Standing Stone Brewing Company

Author: Elisha Lewis

SSBC Closure Questions & Answers

Here are a list of questions and answers commonly asked concerning the upcoming closure of the brew pub. For any additional questions or for more information, please e-mail: info@standingstonebrewing.com

 

What’s happening?

Standing Stone Brewing Company (SSBC) will be closing its brewpub after 25 years of service to the community.

Why are the restaurant and brewery closing?

Wildfires, smoke, pandemic and staffing challenges, as well as rapidly rising costs of goods, have compounded to make the current business unsustainable.

When will the last day of operations be?

The last day of service will be Sunday, May 29.

Will there be a closing celebration for former employees and community members?

In true Standing Stone spirit, the restaurant will host a farewell celebration on the final day of operation, Sunday, May 29th with $3 pints, priced just as they were on the first day of opening back in 1997. They welcome all Standing Stone supporters who have enjoyed the brew pub over the years to join them, as this final chapter comes to a close, and the last pint is poured.

What will happen to employees?

Employees have been the heart and soul of Standing Stone for over two decades. Every effort will be made to assist employees in landing comparable positions among the many unfilled hospitality openings in the area. Those choosing to will be free to apply for unemployment benefits.

What year did the restaurant open?

SSBC was founded in 1996 and opened its restaurant and brewery for business on August 8, 1997, after a year and a half renovation period!

Who founded SSBC?

SSBC was founded in 1996 by brothers Emile, Mark and Alex Amarotico.

Who owns SSBC?

SSBC owners include the three Amarotico brothers, as well as eight family members and friends.

What is SSBC best known for?

Standing Stone has been a casual gathering place for groups large and small where there is something for everyone. From toddler to grandparent; wood fired pizza to grass-fed and finished steaks; hand crafted beer to local wines on tap and creative cocktails; lunch or dinner; day or night; day in and day out.

What restaurant menu items were most popular?

Wood fired pizza, grass-fed and finished hamburgers, fish and chips, crispy fried Brussels sprouts and much more have stood the test of over twenty five years.

What SSBC beers were most popular?

Twin Plunge 2IPA, I Heart Oregon Ale and Puck’s Porter have enjoyed popularity for more than two decades.

What was the Standing Stone property before it became a restaurant and brewery?

For the first 20 years after construction in 1925, the Whittle Garage was used by the Morris Family’s Oak Street Tank and Steel Company as a service garage and machine shop. For more history, see A Bit of Ashland History: Wittle Garage

Where can I purchase any remaining branded merchandise?

Direct inquiries to: Info@StandingStoneBrewing.com

Where can I purchase any remaining supplies and inventory?

Direct inquiries to: Info@StandingStoneBrewing.com

What will happen to SSBC property?

The owners intend to put the property on the market for sale or lease.

What will happen to the brewing system?

The owners intend to put the equipment on the market for sale or lease.

What is the capacity of the brewing system?

SSBC has an immaculate steam fired 10 Barrel brewing system designed and fabricated in 1996 by JV Northwest (now ICC Northwest). The system includes six combo fermentation/bright tanks and four bright tanks.

What will happen to other equipment?

The owners intend to put the equipment on the market for sale or lease.

What will happen to the brand and business name?

No decisions have yet been made about these assets.

What is the restaurant seating capacity?

Indoor and outdoor seating: 226 persons.

Did SSBC receive any PPP funding or other assistance during the pandemic?

Yes. SSBC received PPP funding in 2020 and RRF funding in 2021.

Did SSBC fulfill all of the requirements for PPP forgiveness and other funding usage?

SSBC used PPP and RRF funds as required for labor and other covered expenses in order to retain employees and serve customers through a time that would otherwise have caused a business closure.

Who do I contact for further information?

Direct inquiries to: Info@StandingStoneBrewing.com

Who should I share my questions, concerns and ideas with?

