Standing Stone Brewing Company

Author: huntleyr

Mark Your Calendars for Our 2013 Winter Beer Dinner

There’s not much we’d rather do than pair delicious craft beer with perfectly matched food. The thought of savoring every sip and bite is enough to make our mouths water and minds wander toward savory flavor matches. To celebrate the fantastic union that is craft beer and artisan food, we present our Annual Winter Beer Dinner, Thursday, January 10th 2013 at 6:30pm.

This five-course feast of fare is our way of featuring our beloved brews with fresh, innovative dishes that shine the spotlight on other local crafters and producers in our region. This year, we’re highlighting several Southern Oregon goods and businesses, and including many ingredients from our own Standing Stone Farm. You’ll delight in courses starring eggs, beef and honey from our pastures just a mile away.

Seats for the Winter Beer Dinner are $60 per person. Seating will be limited to 60 people, so be sure to make your reservation soon! We have tables of various sizes available and welcome you to reserve seats together with friends and family – please let us know when you make your reservations.

To book your seat, come visit us at the restaurant to fill out a reservation card, or call us at 541-261-0021. You can also email us at Rachel@standingstonebrewing.com. We printed our Beer Dinner menu on mail-ready postcards, so feel free to send one to friends who love to celebrate beer and food, too.

And if you’re looking for holiday gift ideas, we also have Winter Beer Dinner gift cards available.

Cheers to the flavors of the season and our region! We can’t wait to showcase these tempting beer-pairing courses, and we hope to see you at this year’s Winter Beer Dinner. In the meantime, whet your appetite with these photos from Beer Dinners of yesteryear.

By in Community 0

Spotlight on Noble Coffee Roasting: Part 2 of 2

We love our local business partners in Ashland, Oregon. Noble Coffee Roasting is an award-winning craft coffee producer located just a few blocks away, and we proudly brew their coffee and espresso at Standing Stone. Last week we posted Part One of our interview with owner, Jared Rennie, all about responsible sourcing how the business started. Now, we continue with more about Noble Coffee Roasting, including how to brew and use great coffee at home.

What are some of the ways Noble Coffee has worked to benefit coffee producers and communities?

Describing how Noble Coffee has benefited our producer-partners would take many words to fully explain. To keep it simple, we develop relationships with producers, and then we fully support them. Here are some examples…

  • We have paid for the organic certification for two of our producer-partners.
  • We have operated fundraisers that have provided funds, computers, printers, and school supplies to producing communities.
  • We name our coffees after the producers and farms themselves, so as to give them credit for growing the fruit that they do.
  • We pay based on cupping scores. This means that a coffee that scores 88 out to 100 earns more money than a coffee scoring 86 points. This creates an incentive for producers to constantly be improving.
  • We provide feedback based on quality that allows producers to improve their crops which, in turn, helps them to demand higher prices for their product.

What’s the best way to store and prepare coffee at home?

  • Buy high-quality, certified organic coffee.
  • Buy coffee that offers a roast date.
  • Buy coffee that is freshly-roasted and brew it within two weeks from the roast date.
  • Grind your beans with a high-quality burr grinder (like Baratza) just before brewing.
  • Use filtered water (Brita is great).
  • Make sure to use the appropriate temperature, right around 200 degrees.
  • Use the appropriate quantity of coffee (around 2 grams of coffee per 1 ounce of water).
  • Know more about the chemistry of brewing coffee… Coffee is the most complex food that we consume in terms of flavonoids, and therefore antioxidants. If you’re interested in more hands on learning, please write us at education@noblecoffeeroasting.com for information on brewing classes.

What are some ways to use coffee in food recipes, too?

Coffee can be used for all kinds of great stuff! Finely ground coffee is great for a rub on meats, is a great addition to chocolate frosting, and mole sauces. Cold-brewed concentrates are amazing in cocktails, and these concentrates can also be diluted over ice for a great warm-weather treat.

Thanks again, Jared! You can find Noble Coffee on Fourth Street in Ashland, and also at their walk-up window downtown on the plaza (open April-October). Or, come in to Standing Stone for a handful of Noble-inspired drinks and treats. We brew Noble coffee and espresso, as well as our specialty Noble Stout – our Oatmeal Stout infused with Mokha Java blend cold-press coffee. Or, to satisfy your sweet tooth, try our Stir Crazy Cake, made with dark chocolate and Noble coffee. Whatever your choice, enjoy the opportunity to savor award-winning delights brewed up locally in Ashland.

