Josh Waters can talk about beer all day long. Previously a chef for 20 years, flavour has always been important to him. Now, as Byron brewer for Northern Rivers founded Stone & Wood Brewing Co., he’s excited about the flavour possibilities of craft beer. Josh has been instrumental in creating Malty Mac, a limited edition macadamia beer just released by Stone & Wood.
Josh Waters moved to the Northern Rivers region of NSW from Sydney 13 years ago after spending his childhood enjoying family holidays in the region. He was enticed to relocate permanently by the outdoor lifestyle, made possible by the beautiful landscape and accessibility to both bush and beach.
“I’d never considered making beer as a living before,” he says. However, he started with Stone & Wood in 2015 and since then has trained in all aspects of the art of brewing. “It is a dream to make beer! I was very lucky to have the opportunity to start at Stone & Wood, and I went from putting bottles in a box to being trained up on how to brew beer and now I’m working in this beautiful Byron tasting room creating lots of different beers every day.”
The ‘Malty Mac’ Macadamia Beer
The team at Stone & Wood is always working to experiment with flavours and develop new products. “There’s no real limit on what beers we can try in this brewery, whether they’re traditional or a bit out there,” says Josh. The idea of a macadamia beer is a natural fit for a brewery in one of the country’s main macadamia growing areas. “It’s a local product that we have available to us year round. The idea of getting some macadamia flavour into a nice malty lager is just something that we thought would really work.”
As the name implies, the Malty Mac is a German-style lager with a malt-driven flavour. To get the macadamia flavour into the beer the brew team roasted macadamia nuts and shells, then steeped them in the kettle. While the beer was fermenting, macadamias hung in the fermenter to get as much macadamia flavour as possible into each brew.
With a golden colour in the glass and beautiful mouth feel from the macadamias, this macadamia beer is a creative triumph. “Malty Mac pours beautifully in the glass, it’s full of flavour and aroma, and is a very easy drinking beer for this region. It’s a great way for people to come and try macadamias in a beer.”
The limited edition Malty Mac is available from Stone & Wood Brewery Tasting Rooms in Byron Bay from 15 November 2021 until sold out.