Standing Stone Brewing Company

Author: huntleyr

By in Food 0

Thanksgiving Recipes and Beer Pairings: Two Simple, Tasty Treats

Thanksgiving can seem hectic, with food to prepare and guests to tend to. To help you out, we thought we’d share some easy and appealing appetizer recipes, with beer pairings, to keep everyone happy and well-fed.

Our  chef, Eric Bell, was recently featured on Southern Oregon news channel KDRV where he shared the Thanksgiving Day appetizer ideas we’ve posted here, along with preparation tips. They’re are easy to prepare and perfect to enjoy while your other entrées and sides are baking away for dinner.

Eric suggests pairing these spreads, which we’ve highlighted at Standing Stone on both our daily and special menus, with fresh baked bread spread with olive oil and garlic (toasted at your oven’s highest temperature – see the KDRV video for tips). We think a loaf of our baguette, which is made fresh every morning, makes for a real Standing Stone experience. You can order these to go but sure you come by and grab your a day early, as we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving Day to spend it with our families.

Photo: KDRV

We also asked our brewer, Larry Chase to give us some perfect beer pairings for each of these spreads, since offering guests with some fun, flavorful pairings is a great way to entertain a houseful. We offer our beers to go in liter and half gallon bottles, and kegs, perfect for the holidays, and any day.

Heirloom Tomato & Feta Salsa

Ingredients

2 large heirloom tomatoes, or a few roma, juice removed & diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1-2 Tablespoons fresh thyme minced
1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
½-1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
¼-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (like Rogue Brambles, available at the Growers and Crafters Market)
¼-1/3 cup Spanish sherry vinegar (12 years old- yes, you can find it!)
Pepper (coarse fresh grind) to taste
6-8 oz feta cheese
Salt (coarse sea salt is best)

Instructions

Incorporate all ingredients except salt in a large bowl. Since feta is already fairly salty, it’s good to taste first, and only salt as you need.

Food-Beer pairing

A great way to balance the acidity of this dish is pairing it with a maltier beer, like Amber Ale. Our current specialty beer, NPK Ale, also has delicate flavors and a light mouthfeel that wouldn’t overpower the light, fresh flavors in this bruschetta.

Artichoke Spinach Dip

Ingredients

12 oz chevre goat cheese (we like Mama Terra)
8 oz cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
1 can artichoke hearts with water, coarsely cut
6-8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 c chopped fresh spinach
1-2 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructuctions

In a mixer, using the paddle, incorporate all ingredients except artichoke hearts. Mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. When smooth, add artichoke hearts and mix on low for 1 minute. Move to an oven-safe bowl and bake at high heat until the top starts browning. We suggest heating the oven as high as it will go, around 500 degrees, and toasting your bread at the same time to enjoy both servings warm.

Food-beer pairings

A great beer to go with this dip is the Oatmeal Stout. Both have a creamy mouthfeel and rich flavors. You could also try an India Pale Ale, or our Double IPA, as the hops offer an astringent property that cuts through richness, refreshing the palate after each drink.

Thanks Eric and Larry! We hope you enjoy these Thanksgiving food and beer pairing suggestions. Let us know how they go, and feel free to some creative twists and pairings of your own!

By in Employees & Partners 1

Employee Spotlight: Standing Stone Yoga Instructor Lindsey Holy

At Standing Stone, we think a focus on wellness makes for happy employees! Last year we talked with Standing Stone server and yoga instructor, Lindsey Holy, about the launch of  Standing Stone’s “Tap Into You” employee wellness program. Initiated last summer, this program aims to spur employee participation in weekly yoga sessions by sponsoring classes and offering incentives for frequent participation – a free Standing Stone, hops-themed yoga mat after completing 12 sessions.

Since we loved Lindsey’s post about starting the program last year, we asked her to update us on her personal yoga practice and give us some insight into how yoga cheers her day, on and off the clock.

What kind of yoga are you teaching currently?

My teaching reflects the core values of the Krishnamacharya lineage with lots of fun modern day influence and infusion. The combination of Astanga Primary Series and Modern Vinyasa Flow sequencing is a perfect platform for me to draw inspiration from. I like my classes to be both physically challenging and thought provoking. I enjoy bringing my students safely to their edge and watching them in conversation with their own mind and body. It’s a powerful thing to witness and reminds me over and over that I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I’m meant to do.

What keeps you motivated to practice everyday?

I have met my practice in love. I have met my practice in resistance. No matter where I am in my day or in my life, I practice because I believe that what I’m doing is so much greater than my emotions, my moods, my good and/or bad days.