All photos courtesy of Noble Coffee Roasting

By in Community 0

Spotlight on Noble Coffee Roasting: Part 1 of 2

The Rogue Valley is fortunate to be home to several world-class businesses that focus on creating high-quality products. One such business is Noble Coffee Roasting in Ashland, OR. At Standing Stone Brewing Co. we proudly serve their award-winning coffee and espresso, and even use their cold-press Mokha Java blend in our Noble Stout. We asked owner Jared Rennie to share a bit about his passion for roasting and brewing quality and organic coffee, and he offered us so much wonderful information we’re featuring two posts this week on Noble Coffee. Here’s what’s brewing on Fourth Street in Ashland:

What inspired you to open a coffee roasting company and how did you learn to perfect your sourcing, roasting and brewing?

After roasting and preparing coffee while working my way through high school and college in the Rogue Valley, I graduated from SOU and became a teacher. This was great and I loved teaching, but I soon began to miss serving coffee. I started to collect some great coffee paraphernalia for home-use and this collection grew large fast. As I got further and further into coffee, I realized that coffee could and should be considered a craft food, as was happening with beer, wine, chocolate, and cheese. As I learned more about coffee over the next couple of years and honed my roasting and brewing skills, I saw how much folks in Ashland, and Southern Oregon in general, appreciate high-quality products that are responsibly-produced. By the time early 2007 came around, my coffee hobby and desire to show people what great coffee can taste like had grown out of control and Noble Coffee Roasting was born.

What’s your approach to coffee sourcing?

Our approach to sourcing our coffee is simple – we aim to work with the producers who share our values. First, we are interested in the world’s best-tasting coffees. Often times through awards programs like the Cup of Excellence we find coffee producers who are uncompromisingly dedicated to quality. When it comes to buying based on quality, we are among just a few companies worldwide that buy the level of coffee that we by. What sets us apart from every other coffee company out there is that every coffee we’ve ever purchased is certified organic. So, we have to search pretty hard to find producers that create the level of quality that we search for and do so without the use of synthetic chemicals. This is a big deal as the high quantity of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides used to grow coffee conventionally make it the most chemically-laden crop in the world that we consume. Choosing to source high-quality organic coffees truly helps to make the world a better place.

What are some of the highlights of your work?

We have been awarded a Good Food Award for both years that the program has existed – we are one of only three companies nationally that can say the same. Most importantly, we love serving our customers the best coffees in the world daily – that represents the greatest highlight imaginable.

Thanks Jared! Coming up next, tips on brewing a great cup of coffee and ideas for using coffee in recipes at home…

All photos courtesy of Noble Coffee Roasting

By in Restaurant & Menu 0

Fall’s Bounty on the Rocks: Two Recipes for Autumn-Harvest Mixed Drinks

We love mixing things up on our restaurant and bar menu year-round. Using seasonal and specialty ingredients, especially during late harvest season when big, bold flavors are abundant, is our idea of a great time! We asked our bartender, Gina Velando, to give us the scoop on how she’s shaking things up with new specialty mixed drinks on the menu, plus two new recipes for making your own fall-season beverages at home. Here’s what Gina has to say about serving up fall’s bounty on the rocks:

“As our restaurant’s food specials reflect seasonal availability, so does our changing drink lineup. Early autumn means blackberries and pears take center stage behind the bar, and with these we’re showcasing the Pear Gin Smash and Blackberry Ginger Mojito.”

Pear Gin Smash

We like trying new infusions, and local, Oregon gin is a great option.  In our experience, complimentary flavors are the key idea. With pairing in mind, we infused Organic Nation Gin with Bartlett pears to capture the quintessential pear flavor. At home, wash and slice the fruit and simply combine with gin in a clean mason jar. Secure with lid and store in cool dark place for 3-5 days until desired flavor profile is achieved. Shake jar a few times each day to blend flavors.