Direct inquiries to: Info@StandingStoneBrewing.com

Goodbyes are Never Easy…

Dear Standing Stone Friends,

For the past 26 years, it has been our honor to serve locally sourced, farm-to-table pub fare and uniquely crafted brews to all of you! In addition to serving up a vibrant menu, we have proudly maintained a commitment to give back to our Southern Oregon community through our Pints for a Purpose Program, embraced sustainable practices to reduce our economic “forkprint” and created a staff environment where employees aren’t just friends, they’re family.

It is with heavy hearts that we announce, Standing Stone Brewing Company will be closing the doors of our family-owned brew pub permanently.

As you all know, we as a community have recently experienced some especially challenging years here in the Rogue Valley. Starting with heavily smoke-filled summers in 2018 and ‘19, coupled with the start of a global pandemic and the devastating 2020 Almeda Fire, we have found ourselves in an arduous position. A challenging job market (in which many hospitality workers chose to leave the industry), increased cost of goods and a vast decline in tourism, are all contributing factors to this difficult but carefully considered decision.

Having served as a staple of the downtown restaurant scene for these past 2 ½ decades, we take pride in the fact that we were able to create a dining experience where our guests could feel at home! We want to thank you for choosing Standing Stone to gather and celebrate life’s special moments. From graduations to birthdays, rehearsal dinners to holiday parties, these walls have seen it all!

We are beyond grateful to the unwavering support of our community and hope you will join us for a farewell celebration on our final day of operation, Sunday, May 29th from 11:30 AM – 8 PM. In the spirit of “bringing it full circle,” on this closing day we will sell $3 pints, priced just as they were on opening day back in 1997!

As we close this final chapter in our journey, with heads held high and appreciation in our hearts, please remember that you all are the inspiration that has moved Standing Stone forward throughout the years.

It is with profound gratefulness that we raise a pint and say, “Cheers Stone Family, it’s been a great run!”

Meet Alonna of Alonna’s Jungle!

Have you noticed the absolutely beautiful greenery around the brew pub lately?  The highly talented individual responsible for these gorgeous plants is Alonna Oleson of “Alonna’s Jungle.”
We are proud to have partnered with her to create our own unique look here at the Stone.  Her business is based here in the Rogue Valley and specializes in exclusive floral design. She also has an extensive inventory of stunning house plants available at all times. We sat down with her recently and got to know a bit more about her background and the start of her business.

Alonna Oleson

“Living inside my personal indoor jungle for many years has been a bold and vibrant way of life for me and my family for over a decade. I have always had a natural born talent for taking something in the formative stage and bringing it to fruition. It is an attraction that has flourished into an obsession. Back in March of 2020, when the big shut down happened, I found myself going crazy just sitting at home. A girl can only do so many puzzles! So, I decided to create a houseplant business with a no-contact porch pick up system, that way clients could purchase without the chance of spreading germs. It took off faster than I could have ever imagined, and now I have a store front, a plant maintenance service and I specialize in large plant installs into businesses and homes. I also do exclusive floral design for large weddings and parties. Anything plant related, I can do it. All things thrive with love, hard work and dedication. My goal is to continue to spread life and beauty into this world, wherever I go.

I am unbelievably excited to be working alongside Standing Stone Brewery because we have the same mission and morals. All we want to do is take care of our community, drink great beer and support other local, family-owned businesses. When you partner with another business that understands the value of hard work and dedication, the connection just comes naturally. I look forward to GROWING with them for many years to come.” -Alonna

For more information, contact Alonna directly at (541) 531-0906 or visit her Instagram and Facebook pages: “Alonna’s Jungle”.

Bring on 2022!

New year, new menu, new leadership!  Talk about positive “New Year’s resolutions” put into action! Standing Stone Brewing Company has kicked off the month of January 2022 with a renewed sense of optimism, thanks to some considerable changes across the board, including a talented head chef leading a team of highly capable team members.

Jared Settell

Executive Chef Jared Settell hails from Eagle Point, Oregon with nearly a decade of experience working in various kitchens across the Rogue Valley. He brings a fresh, energetic interpretation of typical pub fare “to the table” with an elevated flair.