What are some of the fun things you’re doing with yoga?

Photo: Lindsey Holy

This month I am hosting a 30 day challenge for my students, a few of whom are Standing Stone employees! 30 days of practice in 30 days. The idea behind this challenge is not only make a firm commitment and stick to it, but also to notice the excuses we use to get out of commitments. Honestly, I can’t think of anything more important than taking time out of your day to mindfully connect to yourself and release anything not serving you. Why is it so easy for us to say, “Ah, I’m too tired” or, “I don’t want to wake up early today”? We listen to these patterns, we watch and we learn. That’ true practice.

I’m always looking to make classes fun. By sticking to my personal practice and continued education, I bring in new and fresh ideas to class all the time. From music to sequencing, you’ll rarely, if ever, have the same class twice with me.

What are your personal goals for your own practice in the next year?

My goal with yoga is the same day in and day out – to release tension so that I am able to show up in my life every singe day. I believe it’s important to check in with one’s self and ask, “How am I showing up in my life?”  It’s imperative to recognize what things are coming between you and yourself, and the answer is more often than not related to some form of tension. So I practice to release the excess tension, expectations, and thoughts I have about myself and others, and instead make my self available to what’s truly going on around me – beautiful life.

Where can people take a yoga class from you?

I’m teaching here in the Rogue Valley, both at the Rasa Yoga Studios of Medford and Ashland, and Om Sweet Om in Talent.

Thanks for sharing, Lindsey!  For more on Lindsey’s style, inspirations, and more great photos you can visit Lindsey’s website, too.

Thanks for Joining Us! Pumpkins and Pints Recap

Wow! We want to send a big thanks to everyone who joined us for the Pumpkins and Pints in Our Pasture celebration on Sunday, October 23rd. We enjoyed the fine company and fresh air on a full day out on our farm.

Record numbers of eager pumpkin carvers and friends flocked to our new farmland in Ashland, OR for the third year Standing Stone’s annual pre-Halloween event. We were so happy to host it on our farm this year to enjoy the weather and seasonal fare of fall and welcome everyone to our new land.

Together, everyone carved 120 pumpkins! We’re excited to see these great jack-o-lanterns on porches and doorsteps around town. We also went through lots of apple cider and ale on tap, as well as bratwursts, burgers, veggie burgers and pears, since the pumpkin carvers and bike cyclists worked up a thirst and hunger on the warm day.

A big thank you to the musicians who played for our guests! Standing Stone employees Sarah Goldberg, Alex Davis-Mauney, and Brandon Schilling all took part in furthering the ambiance by offering their musical talents. Local musician, Jeff Kloetzel also joined in the fun, bringing Jef Ramsey on mandolin to accompany him on guitar and vocals.

We had our farm gurus on hand to educate interested people about our practices and plans, and introduce everyone to our new cows, chickens and farm dogs (or puppies, for now). Folks got up close and personal with these new Standing Stone family members, as well as some visiting goats and horses from Valley View Beef’s Dave Westerberg, who rode in with cowboy boots and hat.

We’re excited to put together more events out on the pasture as our farm grows and grows. Stay tuned for more news and pictures of our land and our animal residents, as we’ll keep everyone up to date on this fun farm building. You can also visit our Facebook page to view even more photos of Pumpkins and Pints 2011. Thanks again for joining us!

By in Events, Food 0

Savor the Fine Fresh Fare Dowtown Ashland November 5th and 6th

We just heard some great news! The Ashland, OR Growers and Crafters Market that takes place out front of our restaurant on Oak Street every Saturday will extend its season one more week to coincide with the Ashland Chamber of Commerce’s 5th Annual Food and Wine Classic. We couldn’t be happier that these two fun festivities will be together downtown the weekend of November 5th and 6th, right next to Standing Stone! Both events have a “local” theme in common, with workshops on shopping in your local community, and vendors at both venues offering fresh, local fare.

The Food and Wine Classic showcases our region’s premier culinary artists and local bounty through a weekend of workshops and a Chef Showdown at the Historic Ashland Armory from Noon to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. This year, seven talented chefs will compete against 2010 Top Chef Chandra Corwin for the reigning title, creating dishes with surprise fresh ingredients, unveiled right as the cook-off begins.

During the Chef Showdown, Standing Stone will be pouring beer among over 30 other local vendors. We’ll be serving up tastes of some of our cherished brews, and selling pints for those who thirst for a bit more. There will also be wine and sweet and savory fare, and the beloved dessert competition on Saturday from 2-3pm.