(photo: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives)

1 ¾ oz. Pear Infused Organic Nation Gin
Splash Sparkling Cider
Splash Soda Water
Float Clear Creek Apple Brandy
Slice of Pear

Fill a tall bucket glass with ice. Add Pear Infused Gin. Top with equal parts Sparkling Apple Cider and Soda Water. Add a float of the Apple Brandy. Garnish with a crisp pear slice and enjoy!

Blackberry Ginger Mojito

Summer berries are great off the vine, delicious in pies, and – we like to think – best in cocktails! As our staff brought in bucket-loads of blackberries from our farm this season, we took some behind the bar and used them as the base for blackberry simple syrup. This sweet liquid is easy to prepare at home. Combine washed berries, sugar, and water in saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes while gently crushing berries. After cooling, strain syrup over fine mesh into a clean container and store refrigerated for up to seven days.

Fresh Mint, 3-4 large leaves, chopped
½ Lime, cut into small slices
1 ½ oz. Bacardi Light Rum
½ oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur
Blackberry Simple Syrup
Soda Water

Muddle mint leaves and lime slices in a pint glass. Fill with ice and add Rum, Ginger Liqueur and a splash or the Blackberry Syrup. Shake vigorously and pour into a separate glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint, and this tasty drink is sure to satisfy any mojito fan.

Thanks, Gina, for serving up these delicious drink ideas! For the freshest seasonal ingredients for these beverages, visit your local farmers market, like the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market, or your local food co-op. Or, if you live in an area where blackberries and mint are abundant, like Southern Oregon, try venturing outdoors and foraging your own ingredients.  Of course, we welcome you to the restaurant to enjoy one of these new specials, too, and to sit back, sip, and toast the season.

By in Brewery & Beer, Events 2

Latest Specialty Beer: Wildcraft Ale

Larry with Jon Carlson from the Vitalist School of Herbology

If there has ever been a craft beer that warrants attention from all the senses, that beer is Wildcraft Ale. This intriguingly complex brew is the latest in our specialty beer line-up, and boasts ingredients that no other Standing Stone beer has: wild foraged herbs from Southern Oregon’s own Grizzly Peak. These herbs blend with hops, malt and yeast to create a dark, black colored beer with strong anise aroma, earthy flavor and spicy mouthfeel.

Last month, our brewmaster, Larry Chase, stepped up to a challenge presented by Beers Made By Walking, a Pacific Northwest group that encourages breweries to craft a specialty beer with locally foraged ingredients. This summer, they asked five craft breweries in Oregon to join in and brew up their own unique beers that show off edible (and drinkable) herbs in their regional landscapes. All five breweries came together in Portland last Sunday, October 21st, to present their specialty concoctions at the unveiling event, a fundraiser for the Northwest Trail Alliance. You can visit the Beers Made By Walking website to see all the participating breweries and their creative new brews.

Larry rose to the beer-making challenge with enthusiasm last June and enlisted local herbalist, Jon Carlson, to join him on a hike to Grizzly Peak to identify edible plants near Ashland, OR.

SSBC Brewer, Larry Chase, at Beers Made By Walking event (photo: BeerGirlSays.com)

After a day of trekking through local trails and identifying handfuls of edible and medicinal plant varieties, Larry chose the featured ingredients for Wildcraft Ale – Sweet Root and Wild Ginger.

About Sweet Root

Sweet Root can be found in nearly all the mountains of the Pacific West and is best harvested late-summer through fall. Its flavor can be compared to licorice or fennel, and a tea made with the plant can aid in digestion and respiratory function.

About Wild Ginger

This plant is indigenous to America and can be found in moist woods and shady areas that are at mid- to low-elevation. The root is strongly aromatic with a mild bitter taste, and slight sweetness.

Of course, we recommend having an expert with you when doing any wild foraging for edible plants. Contact Jon Carlson with the Vitalist School of Herbology in Ashland if you’re interested in learning more about wild, edible herbs specific to Southern Oregon.