“Passion is the fuel that drives me to be a chef. My love for the craft is strong, and I want to inspire and share that with others. Cooking is an extension of myself, and to create dishes for others to enjoy is what it’s really all about for me. Coming to work for Standing Stone Brewing Company is an honor, and I’m proud to develop food that pairs beautifully with our [brew pub’s] equally amazing craft brews. It’s also a pleasure to work with such great teammates to push through the barriers this pandemic has continually brought to the forefront of our industry.”

Chef Settell and his team have introduced a new Winter menu with items appealing to all tastes and palates. In keeping with tradition, there are still SSBC signature items available such as our Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato Curry Fries and house “Create Your Own Burger.” However, guests can now enjoy new and creatively executed dishes such as our Kimchi Rueben fusing an American classic with an Asian twist, a Veggie Grinder packed with both fresh and marinated veggies, Smoked Salmon Chowder featuring Alaskan wild caught Coho salmon and Blackened Ahi Tuna with braised kale, pineapple pico de gallo and chai tea infused rice, to name a few.

Blackened Ahi Tuna

Kimchi Rueben

Settell added that many of these menu items cater to various dietary preferences and restrictions to include vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan lifestyles. Celiac and allergy restrictions are also carefully considered. As always, gluten free buns and pizza crusts are offered, as well as tofu. Want to jazz up our vegetarian Kimchi or Quinoa Bowls?  There is an option to add grilled or fried chicken, an SSBC beef patty, ahi tuna or even a 7-minute egg to these, as well as our entree salads! For vegan tastes, our black bean chili is always a savory crowd-pleaser, and flavor packed items such as the Veggie Grinder can be tailored to omit our house baguette in favor of the sandwich’s vegetable medley served over spring mix or chopped romaine instead. Another vegan favorite? Our Vietnamese Salad. Comprised of Napa and purple cabbage, red bell peppers, red onion, cucumbers and carrots, it’s tossed in a fresh mint-sesame vinaigrette, and topped with pan-fried tofu and shaved almonds. In the spirit of keeping menu items as new and as exciting as possible, Settell will introduce a new menu quarterly that will not only embrace the seasons, but also the local and regionally sourced products available to us.

Chef Nathaniel Hudek (Moose)

Joining Settell is Sous Chef Nathaniel Hudek, otherwise known as “Moose.” Having roughly 7 years culinary experience under his belt, he is also an Oregon native who has worked in restaurants here in the valley and as far reaching as Lake Tahoe. Sharing a love of the industry, he matches Settell’s energy.

“Cooking has always been a deep passion of mine. Nothing is more pleasing than knowing I made a dish that someone else is going to enjoy. The kitchen experience is like no other; we’re a community built on development. From the [slowly enjoyed] delicacy of desserts to the fast-paced intensity of the dinner rush, there is never a dull moment (or knife). You build deep connections with like-minded individuals and bring incredible creations to the local culinary world [for all to enjoy]. What’s not to love?”

The introduction of our new Winter menu items has already brought several accolades to include 5-star reviews and a local following that validates the excellent job Settell and his team are doing.

Standing Stone branded tee-shirts in the color: Asphalt.

In addition to our passionate kitchen crew, our brew pub has also focused on putting a fresh new spin on our brand.  We recently introduced a new line of Standing Stone merchandise to include super soft tees, long sleeve shirts and hoodies. These retail items feature organic materials and are available in both men’s and women’s fits, as well as unisex sizes. We proudly offer inclusive sizing ranging from extra small to double extra-large.

Newly released merchandise also inspired a fresh look for our glass growlers, which we fill for those wishing to take our beer home! These growlers (1/2 gallon and 1 liter) feature an homage to our namesake, Standing Stone, otherwise known as Pilot Rock; the new design bears our trademark logo as well as the famous landmark itself, which stands at 5,910 feet overlooking the Shasta and Rogue Valleys.

