Standing Stone Brewing Company

Author: Elisha Lewis

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!

 

Aiming High: Standing Stone Looks to Take Top Honors @ Culinary Festival

It’s that time of year again; some of the best chefs in the Rogue Valley are set to converge upon the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites to compete in the 13th Annual Ashland Culinary Festival November 7th – 10th.  Over the course of three days, chefs and their respective sous chefs, as well as the area’s top mixologists, will show off their skills in front of a panel of esteemed judges who will ultimately decide who is the year’s “Top Chef” and “Best Mixologist.”  Last year, Standing Stone placed 3rd overall in the competition as the judges’ “Wild Card” selection.

2018 Wild Card Winners Jeff Hunt & Raider Babcock Photo Credit: Graham Lewis

Standing Stone Executive Chef Raider Babcock and Sous Chef Jeff Hunt hope to secure first place in this year’s competition.  Both chefs reflected upon their experience last year and what their strengths are going into this year’s contest:

Raider: “I think having a bit more knowledge about the set-up, what the rules are, and what to expect this year is going to make a big difference. We went in completely blind last year, and I think that had a lot to do with a third-place finish. It was the first competition on that level for either one of us, and just understanding the set-up and where to find things presented a challenge. [Having that knowledge now], all of our moves going forward are going to be more concise, clean and in my mind, will make a big difference.  We aren’t rookies this year.”

Jeff: “We balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  We’ve been cooking together for almost two years now, and I think that the dance we’ve developed in the kitchen gives us an advantage.  This year, we have a fighting attitude and are going to go in, rock it out and take first.”

Sous Chef Jeff Hunt & Executive Chef Raider Babcock

Standing Stone bartender Ron Morairty will also represent the brewpub in the mixology competition that kicks off on Friday at 5:30 PM in the same location. He is competing with 5 years of bartending experience and a love for his craft.

Ron: “I enjoy the fact that I get to converse with people and help teach them about different cocktails and spirits.  I  just love being able to help someone enjoy spirits that they don’t typically try, by tailoring drinks specifically to their likes and dislikes.”

Ron Morairty

We hope you will join us for all of the exciting competition that is set to go down this coming weekend as our chefs put their best knives forward!

Tickets are available at the door or on-line at http://travelashland.com 

For more information visit: http://www.ashlandchamber.com/Page.asp?NavID=782

Fall Events at the Brew Pub!

The Rogue Valley saw one of the most beautiful, smoke-free summers we’ve seen in a while! For that, we are all so very thankful! As we roll into the changing season, we here at the pub are looking forward to gorgeous Fall colors, crisp temperatures, and rainy afternoons sipping our house Puck’s Porter and indulging in comfort food (such as our Chicken Pot Pie Pizza currently on special)!  We are also looking forward to two upcoming events!

First up on the agenda?

Our 11th Annual Pumpkins & Pints Event is on Sunday, October 27th from noon – 4 PM! We will provide pumpkins from Fry Family Farms as well as carving tools!  Sip on one of our craft beers while carving your pumpkin and listen to live music from long-time local musician Robbie Dacosta! He will perform from 2 – 4 PM, at which time we will hold our annual costume contest.  The winner will receive obvious kudos for the best costume as well as a gift certificate for $25.  Bring the whole family, and dress warm as the event will be held outdoors on our beautiful patio (weather permitting).

Next we have an event we’ve been looking forward to all year: The 2019 Ashland Culinary Festival!  Last year Chef Raider Babcock and Sous Chef Jeff Hunt made us so very proud when they were selected as the 2018 Wild Card Draw to advance to the final round of competition and finished 3rd overall!  Our dynamic duo will again compete this year to take the title of Top Chef!  The competition will take place at Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites on November 9th and 10th!  Prior to the festival, look for Chef Raider to be featured on KTVL Channel 10’s cooking show “West Coast Flavors” featuring some of the competing chefs this year.

Executive Chef Raider Babcock & Sou Chef Jeff Hunt

We hope to see you at both of these fabulous events!  Thank you for your continued support, we couldn’t do it without you!

By in Uncategorized 0

Happy Summer: Introducing Three New Seasonal Releases!

Summer is here! That means gorgeous weather in the Rogue Valley full of days on the surrounding rivers, boating on Emigrant Lake, outdoor sports, and barbecues with friends and family.  What better way to celebrate than with a growler (or two) of our three new, fabulous craft brews? While we offer glass growlers here for purchase, as well as our Hyrdoflask (shown below), you’re more than welcome to bring in personal growlers.

SSBC Hydroflask available for purchase – Photo Credit: Patrick Carey

For those of you who enjoy a crisp, easy-to-drink beer, look no further than our Moondust Lager.  It’s a deliciously clean tasting Session beer with a refreshing malt sweetness.

Moondust Lager 4.5% abv

Fan’s of German Hefes will love our traditional interpretation in the form of our Jefferson State Hef.  Classic and unfiltered with banana esters and gentle notes of clove on the palate.  A true summer beer worthy of representing the 51 State: State of Jefferson!

Jefferson State Hef 4.9% abv

Last, but certainly not least, we have a new brew dedicated to hardcore IPA fans!  Not for the faint of heart, this IPA is incredibly bold: A Misummer Night’s Haze IPA.  It’s hazy in every sense of the word, hopped at 5lbs per barrel with Azacca & Idaho Hops, and filled with citrus & pine notes.

A Midsummer Night’s Haze IPA 6.3% abv

Come on down to pub and give them a try.  As always, we offer an entire flight of our beers (we currently have 9 on tap) for $5.  Cheers!