The Food & Wine Classic will also include workshops to help you make the most of local foods. Guests can purchase a variety of admission packages to attend events over the course of the weekend. Visit the Chamber of Commerce website for ticket and package info. We suggest Saturday morning’s workshop How to Shop Your Farmer’s Market – Shop and Tour Ashland’s Saturday Grower’s Market.

Don’t miss out on the last chance to browse fresh, local produce straight from our local farms right downtown in Ashland. And if you live in the area, remember the Tuesday Ashland Growers and Crafters Market continues until November 22nd, with even more fall harvest to savor.

We hope to see you downtown this first weekend in November!

3rd Annual Pumpkins and Pints in Our Pasture

At Standing Stone, we love reasons to celebrate! Bringing together friends over good food and fresh beer is our idea of paradise.

So, we’re excited to invite you to join us on Sunday, October 23rd from noon until 5 pm for a special, all-ages happening. We’re combining a few great reasons to celebrate into one family-friendly, fun seasonal event: the 3rd Annual Pumpkins and Pints – in Our Pasture! It will be held on our own farm, located on Eagle Mill Road in Ashland, OR.

On October 1st, we proudly began our latest endeavor, the Standing Stone Farm Project. We’re leasing the farm land from the City of Ashland. It’s now home to 15 cows and over 200 chickens grazing freely on sustainably grown pasture to fuel our restaurant menu. This represents the next step up in our mission to grow and raise much of our own food, furthering our journey toward zero-waste and offering sustainably and locally grown fare for the health of our customers and the planet. Among other plans for the farm, we’ll also compost our restaurant waste, harvest fruit from resident plants and create an outreach program to get our local community involved in the fun!
 Our Farm Project begins just in time for our Pumpkins and Pints celebration, and we think this annual get together is a great opportunity to bring people to our new land and enjoy some fresh fall air. For this well-loved event, we gather the pumpkins and provide all the necessary tools for a carving party, along with seasonal specialty food, kids’ drinks and Oktoberfest beer.

On top of the usual carving, food and drink, this year’s festivities will include welcoming our happy cows and chickens to their new home. We’ll have staff on hand to talk about our goals and sustainability mission, and introduce you to our farm animals face to face. We’ll carve loads of pumpkins– you just bring your creativity and we’ll supply the rest! We’ll have beer on tap and apple cider for drinking, as well as some yummy food in case you get hungry from all that carving.

To get to our new farm, follow Oak St. to the very bottom, and then take a right on Eagle Mill Rd. and go under the bridge. The entrance to the pasture is on the left side of the road. We’ll have bicycle parking right up front, and encourage everyone to use two wheeled transportation to enjoy some fresh autumn air, exercise and great views.

Happy Fall, and we all look forward to seeing you there!

Double Take on the Siskiyou Challenge 2011

The Second Annual Siskiyou Challenge race has come and gone, but our Standing Stone teams are still invigorated with team spirit after a day full of running, biking, kayaking and post-race festivities. Twelve Standing Stone Brewing Co employees competed on two teams with approximately 250 other athletes in this six-leg multi-sport relay race covering 44 miles around Ashland, OR. Our teams finished 7th and 8th in the mixed gender division. In addition, Standing Stone Team B won the prize for Best Costumes, earning the nickname “Team Blue Butts.”

Proceeds from this family fun outdoor event benefit Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S), one of our favorite non-profits. This program builds relationships between local farms and schools by offering classroom education and hands-on farm visits, and increasing the availability of local foods in school meals. We proudly sponsored this event this year and last, and whipped up food and beverages for racers at the finish line in Lithia Park. Other food sponsors included Rogue Valley Roasting Co serving coffee and morning treats, Artik Creamery scooping up handmade ice cream in waffle cones for the 1.4-mile Fun Run racers, and the Ashland Food Co-op donating dinner for the pre-race BBQ at Emigrant Lake. View the full list of wonderful sponsors here.

Here was the lineup of Standing Stone Brewing Co. teams for the Siskiyou Challenge 2011:

Team A:
Meg Dias, server – 13K road bike
Elliot Stone, server – 3K kayak
Brandon Schilling, waste management coordinator – 31K road bike
Salvador Cruz-Paso, prep cook – 10K run
Gina Velando, bartender – 14K mountain bike
Shey Yearsley, server – 5K finishing run

Team B:
Lindsey Wilkens, server – 13K road bike
Carolyn Stone, server – 3K kayak
Alex Amarotico, co-owner – 31K road bike
Mike DuBois, bartender – 10K run
Andy Schow, bartender – 14K mountain bike
Alicia Walker, server – 5K finishing run

As usual, our fabulous photographer, George Rubaloff, was on hand snapping shots of the racers from beginning to end. From the starting line at Lithia Park, to Emigrant Lake, and along the way back to the park for the finish, George was enthusiastically snapping photos of our Standing Stone racers. Here, we’d like to share some of our favorite moments from throughout the day.