Master Brewer Scott Saulsbury

And finally, at the heart of our operation lies our craft beer itself, which we proudly produce in-house at the hands of Master Brewer Scott Saulsbury. Our three flagship brews, Twin Plunge Double IPA, I ❤ Oregon Ale and Tempest IPA are available year-round. Additional craft beer releases are produced seasonally and are brewed in 10-barrel batches making approximately 500 barrels a year. Regionally provided and sourced water, malted barley and yeast all go into our signature brews for guests to enjoy! The start of the year has brought forth a whole new inspiration of vibrant, hoppy flavor profiles.  Saulsbury’s latest release? A single hopped beer called “Windsor Winter Pale Ale,” in honor of Mount Ashland’s ski run named after Shakespeare’s “Merry Wives of Windsor.” At 5.8% abv, it boasts flavors of citrus and orchard fruit with a lingering bitterness. Upon your next visit, order our $6 Sample Tray, and try all 8 of our beers on tap!

In closing, Standing Stone would like to thank you all for your continued support.  We warmly welcome those who are just as passionate about excellent craft beer and delicious pub fare as we are! As we head into another year of the current pandemic, we hope you all will remain staunch in your support of local businesses such are ours, who need local support now more than ever before. Cheers!

Supporting Local!

One of the many accomplishments we are proud of here at the Stone is our commitment to partnering with other local businesses to produce health conscience food and delicious libations for our guests. Recently, we were introduced to a small batch, Southern Oregon distillery called New Port Distilling. Created by locals Charlie Bass and Anna Nickels Hoeper, New Port Distilling specializes in gin and vodka with many local infusions during the distilling process to produce truly, one-of-a-kind spirits unique to Southern Oregon. Another interesting signature method they use? They incorporate coconut carbon filters made from coconut shells! Not only is it renewable, but coconut shell carbon has a high density of micro-pores, allowing for the best possible filtering of contaminants to ultimately provide a super smooth product.

Having tried their spirits, Standing Stone was so impressed that we decided to partner with New Port Distilling to feature two new house cocktails on our summer menu; in the name of supporting local, but also in appreciation of delicious, superior tasting spirits!

We recently spoke with Charlie and Anna to gain a closer look at this local business that is quickly building a name for themselves!

Charlie Bass & Anna Nickels Hoeper

Standing Stone: “Can you tell us how your company was created?”

“We worked together for many years at Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland. We became great friends in our time there, and we both had a passion for side projects such as a small, late night experimental delivery pizza pop up called ‘Stonetop Pizza’ in 2014.” Charlie developed a passion for gin and the distilling process over the years, and once it was time to transition from Greenleaf, a distillery seemed like the natural choice. Anna had completed a baking and pastry program at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute and saw an opportunity to join Charlie, and bring her knowledge of flavor pairing and cocktail creations to the business when they opened their tasting room in October of 2020.

SS: What botanicals do you use in the distillery process?

“The two rules of gin are that they have to be at least 40% alcohol and flavored with at least 51% juniper. Our London Dry Gin pairs juniper with the classic gin base of coriander, lemon, angelica root and orris root, but also has notes of paradise seed, cardamom, lemongrass and cassia bark. We also have our Beard & Flannel Gin, which we made to capture the terroir of Southern Oregon, that uses more local botanicals such as Douglas Fir, lavender, sage, mugwort and chamomile. Our latest addition is our aromatic gin that features flavors of Southeast Asia, with lemongrass, ginger and lime leaf.

SS: What are your thoughts on recently partnering with us to feature two new house cocktails on our Summer Menu?

“We adore Standing Stone’s commitment to using and supporting local. We both have been patrons of The Stone for many years and never had any doubt that your company would do our products justice, and of course, you delivered. We started our company right before the COVID-19 pandemic, and nothing has been more incredible than the way local businesses have rallied to support each other. We owe a massive debt of gratitude to the local restaurants and bars that have brought us into their establishments and worked with us, when they too have been trying to survive the year; businesses exactly like Standing Stone!”