About the Beer

Deep black color, strong anise aroma, and medium body. The spicy, tingling mouthfeel is accompanied by flavors of earthy and woody licorice. 5.5% abv. 20 IBU

Malt
Organic 2-row
Briess Extra Special
Briess Carapils
Briess Midnight Wheat

Hops
Bittering = Willamette

Italian Sausage Linguini

Suggested Pairings

The licorice and earthy qualities of this beer make it an excellent pairing with similar-flavored food. Try it with roasted fennel at home, or pair with black and red licorice to compare the flavors. Mushrooms make a great match, especially wild-foraged varieties from your local farmers market or food co-op. Dark chocolate is an excellent pairing, too, with its slightly sweet and bitter qualities. Here are our pairing suggestions from the menu:

Italian Sausage Pizza
Three Meat Pizza
Italian Sausage Linguini
Sautéed Crimini Mushrooms
Stir Crazy Dark Chocolate Cake

Be sure to ask your server or bartender for a sample of Wildcraft Ale on your next visit. We’re certain it’ll grab your attention! Take a few moments to assess its color, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel for an enjoyable and complex tasting experience.

4th Annual Pumpkins & Pints in Our Pastures

NEW LOCATION UPDATE: The rain this last week has made our pasture pretty muddy, so we’re moving the festivities to Standing Stone! Same pumpkins, same live music, same yummy fare and a cozy new space. If the weather is nice, we’ll take it all outside to the patio for fresh air and autumn mountain views. If it rains, we’ll stay warm inside by the wood-fired oven. Either way, we hope to see you downtown on Sunday, October 21st, 12-5pm, at Standing Stone Brewing Co at 101 Oak St.

It’s that time of year again… We’ll gather up the grill, lots of seasonal beverages and food and loads of carving-ready pumpkins and haul them all to Standing Stone Farm for our Pumpkins and Pints celebration! This 4th annual all-ages get-together will take place Sunday, October 21st from Noon-5pm. We’ll spend the afternoon enjoying plenty of family-friendly fun on our pastures on Eagle Mill Rd. in Ashland, OR.

Just like years past, we have lots on the slate for a relaxing day outdoors with good friends, yummy fare and fresh fall air. We’ll have piles of pumpkins and carving tools for a great, big jack-o-lantern gathering. Feel free to bring your own special pumpkin, or carve one of ours! We’ll enjoy live music from Jeff Kloetzel and friends on guitar, mandolin and harmonica, as well as tunes from Standing Stone employees Brandon Schilling and Sam Cathcart. We’ll bring our refrigerated trailer to serve beer on tap (including Okotberfest Lager) and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as lots of food to enjoy from the grill.

This seasonal celebration comes just in time for the one-year anniversary of our Standing Stone Farm Project. Last October, we leased 265 acres of land to launch a farm to supply our brewpub with a local, sustainable source for meat and eggs. A year later, we’ve populated the pastures with cows, sheep, chickens, bees, and three guard dogs. The livestock and chickens follow each other in a rotating pattern around the farm, rejuvenating and replenishing the soil as they go, while the bees help pollinate the plants in the area and give us honey. Now, we get all our beef exclusively from our own cows, as well as all the eggs we can handle, and there’s lots more to come. It’s been great fun with great rewards!

To offer a better idea of how our farm operates, we’ll have Standing Stone employees on-hand hosting tours throughout the day. If you’d like to learn more about our multi-species rotational grazing and meet our animals, or if you’d just like to enjoy a stroll through the fields, be sure to bring a pair of your favorite farm boots for hiking around the hills and through the grass.

Happy Fall season to all, and we hope to see you at the 4th Annual Pumpkins and Pints!

By in Food, Standing Stone Farm 2

Sweet Rewards of Our Honey Harvest

SSBC Beekeeper Danielle with hives (photo: R. Koning)

We’re buzzing with sweet joy as we welcome our first batch of honey from our bees on Standing Stone Farm! We’ve been tending to our beloved honeybees all summer long, and as we prepare to wrap them up warmly for the winter we delight in a sweet treat from our bustling hives in return.

Busy hive entrance

We started beekeeping on our farmland earlier this summer with four single-level beehives. These colorful boxes live in a sunny pasture in the middle on our farmland on Eagle Mill Rd. in Ashland,OR, surrounded by bushes of blackberries to supply plenty of pollen. As our hive populations expanded over the summer we added several more levels to our hives, giving our bee friends and their queens plenty of room to grow their families and make delicious honey.