Thank you RVF2S for another fun race in 2011, and we promise to see you again next year!

By in Employees & Partners 0

Standing Stone’s David Conley Races His Way to XTERRA World Championships

At Standing Stone, we’re enthusiastic about supporting employee health and wellness – healthy employees make happy employees! In the past year, we’ve shined the spotlight on some star participants in our healthy living incentive program, including Lindsey Holy, instructor of our employee yoga classes, and triathlete, David Conley, whom we’re sponsoring in his XTERRA World Championship quest. We’re also proud of our bike commuter program and several events we sponsor and participate in that support employee and community well-being, including the Bike to Work Week, the Bike Commuter Challenge, the Spring Thaw bike race, the Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run and the Siskiyou Challenge.

David just met the standard for the XTERRA World Championships, and finished second place in his age group, at an XTERRA qualifying race in Whistler, BC, Canada. We’re really excited and proud that his training and dedication really paid off!

He’s now headed to the XTERRA Worlds in Maui, HI on October 23rd. This is the world’s premier off-road triathlon, with biking and running on rough terrain and swimming in the open ocean. David will compete against 550 other top amateurs and pros for the title of XTERRA World Champion. Congratulations, David!

We caught up with David and asked him to tell us a bit about how he’s feeling after his latest accomplishment and what keeps him moving toward his race in Hawaii.

How does it feel to qualify for the World Championships?

Awesome! It was a goal I had set in the beginning of the year and it feels great to have achieved it!

Can you share some highlights about the races you’ve done for your qualifying quest? 

Oh man, it’s been an interesting season. The first race of the year was great for me because I was able to finish a bit ahead of the top female pro, Melanie McQuiad. The race at Whistler for the Canadian Championships was by far the most epic. It was the best single track I’ve ever ridden, and we got to race on it!  Also, before that race I had been working a lot on my swim, and ended up having my fastest mile swim yet. Its been a great season.

You overcame a challenging injury this season. How did you heal and stay in shape?

I stayed positive and listened to the doctors. As soon as I was able to get back into training, I did. It absolutely threw a monkey wrench into the plans. It just makes going to Maui this year so much sweeter.

What has kept you motivated to reach your goal of qualifying?

Knowing that I’m really not the fastest guy in my age group. I want to be the fastest!

To stay tuned with David’s progress, training and results at the XTERRA Worlds in October, you can follow his blog. We’ll be sure to post more updates as well. Or, stop by the restaurant and cheer him on in person – we are!

~Photos courtesy of David Conley

By in Food, Restaurant & Menu 0

Fresh Picked Treats Rolling Off Our Bakers’ Tables

We’re nearing the end of THRIVE’s Eat Local Week, but that doesn’t mean we’re winding down our locally-infused specials. During summer’s peak harvest season, our specials board is filled with appetizers, sandwiches, salads, entrées and desserts made with ingredients from our friends at the Growers and Crafters Market, and our rooftop garden. We’re especially having fun preparing sweet treats with berries and stone fruits that are ripening to perfection during these late summer days.

This week, the Standing Stone Brewing Co staff has been busy harvesting berries at Standing Stone’s new farm site. If you’ve been to the restaurant and noticed the stained purple fingers of the cooks, servers and bartenders, that’s because they’ve been picking blackberries! Pounds and pounds of fresh blackberries have been coming in to the kitchen, and we can’t wait to try some of the fresh new recipes our cooks and bakers come up with.

We took a few minutes to ask Standing Stone baker, Nate Kelsey, what we can expect to see for dessert specials in the coming days and weeks, and some easy ideas for using seasonal fruits in desserts at home.

What are you plans for all these blackberries?

We just made a Blackberry Galette, which is a kind of rustic tart.  You can definitely expect to see a blackberry version of our best selling cobbler, too. We’re also interested in trying a mousse.  We’ve got so many blackberries, we can really have fun trying a lot of new recipes.

What other desserts are you excited about this time of year?

We’ve been getting a lot of fruit from the Growers and Crafters Market every week. We’ve made a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp, served with vanilla ice cream.  The peaches are really wonderful right now, and we’ve used those in cobblers as well.  Now that we’re making breakfast on Saturdays, we’ve been using fresh fruit in scones, too. Peach Scones, Blueberry Scones and Apricot Scones are going over really well.

