Brad Rogers of Stone & Wood Brewing Company in Byron Bay, set to expand the brewery’s capacity by 50% during the next three months.
Brad Rogers of Stone & Wood Brewing Company in Byron Bay, set to expand the brewery’s capacity by 50% during the next three months. Jay Cronan

Selling beer involves talking

BYRON Bay's Stone & Wood Brewing Company is set to expand its brewery over the next months to meet the continued strong demand for its beers.

After increasing the brewery's capacity by 30% in June last year, Stone & Wood is now investing in more equipment to increase its output by 50% over the next three months.

Chief brewer and co-founder Brad Rogers said the company was in a good position to continue its expansion.

"The brew house is not yet working at capacity so as we grow we can just bolt on more capacity," he said.

"The company has fairly flat structure and over the last 18 months we have put together a really productive team that can move forward with us.

"One of the keys to our success is that each of the three of us has our own separate functional expertise.

"My focus is on brewing the beer, Jamie (Cook) has a marketing focus and our third partner Ross Jurisich's strength is in sales and talking with customers."

Co-founder Jamie Cook said the company's sales had risen 70% over the past 12 months and the brewery had been running at full capacity since 2010.

"Half our beer is sold within 300km of the brewery and most of the rest is sold in Sydney and Melbourne," he said.

Mr Cook also believes that the company's use of social media is a key part of its success.

"Beer is a pretty social drink so it is really suited to social marketing," he said.

"One of the things I love about social media is that it connects with the original concept of marketing and what defines a market."

"Producers used to go to the markets and interact with the consumer but over time that small market concept has disappeared as companies became larger.

"What social media has done is provided the technology to allow producers like us to interact once again with our consumers no matter where they are.

"One of the interesting things about beer, aside from the craft of making it, is the community that grows around it.

"Since the middle ages beer has played a role in the community and when we came to brew beer in Byron we wanted to be part of the community.

"Byron Bay is one of those communities in the world that understands the concept of a village.

"People certainly embrace local products here on the Northern Rivers and celebrate that."



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