beer

Roadtrip Detour: Stone & Wood Brewery, Byron Bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

Visiting craft breweries became a bit of a habit for us on our east coast roadtrip. First up, it was Murrays Craft Brewing Co in Port Stephens, and today I’m going to tell you about our quick pitstop at Stone & Wood in Byron Bay.

Stone & Wood was born and raised in Byron, and very proud of it. We visited their original brewery in the industrial part of town, home to their cellar door and tasting room. In 2014, at the ripe old age of 6, they had grown too big for their boots and had to open another brewery about 45 minutes north of Byron. Now the only brewing that happens in Byron is exclusively for their special release beers. Fancy.

At the Byron brewery, they run tours twice daily and we rocked up right on time for the 11am start. Maybe it was the earlier time of day, but we were the only people there and had the whole place to ourselves. In my opinion, it’s never too early for beer when you’re on holidays, so we started with a schooner of the Garden Ale before a quick whip around the brewery and a tasting of 5 of their beers – all for $10.

Of course, my favourite was their limited release Cloud Catcher, which is no longer available. However, a close second would have to be their Garden Ale – and the good news is that it’s part of their core range and available all year round. Easy drinking and perfect for those summer nights spent drinking on the balcony with friends.

If you’re a beer drinker and in the area, drop by the brewery and say hi to the Stone & Wood boys. They are super friendly and more than happy to talk beer and Byron with anyone that comes in.

You can find them at 4 Boronia Place in Byron Bay, or on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

stone wood brewery byron bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

stone wood brewery byron bay

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Roadtrip Detour: Murray’s Craft Brewing Co

murrays beer

What better roadtrip detour than a sneaky little pitstop at a brewery? *

I’m not a huge beer drinker, but I’m a fan of Australian craft beer and, as long as it’s not too dark and heavy (get that Guinness away from me), I enjoy a nice cold one every now and then.

On our way from Newcastle to Port Macquarie, Matt and I called in at the headquarters of Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. We tasted a few of their beers, had some lunch and went for a quick spin around the brewery to see where all the magic happens.

I’m certainly no beer expert, but I know what I like when I try it and I liked most of what I tried at Murray’s. The “Fred IPA” was definitely a favourite and you know I can’t go past a cute label.

If you’re in the area and after a chilled afternoon with a few beers in hand, you can find Murray’s Craft Brewing Co at Bobs Farm in Port Stephens. If you’re not in the area, but want some more info about where to find their beer, Murray’s is also online and on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

*Obviously Matt pulled the short straw (as always) and was the designated driver. Don’t drink and drive kids. It’s not cool.

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House

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As the weather warms up and the nights get longer, there is no better way to welcome the weekend than with a few sneaky drinks on a Friday evening. I love nothing more than to leave work early on that last day of the working week and kick it al-fresco style with a drink in hand and some friends in tow.

Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House kicks off at 4.30pm every Friday during the warmer months. With live music, delicious cocktails and $5 beers (or wine if that’s your thing), the House of Reps courtyard is the perfect way to relax into your weekend.

A Day in Brooklyn

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We had big plans for our day in Brooklyn. We were going to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, before people watching in DUMBO and taking in the incredible view of the Manhattan skyline. We were going to have some lunch in a trendy little Brooklyn cafe, before heading over to hipster central, Williamsburg, and partaking in a tour of the Brooklyn Brewery. Our day would be complete with dinner in a trendy little Williamsburg restaurant and some more drinks in a trendy little pub or bar. Perfect.

But when we woke up. It was raining.

But we were not deterred. We were still going to spend the day in Brooklyn. And it was still going to be awesome. We even thought for a little while that we would tough it out and walk the Brooklyn Bridge in the rain. That was never going to happen but we did make it Brooklyn using that handy little New York tool, the subway.

Before that, however, we needed to eat. I’d been recommended the Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant in the Lower East Side for brunch. And it did not fail to live up to its recommendation. On the weekends the place is packed, so be prepared to wait. If you get the chance to go during the week, you won’t have to wait. We were seated straight away. The food is great (the brioche french toast was amazing!), the coffee is decent, they serve up freshly squeezed juice and the shakes on the menu look to die for (I didn’t try one due to overeating on everything else). Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, or even if you’re not.

So then we were in Brooklyn. First stop was DUMBO. We didn’t stay there long. The rain was coming down hard, our shoes were wet, our hands were cold and the view of Manhattan was obscured by the rain. We took some photos and were on our way.

Next stop was Williamsburg. We got off the subway and headed straight for the nearest bar. We ended up in a place called Spike Hill. They housed a great range of cider, something of a rarity in this country. I was very happy.

A few ciders down, it was time for our tour of the Brooklyn Brewery. For a mere $9, this tour is a must if you are ever in Brooklyn. Included is a tasting of 4 different beers and a tour of the brewery itself. As well as tasting their famous Brooklyn lager, we also got to taste three of their boutique beers that cannot be found anywhere but the brewery itself. These boutique beers are often limited stock, so once they finish the kegs they have, that beer will be gone forever. It was pretty cool. The tour goes for 2 hours, but the last hour is only there to give you the opportunity to have a few more drinks at their bar. Ben and I left even more happy than before.

We then needed to find a place to eat and drink some more. Our tour guide at the brewery recommended we try the Brooklyn Bowl, right around the corner. This place was pretty incredible. It was a restaurant, bar, bowling alley and live music venue all rolled into one. We had some incredible pizza while sipping on frozen margaritas, before heading over to the bowling alley. $10 each for every half hour we played. We managed to get a few games (and some more margaritas) in within the hour we were there. Ben won every time. All the while, a live band was playing behind us to a fairly large and insane crowd. It was an awesome place and, again, a must if you are ever in Brooklyn.

In spite of the rain, this day was one of the best we had in New York City. Brooklyn, I’m not finished with you yet.

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Stranded in Canada

Stranded in Canada 2

So I was stranded in Canada.

Over the course of the week my flight back to New York would be cancelled three times. I was not alone in this situation. Around 2500 flights had been cancelled thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

The destruction in both the Caribbean and north-eastern America was beyond awful. My heart goes out to all the families and friends of those that lost their lives and the many people who lost their homes and property during this time.

I was quite lucky to have been in Toronto when the hurricane hit. While Toronto experienced very high winds, rain and the occasional flash of green lightening, it was nothing like what had happened in the north-eastern states of the US.

And I was lucky to be staying with friends. I owe a massive thanks to Elspeth, who was kind enough to let me take up her entire floor space for the extra 5 nights I was there.

Being stranded for an extra 5 nights, I got to experience a lot more of Toronto than I had expected. My favourite times were spent simply wandering the streets of downtown taking it all in.

I took a tour of the Steam Whistle Brewery. At only $10, the tour includes two free beers and is a definite must for beer lovers when in Toronto. Somehow I ended up having an extra two beers for free and spending the night bar hopping with a group of people I’d met on the tour.

I went to the Art Gallery of Ontario, which is currently exhibiting an incredible collection of art by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The exhibition is on display until January 20 and if you are into art and happen to pass through Toronto before its over, I would highly recommend you check it out.

I unnecessarily gorged myself on all-you-can-eat pancakes with real Canadian maple syrup, I became a regular at Bull Dog Coffee, just off Church Street, that serves up some of the best coffee in Toronto, and I spent a lot of time sleeping in the middle of the day, just because I could.

Yes. The reality of going to class next week is going to hit me hard.

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