop a snootful of an amazing aroma that makes you go “wow!”? Well, that’s what happens here – some thoroughly beautiful tropical fruit and mango aromas courtesy of Galaxy and Ella hops. And yes, the aroma is better than the Pacific Ale (which is pretty bloody good).

It pours a cloudy light amber and gives a deliciously thick mouthfeel for a pale ale (the brewery doesn’t specify a style for Cloud Catcher but I’m calling it as a pale). The tropical fruits are there on the tongue, with some malty goodness going on in the middle before a lingering bitterness kicks in.

I got this beer as a review sample from the brewery. I always have a test for samples – after drinking it did I wish the brewery had sent me two? In the case of Cloud Catcher the answer is an utterly undeniable yes.

This is a goddamn special beer – I know I’m going to have to find some more of it somewhere. Because drinking just one bottle and never trying it again would be a terrible sin.

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