New South Wales-based brewery Stone & Wood has caused a stir this week with the announcement that they intend to buy back the share of their company that is now owed by Lion.

In a statement, the team behind the brand confirmed that, despite Lion displaying “thorough understanding of the craft beer market” and being “currently better placed to participate in it than any other large brewer in the world”, the 20 per cent share now owned by the national brewer is to be repurchased.

This has been the first comment from the award-winning brewery regarding their future since the furore erupted back in June.

It wasn’t long after the original announcement of the intended buy out of Little World Beverages (owners of the Little Creatures, White Rabbit and Pipsqueak brands) that eagle-eyed beer fans pointed out that Little Creatures owned a sizeable stake in fellow craft brewers Stone & Wood – a share that would now pass on to Lion.

It probably comes as no surprise to fans of the fiercely independent brewers that they have chosen to take this route. In an interview with Beer & Brewer magazine earlier this year Brad Rogers stated that he, Jamie Cook, and Ross Jurisich originally started the brewery after they had “all had enough of working for the man in a much larger brewery” and it was this thirst to get back to basics that drove them to open their own, much smaller brewery in the idyllic Byron Bay.

In making their announcement, Stone & Wood thanked their shareholders, customers, drinkers, and suppliers, as well as their team, for making the whole adventure possible.

It also pointed out the obvious: that 2012 has been a big year – winning Silver at the World Beer Cup, adding Jasper Ale to their line up, and launching Pacific Ale to the UK market to name a few – for the still-young brewery as it helps carve a niche in Australia for the craft beer industry.

No doubt fans will be glad to hear that this independent brewer has no plans to become otherwise.

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