SS: Where is your Tasting Room located, and what are the hours?

“We currently do tastings Friday – Sunday, 2 – 6 PM at our warehouse in Central Point at 201 Bateman Dr., Unit 23. We hope to move to a more central location in the next year, as we are quickly outgrowing our current space.”

SS: Where do you see your company in 5 years?

“We plan to expand our bottle sales outside of Oregon and add more spirits, such as rum. We also hope to continue to build relationships with restaurants and bars throughout the state, as well as have a dedicated cocktail bar where we can showcase more of our experimental mixed drinks and spirits.”

SS: Where can customers find your spirits for purchase?

“We sell bottles out of our location in Central Point and additionally are stocked in most local liquor stores. The Ashland and Talent Liquor Stores, specifically, keep our products at the ready.”

New Port Distilling’s four signature spirits.

We here at the Stone are proud to introduce our two new house cocktails featuring New Port Distilling:

Standing Stone Elderflower Martini

New Port Distilling Beard & Flannel gin, dry vermouth, St. Germain Liqueur, lemon twist, served up.

Standing Stone Strawberry Spritzer

New Port Distilling vodka, strawberry puree, lemon press, soda, on the rocks.

Come in any time to enjoy these delicious creations, or to simply try New Port’s gin and vodka, available at our full-service bar.  When you choose Standing Stone, you’re choosing local many times over! Cheers!

Standing Stone Partners with United Way to Fundraise for Fire Victims

Although months have passed and spring is now upon us, the stinging reminder of the devastating Almeda and South Obenhain fires of last summer can still be felt by simply driving through the cities of Ashland, Talent and Phoenix.  Amongst the ashes, the sight of new construction provides a sense of hope and optimism.  In an effort to do our part in helping our local community rebuild, Standing Stone has partnered with non-profit organization United Way of Jackson County to raise funds for their Fire Relief Program.

Since December of 2020, United Way has raised 3.1 million dollars for fire relief. This money was awarded through an application process that distributed funds to 780 individuals, families and small businesses for a total of $1,298,584. Additional funds were used to provide more than 300,000 meals, to date, to displaced people.

Dee Anne Everson, CEO of Jackson County United Way, said she’s proud to partner with Standing Stone to provide assistance to those impacted by fires.

“It is through these kinds of efforts that we can all come together to help thousands to find permanent, safe and secure housing. Standing Stone represents what community is all about,” Everson said.

Elisha Lewis, Standing Stone Brewing Company’s Restaurant Manager, agreed with Everson’s sentiment that community is at the forefront of the Stone’s mission to give back.

“Although months have passed since last summer’s fires, we recognize that there are individuals, families and businesses that still need help. Standing Stone has always done what we could to help our local community, and we are grateful to be able to provide a platform where we can raise funds to continue to do so,” Lewis said.

Standing Stone Bar Manager Noah Edwards has created a specialty cocktail aptly named Phoenix Rising Paloma as a means to raise these funds.  Specifically, for every Rising Phoenix Paloma sold, Standing Stone will donate $2 to United Way’s Fire Relief Program.

Phoenix Rising Paloma

The Phoenix Rising Paloma is currently available at Standing Stone or “to-go” by calling the pub at (541) 482-2448. Interested community members can also donate directly to United Way’s Fire Relief Program by clicking the following link: http://www.unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org/give/

 

By in Community 1

An Open Letter to Our Standing Stone Customers:

Standing Stone Brewing Company is lucky enough to have spent the past 23 years doing what we love: brewing delicious beer in-house, preparing wholesome, locally sourced pub fare and (best of all) giving back to our community through our donations programs.  In the past year however, the manner with which we have worked to accomplish these goals has changed drastically.  No one could have guessed a year ago that we would currently be in the midst of a global pandemic, in which a virus known as COVID-19 would dominate nearly every aspect of our lives.