What are some easy ideas for using local fruits in desserts at home?

We really like doing seasonal variations of bread pudding. We use our own house-made bread at Standing Stone, but you can use whatever bread you like at home. You basically cut it into inch-sized pieces, pour custard over top, and throw in whichever seasonal fruit you have. Bake in the oven and you’ve got a really nice bread pudding for dessert.  You can also blend berries into a coulis to pour over top.  Just combine berries, sugar and some lemon juice in a food processor, blend well and strain.

Thank you, Nate, for the sneak peek onto the baker’s table.  Be sure to ask your server about the special desserts next time you’re in for a visit, and enjoy our valley’s fresh bounty by celebrating eating local!

Two Wheels, Two Years: Bike Program Celebrates Second Anniversary

This month, we celebrate the Two-Year anniversary of the Standing Stone Brewing Co “RPM” Bike Commuter Program.  Through this program, 35 employees have received new bicycles to date. These proud owners are happy as ever to have pedal-powered transportation in bike friendly Ashland, OR.

Participating employees become members of the RPM Club, which signifies goals to Reduce car trips, Promote living and working in Ashland, and Maintain an active lifestyle. Not only does this have a positive impact on the environment, it boosts employee health and wellness, and reduces transportation costs – a win all around. To be eligible, employees must have worked 1,000 hours at Standing Stone, and promise to  2-wheel it to work for 45 round trips in one year.

Since giving out the first round of 17 bikes in 2009, we’ve inspired related initiatives at Standing Stone and in the community. Our friends at Rogue Creamery launched their Nellie Green Pedal Power program in December 2009, with 25 team members participating. Last year, they passed the torch to Rogue Federal Credit Union, which purchased 20 bikes for their bike-to-work program as well.

At Standing Stone, we installed a 14-bicycle rack in the street in front of our restaurant and brewery. The Ashland Outdoor Store, just a few blocks away, soon followed suit with on-street bike parking. These racks act as central hubs for cyclists in downtown Ashland.

We’ve also designed a new line of bike themed T-shirts that express our joint passions for biking and beer. These aren’t just for employees. Stop by our brewpub to pick one up for yourself or a friend!

As is tradition, in September Standing Stone employees will participate in the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s (BTA) annual Bike Commute Challenge. This Oregon-wide contest invites businesses of all sizes to log employee cycling trips and challenge others in the state and local community to get in gear. The workplaces with the highest percentage of commutes by bicycle during the month win! Last year, Standing Stone employees logged 177 commutes, totaling 567 miles! Visit the BTA website to get more information, see who’s participating and sign up a workplace team. Bring on the challenge!

Check out this slideshow, too, from Standing Stone photographer, George Rubaloff, with photo highlights of happy bikers when we kicked off the program with a ride through Ashland two years ago.

We continue to celebrate this program every day and hope you’ll join us!

By in Ashland Oregon 2

Oak Street Shops are Back in Business After Remodel

Standing Stone’s building remodel is nearing completion, with our retail and art gallery tenants open for business on Oak St. in Ashland, OR. Standing Stone co-owner Alex Amarotico and his crew have worked long, hard hours to conclude the construction, and the finished product is well worth a visit.

The final steps for the front retail spaces were completed in early August, including finishing the original wood flooring, installing energy efficient lighting, and mounting new windows and doors. The fronts of the retail spaces have been restored to their original early 1900’s look, with brick facing, wood trim, taller windows and double doors.

Emz Blendz Soap Shop and Hanson Howard Gallery have moved into their new spaces and opened their doors to their anxious and loyal customers. Our friends at Emz Blendz, which occupied the same space before the remodel, are happy to be back home with more space and new improvements. Hanson Howard Gallery is new to the block, relocating from their original location on Main St. They’re excited bring new visitors to Oak St, and offer something new for those visiting Standing Stone or the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Construction will continue in the back portion of the building, and Standing Stone will expand the kitchen to create more room for fresh, in-house food preparations, like baking daily breads and butchering whole cows from our neighbors at Valley View Beef. Construction plans also include the addition of office spaces for the behind-the-scenes personnel, like our favorite accountant, Don Stoudt.

Walk by the new spaces on Oak St. if you find yourself downtown. The people at Emz Blendz and Hanson Howard will be happy to show you around. If all that exploring makes you thirsty or hungry, too, you know where to stop for a pint and a bite to eat. You can also take a virtual tour on our website photo gallery. Enjoy!