I feel a little guilty going to Byron Bay and not visiting Stone & Wood, but when someone invites you to drink beer in a hemp field, you drink beer in a hemp field. So here I am, crouched and shooting pics of food writers and lifestyle bloggers blissfully unaware that this spot is a haven for the incredibly venomous brown snake. In fact, I don’t learn about this until way after the fact, which is probably for the best since I’m not wearing shoes and I'm terrified of snakes.
The beer is a collaboration between Sydney brewery Young Henry's and Byron Bay clothing label Afends. Hemp was only legalized as a food product in Australia in November 2017, and since then, a handful of hemp beers have hit the market.
Known as Hemp IPA, the beer we’re tasting today features five other hop varieties, including Centennial hop hash (a concentrated byproduct of hop processing). I expected the hemp to be barely noticeable as a result. However, the earthy, minty, woody, herbal flavors certainly made themselves known—prominently, in fact. I'm not sure I loved it, but at least I got to crawl around in a field.