The economy, and especially small businesses like ours, have been hit hard by this pandemic.  An immediate shut down of in-house dining back in March left us reeling.  The future of our company, and the livelihoods of our staff and their families, remained unknown. As we worked to navigate the extremely murky waters we were suddenly faced with, it was unclear if we would survive. The economics were simple; without the same volume of customers we were used to serving in the “typically profitable” summer months, maintaining enough profit to stay open was not feasible.  Like many local businesses here in Ashland, we turned to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by the Federal Government, to provide financial assistance.  When we eventually reopened in May for dine-in service, we were faced with the somber reality of operating with less than half of our tables (inside and out) in order to maintain safe social distancing requirements. Sanitation practices were heavily increased, and the masks we were introduced to months earlier, at the start of the pandemic, were now the new “uniform” worn by our entire staff.

Currently, we are “still standing,” but as we head into the Winter season, we are going to rely heavily on local patronage to help keep our doors open. As such, we hope to either enclose our open-air patio or install space heaters to continue providing the option of outdoor seating. We also hope to install dividers between our tables to maintain the safety of our guests and provide more seating within the restaurant.

As if the pandemic wasn’t devastating enough, our beautiful valley was also faced with extreme adversity when the Almeda Fire blazed a devastating path through the North side of our community and into the neighboring cities of Talent and Phoenix.  The damage that was left in the wake of Almeda, and several other large fires, was unlike anything seen before here in Jackson County.

Photo Credit: Stacy Dean Photography

While Standing Stone survived the fires, we recognize that there are so many other businesses and homes that did not. In light of this, we want to do what we can to help.  Our brew master has created a special release beer appropriately named “Still Standing IPA.”

It is a crisp, Autumnal IPA with large amounts of Citra & Azacca hops.  Following a double dry hop, it now sits at 7.25% ABV and has an IBU of 83. For every pint sold, Standing Stone will donate a portion to local non-profit organization, ACCESS.  ACCESS has provided essential services such as food, housing and financial assistance to those in need, here in Jackson County, since 1976. ACCESS currently has a Fire Relief & Recovery Program in place to assist those who were directly affected by the Almeda Fire. Last year ACCESS distributed more than 5.3 million pounds of food throughout the County, and over the past few months they have distributed more than 35,000 emergency food boxes due to COVID and the fires.

Photo Credit: ACCESS

For every dollar donated to them, they are able to provide FOUR meals for families struggling with food insecurity. For more information about ACCESS, and how you can donate to them directly, please visit their website at http://www.accesshelps.org.

Additionally, a portion of these proceeds will also go to a local family affected by the Almeda Fire.  This is where you, our valued customers, come in; we invite you to nominate one family by briefly sharing their story with us. You may e-mail all nominations to elisha@standingstonebrewing.com. Please share this post, so that we may consider as many nominations as possible.

In closing, we are so very grateful to all of our patrons, and we promise that as long as our doors are open, we are committed to providing a safe, sanitary environment for our guests, and we will continue to donate to those in need.  Thank you all so much for your continued support.  Stay safe out there and mask up!

 

Gratefully,

The Standing Stone Team

 

New Arrivals at Valley View Farm

Spring is soon to arrive here in the valley, and with the warmer temperatures and coming rain showers, new babies have also arrived on Valley View Farm’s birthing pasture.  Standing Stone recently partnered with Dave Westerberg, owner of Valley View Farm, to raise these cattle just a short distance away from the restaurant. He recently invited several of us here at the Stone to pay the farm a visit, and we eagerly accepted!

Pregnant cow days from giving birth on Valley View Farm.

According to Westerberg, 27 Purebred Black Angus cows delivered their calves over the months of January and February, giving way to a brand new group of offspring ready to pack on the pounds through nursing and grazing over the coming months.  These calves will spend their days together, in a single pasture, while staying close to their mommas.