In September, as the warm, sunny weather began winding down, our Standing Stone beekeepers took a course from Bee Girl of Ashland, OR all about winterizing beehives and harvesting honey. Here, they learned that honeybees need plenty of reserve honey to supply their diet during the cold winter months when they don’t leave their hives. They also do well in small, combined hives that contain their warmth and don’t let cold wind gusts inside.

SSBC Beekeeper Rachel preparing honey (photo: C. Meeks)

After the class, our beekeepers spent a day inspecting and consolidating the hives to prepare them for the cold winter months. They left the bees with enough honey to keep them full with food while pulling the extra honey that was leftover once the bees were settled in their new, cozy spaces.

Back at the restaurant, we harvested our honey using an old-fashioned “crush and strain” method, pushing the honey through a fine mesh strainer to separate the liquid and wax. Once finished, we filled five liter jars with fresh, delicious honey to use in our restaurant. We’ll be sure to use it in dishes that let its natural sweetness shine through, so stay tuned to special’s board for honey delights coming soon.

Final product – fresh, raw honey! (photo: R. Koning)

To enjoy local honey at home visit your community’s farmers market or food co-op and stock up for winter. The sweet treat is a delicious traditional aid for soothing a chilly-weather cold or flu, and a yummy ingredient in cooking and baking or homemade mead. And if you’re interested in starting your own hives at home, be sure to visit the Bee Girl website for resources, tips and community classes in Southern Oregon.

By in Brewery & Beer 0

Latest Specialty Brau: Oktoberfest 2012

(photo: Oktoberfest.de)

As we toast the arrival of the autumn season we welcome back one of our favorite annual specialty beers – Oktoberfest. This traditional German lager honors the centuries-old Oktoberfest celebration that countries rejoice in around the world. This year, the official Oktoberfest festival runs September 22nd-October 7th. At Standing Stone,we’ll keep the merriment alive with this seasonal beer on tap all month long.

Oktoberfest is a two-week holiday held each year in Munich, Germany during late September and early October.  It is attended by six million people each year, making it the world’s largest fair, and inspires similar events in Germany and around the world. In 2010, the festival rang in its 200 year anniversary! Of course, we’re happy to join in the age-old fun.

About Oktoberfest Beer

Take a vacation from hops with this traditional German lager. The biscuity aroma, toasty caramel flavor, and creamy mouthfeel make this rich orange beer a perfect pair with the Fall season. 5.8% abv

Malt

Briess Vienna
Briess Bonlander
Briess Ashburne Mild
Great Western Organic C-60
Best Acidulated

Hops

Bittering = Nugget
Aroma/Flavor = Organic Liberty

Yeast

Wyeast Octoberfest Lager Blend

Food & Beer Pairings

This malty lager makes a great complement to hearty and spicy foods, as well as traditional German fare like meats and krauts. We suggest:

  • Italian Sausage Pizza
  • Pretzel with Marionberry Mustard
  • Spicy Kimchee
  • Black Bean Nachos
  • Reuben Sandwich with Saurkraut
  • Spicy Italian Sausage Linguini

As always, we also have the beer available to take with you in liter and half-gallon bottles. At home, try it as a brunch or dessert pairing with spice cake. Or, enjoy a pint while grilling some Wurst outside to catch that festive feeling of Oktoberfest and enjoy the weather. Prost!

By in Community, Events 0

Snapshot of Siskiyou Challenge 2012

September 22nd, 2012 marked one of our favorite outdoor events of the year – the Siskiyou Challenge Relay Race. This community event, benefiting Rogue Valley Farm to School, hosted over 50 teams that competed in a six-leg, multi-sport relay. Over 250 racers ran, biked and kayaked their way all around Ashland, OR to the finish line in downtown Lithia Park.

This year, Standing Stone entered four teams comprised of 24 employees – our record participation! We made sure to take team photos so we could look back on all the great uniforms.

