These small batch brews are special, limited and once gone, may never return...The Pilot Batch brewery is a space for our brewers to get creative, an opportunity to trial weird and wonderful things… an experimental playground to get a little fruity.
Every three months, one of our brewers takes up the helm in our Byron brewery, running the day to day operations. During this time, they have the chance to brew their favourite beers and run the Pilot Batch program.
Meet Dominic Bemet, Dom will be up on the Pilot Batch brew deck for the next three months churning out exclusive batches only available in our Byron tasting room. Get to know Dom and see what's brewing...
Give us a bit of background about yourself…
My names Dominic Bemet, I live up on the Goldie in the heart of Coolangatta keeping me close to the surf. I’ve been with Stone & Wood for almost four years now (brewing for three), starting back on the packaging line scrubbing floors and stacking pallets. The unique balance between physical and mental challenges that brewing for Stone & Wood offers is what made me pursue brewing, however this was second to my passion for good beer and wanting to show people all it can be.
What are your favourite styles of beer and why?
From working with Stone & Wood and doing my fair share of travelling I’ve come across many abstract, unique, exciting and boundary pushing beers. From experimental Ant beers in New Zealand to clean and crisp blonde lagers in Amsterdam, I’ve tried my fair share, however, Saisons, Gose and wheat beers will always be my favourites.
I’ve always enjoyed mixing fruits with different spice combinations, whether it’s in my beers or my food. I feel this is why Saisons, Gose and Wheat beers are my favourite styles. The combination of banana esters with cloves in Wheat Beer, lemon sourness with herbal characteristics and strong saltiness in Gose, fruit and spice esters in Saisons. These characteristics tick all the boxes for me and make what I feel is a sensational beer.
What will you be brewing during your time here in Byron?
Currently in the works at Byron is a Belgian Blonde with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Belgian Quad aged in fortified wine barrels. Dark & Stormy with ginger and lime juice/zest and a smoked Marzen.
The Marzen has been brewed to be enjoyed during Oktoberfest, with smoky aromatics and easy going malt pallet it’s sure to be a treat.
Our Belgian Blonde and Quad have been brewed to see what is possible when introducing Belgian yeast into the mix with a combination of lemongrass and hoppy aromatics along with the storing in fortified barrels.
The Dark & Stormy has been brewed using both ginger and limes sourced locally from our good mates at The Farm Byron Bay. This beer is our interpretation of the traditional Dark & Stormy mix, a portion of this beer has been separated into a rum barrel for ageing and will be re-introduced during the packaging process.
Any beers you’re really excited about brewing and why?
A beer I’m looking forward to brewing the most whilst I’m down in Byron is a 4-5% ABV Gose, possibly with a mixture of peppercorns (pink, red, white) and a well balanced hop aroma. The malt make up of this Gose is predominantly wheat in order to achieve a golden like colour and to avoid detracting from its salty, spice and herbal characteristics. The brewing process for this beer is straightforward with some light hot hopping and introduction of selected spices/salt. The majority of the spice and hop aromatics will be formed during the end of ferment via dry hopping.
What do you like about the using the Pilot Batch brewery to experiment?
What I like most about brewing up on the Pilot deck is the opportunity to really experiment with my brewing. It gives us free reign to trial and experiment with a whole bunch of different ingredients and brewing styles. It keeps things really creative with the brewers.