Westerberg currently uses two Black Angus bulls to breed new offspring.  These two bulls are kept in a separate pasture where they spend their time grazing on various grasses found on the farm. Not only were we able to meet many of the new calves, but we were also introduced to these two breeding bulls. Ziggy, the smaller of the two, seemed friendly and somewhat nonchalant.  Duece however, the much larger of the two, spent most of his time bellowing and pawing the ground with his feet.  He was one of the largest bulls each of us had ever seen, and his aggressive nature and showboating left us all not only impressed but a bit intimidated as well. The electric fence between us did help to calm any nerves.

Duece, one of two bulls responsible for 27 new calves this year.

As spring arrives, we will continue to watch these new arrivals grow up!  We couldn’t be more pleased with our partnership with Westerberg and the manner in which he raises these animals; they have endless pastures to graze on and live happy, healthy lives. Stay tuned for updated photos!

 

 

Streamlining Operations at Standing Stone Brewing Company

Since 2011 we have raised free-range cattle and sheep on our farm, aptly named One Mile Farm for its location to our brewery, to serve in our restaurant. This endeavor has been both a rewarding and positive experience over the past 8 years. After careful and thoughtful consideration however, it is with content hearts that we have made the decision to close One Mile Farm. Many of you may ask “why?” Simply put, we are streamlining operations as well as increasing our support of local farmers by putting the task of raising our cattle in the capable hands of Ashland rancher Dave Westerberg of Valley View Farms.

Dave Westerberg of Valley View Farms, Ashland, OR

As all members of our community can attest to, recent summers of heavy smoke and hazardous air conditions have resulted in a significant decline in tourism.  Some of the hardest businesses hit? Local restaurants such as ours.  Farm operations are costly, and as we focus our attention on strengthening our relationships with local farmers to produce farm-to-table food, it was the right decision to close our farm and transfer the responsibility of raising our cattle to esteemed rancher Westerberg.

The cattle we had previously raised on One Mile Farm were purchased from Westerberg as calves and brought just a quarter of a mile from his farm to ours.  Essentially, the only difference between Standing Stone raising these cattle and Westerberg is that they will be grazing on grass just a short distance away.  The manner in which they are raised will remain the same: 1) The land and cattle are chemical-free – no fertilizer or hormones are used.  2) They graze freely on open pastures using a management-intensive rotational system that helps rejuvenate the grass and soil, with the herds moved from one section to another sequentially. 3) These cattle are raised holistically using organic, responsible and sustainable farming practices.

Adolescent Bull, Valley View Farms

Standing Stone management met with Westerberg recently to take a tour of his farmland and its operations.  It was during this tour that Westerberg shared he and his family have raised purebred Black Angus cattle here in Ashland for more than 70 years on 80 acres of family-owned property.

From left to right: Lauri Westerberg, Elizabeth Westerberg, Dave Westerberg, Nathan Steele

Westerberg has 31 permanent pastures under his care and these are often divided with temporary electric fencing to facilitate their managed intensive grazing goals; the main goal being to improve the biological life of the soil.

Farm Tour with Standing Stone

Westerberg is currently raising approximately 100 cattle and separates them into various groups.  These include cows with their offspring, adolescents on an intensive nutrition plan and mature cattle nearing processing time. Just as they were on One Mile Farm, these animals will continue to be processed humanely, and the quality of the resulting product will remain the same: grass-fed, grass-finished beef that has health benefits such as higher Omega 3’s as well as lower saturated fat and cholesterol versus conventional beef.

These cattle graze on a wide variety of grass species including rye grass, orchard grass, timothy, 3 types of clover, birds foot trefoil, meadow foxtail and plantain.  During our tour with Westerberg we witnessed many cattle “mooing” for his attention while gathered at various gate entrances.  When asked what they were mooing about he shared that they were trying to get his attention in order to be let into other nearby pastures with enticing grasses.  To say these cattle live a happy life appears to be an understatement by our personal accounts.