Team 1 – Let’s Get Physical:

Nick Blakeslee, Server – 13K road bike
Carolyn Stone, Server – 3K kayak
Brandon Schilling, Sustainability Coordinator – 31K road bike
Jackie Case, Server – 10K run
Ace Harvey, Line Cook – 14K mountain bike
Lindsay Wiegel , Server – 5K run

Team 2 – Stone Villagers:

Ismael Garcia Nava Jr., Line Cook – 13K road bike
Roberto Ambriz, Line Cook – 3K kayak
Javier Cruz-Paso, Manager – 31K road bike
Salvador Cruz-Paso, Lead Prep Cook – 10K run
Miguel Garcia Orosco, Line Cook – 14K mountain bike
Alex Amarotico, Co-owner – 5K run

Team 3 – Half Pints:

Danielle Amarotico, Co-owner – 13K road bike
Marina Spelletich-Pecoraro, Server – 3K kayak
Melza Quinn, Manager – 31K road bike
Laura Pfister, Server – 10K run
Matt Nunes, Server – 14K mountain bike
Ashley Nunes, Graphic Designer – 5K run

Team 4 – Out of Towners:

David Conley, Server – 13K road bike
Michael Nelson, Server – 3K kayak
Josh Nielsen, Server – 31K road bike
David Kramer, Server – 10K run
Elliot Stone, Server – 14K mountain bike
Katie Rinaker, Server – 5K run

The entrance fees for this family-friendly race went to Rogue Valley Farm to School, a local organization that connects classrooms with farms through  hands-on farm visits and in-class lessons, as well as bringing local foods into school cafeterias. This is one of our favorite Southern Oregon nonprofits and we’re thrilled to be a part of this organization’s fun, athletic event!

We also had Standing Stone employees pouring cold beer and lemonade and serving sack lunches at the finish line for all the racers. This year, we sweetened our offerings with caramel apples for the finishers of the 1.4 mile Fun Run, too. Other food sponsors for the race included Rogue Valley Roasting Company, serving early morning coffee and treats, and the Ashland Food Co-op, making sure the racers were well-fed at the pre-race dinner at Emigrant Lake.

Be sure to let the coordinators know how much you enjoyed the event if you were there. We had a full day of great exercise, team work and good old-fashioned fun, and you’ll see us at the Siskiyou Challenge again next year!

By in Brewery & Beer, Community 0

Toasting Passionate (and Really Delicious) Craft Homebrewing

(photo: Aaron Spotswood)

We’re enthusiastic about all craft beer! That’s why we pitched-in some goodies for this year’s winner in the India Pale Ale category for the Hombrewers Competition at the Oregon State Fair (August 24 – September 3rd). The first-place IPA homebrewer was Aaron Spotswood of Albany, Oregon, who also won the Reserve Best of Show honor. We asked Aaron a bit about his award-winning brew, simply named “Dan,” and what drives him to brew craft beer at home.

What do you think is particularly good about this IPA, and what might you change for a future brew?

This beer is silky, floral and full of aroma. Late hop additions and a large, short dry-hop make this a winner. Originally, it placed 2nd in the Indiana State Fair with the first recipe. I then took the feedback from that competition and updated the recipe with Columbus and Chinook hops to create a hop presence without overwhelming the palate. The only change on this beer would be making a bigger batch!

What was some of the judges’ feedback for the winning IPA?

The Award-Winning IPA – “Dan.” Photo: Aaron Spotswood

Aroma: Nice citrus, piney hops.

Appearance: Light golden color, lasting creamy head.

Flavor: Great Balance, very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Overall: Well done. Great hop utilization – not harsh but pleasant. Slight malt sweetness. Great balance and very drinkable.

What other contests have you entered this year and what other awards have you won?

2nd Place…American IPA – Indiana State Fair
1st Place…American IPA and Reserve Best of Show – Oregon State Fair
1st Place…American Brown Ale – Oregon State Fair
1st Place…Specialty Beer, Cascadian Dark Ale – Oregon State Fair
2nd Place…Robust Porter – American Homebrewers Association Club-Only Competition

What do you enjoy most about home brewing?

Home brewing is an outlet for me. I am a creative guy with a mind for science. I have a lot of aquarium- keeping experience and I‘ve found that brewing is very similar to keeping aquariums in many ways. There must be a vision, a procurement of materials, and an execution of a plan, all done within the parameters required for a living organism. When I’m finished I have something that the public loves and wants more of. I love it!

Thanks, Aaron, for the info, the picture, and brewing great craft beer! If you’re interested in other homebrewing events in your area, check out your local Homebrew Club (like the Rogue Valley Homebrewers) or the American Homebrewers Association. And support local craft beer!