As we continue to work with local farmers, our menu will also reflect even more farm-to-table choices than ever before.  We currently partner with RA Farms, Happy Dirt Farm, Wandering Roots Farm, Mushrooms All Year and Fry Family Farms, keeping it local while sourcing vibrant, wholesome ingredients.  The next time you dine with us, check out our Weekly Specials Board to see the current items sourced from these farms.

SSBC Steakhouse Burger

As a sustainable, environmentally conscience brewery and restaurant, we are excited for this next chapter in our story and look forward to bringing you, our loyal customers, all things “local.”  Thank you for your continued support and patronage.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Pints For A Purpose – Standing Stone Gives Back to the Community

In 1997 we opened Standing Stone with several goals in mind: to brew delicious beer in-house, partner with local farmers to bring our customers locally sourced, farm-to-table pub fare, provide support to our employees and their families, and give back to our community, all while embracing the sustainable practices that we have built Standing Stone’s foundation upon.  One way in which we are able to “give back” to our community is through our fundraising campaign known as “Pints for a Purpose.”

Pints for a Purpose is our annual season-of-giving in which we choose five local non-profit organizations to each benefit from a night of glass-raising, awareness-raising and fund-raising for a good cause.

The first of our Pints for a Purpose benefit evenings will be on November 12th.  For every pint of beer or house-made rootbeer that we sell that evening, $2 will be donated to the Rogue Farm Corporation.  Below is a brief summary about each of this year’s chosen five recipients.

November 12th:

“Rogue Farm Corps trains and equips the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs and the preservation of farmland. They support the local agricultural economy and serve as a model for other communities through education and the promotion of interns and apprentices into the world of community-based agriculture.” One of our biggest priorities here at Standing Stone is to partner with local farmers to source humanely, sustainably raised and grown animal products and produce.  Rogue Farm Corps is incredibly important to the farming community here in the Rogue Valley, and we couldn’t be more excited to support their cause.

December 10th:

John Muir Outdoor School is a K-8 public school with a focus on outdoor education and the arts. All students receive core academic subjects aligned to common core standards as well as outdoor education and the arts.  Our students usually spend one day a week in an outdoor setting learning essential skills such as safety, preparedness and group awareness.” John Muir Outdoor School is certainly one-of-a-kind when it comes to proving such valuable education in an outdoor setting.  We hope friends and family alike of enrolled students will join us on this particular night to raise funds.

January 14th:

Helman Elementary will host the 6th Annual “Jack’s Dodgeball Olympics” to celebrate the memory of Jack Dorr, a Helman Elementary student who passed away from a brain tumor in 2014, as well as fundraise for the Doernbecher Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Team in Portland, Oregon.  This tournament and a silent auction will be held Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at the Ashland High School.  In addition to the tournament, Standing Stone will also host a fundraising night in Jack’s honor on January 14th to raise additional funds to contribute to the Doernbecher Research Team.  This will be a night to not only remember loved ones affected by cancer, but raise money in their honor for life-saving research.

Jack Dorr, Front & Center

February 11th:

Planned Parenthood (PP) of Southwestern Oregon is a non-profit organization that Standing Stone has consistently stood behind during each Pints for a Purpose season.  PP ensures the rights and ability of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health by providing health services, education and advocacy. Access to such valuable medical care and treatment is something we can all stand by!

March 10th:

Since 1985, WaterWatch has pursued a single clear mission: To protect and restore flows in our rivers to sustain the native fish, wildlife, and the people who depend on healthy rivers. They work in the media, Congress, courts and with agencies to advance sound water policies and protect natural streamflows statewide. WaterWatch is the only group monitoring water allocation proposals, agency decisions, and water use statewide. In the Rogue Basin, they are currently spearheading efforts to remove major fish barriers like Savage Rapids dam while also restoring streamflows. This includes the removal of three dams on local creeks to open up salmon spawn.

Please join us for us for each of these fundraising dates from 5 PM – 10 PM.  Giving back to our community through our Pints for a Purpose Program is near and dear to our hearts, but we can’t do it successfully without your participation.  We look forward to seeing you!