Standing Stone Brewing Company

Author: huntleyr

By in Brewery & Beer 0

Share Holiday Cheer With Standing Stone Gifts

The holidays are a great time to reflect about what you know and love best about your closest friends and family, and use that knowledge to find the ideal gift. We encourage you to look for items that benefit people and planet, and support small, local businesses. This season, we have you covered, with lots of ideas for the beer lovers on your list.

Gift Certificates

We offer gift certificates in any denomination. These are a terrific one-size-fits all option. That special someone can use them to dine at Standing Stone Brewing Co. or purchase merchandise or other items.

Standing Stone T-Shirts

We’ve introduced new SSBC Bike and Beer T-Shirts for men and women. In our minds these represent “the perfect fit.” We also revamped our classic Standing Stone adult T-shirt with a new color and crisp design. For kids, check out our pint-sized shirts with charming images that capture our core business values: sustainability and fun.

Glassware

Pick up a few pint, half pint or taster glasses for others and yourself. These are great for enjoying your favorite beverages at home. You can also purchase our “Tap Into It” water bottles to serve your fabulous tap water with style.

Beer

All of our beers are available to go in liters and half-gallon growlers. Both sizes make terrific presents and are ideal for taking to holiday parties. To share our handcrafted brews as gifts, consider buying a full or empty bottle and a gift certificate for refills. If you’re taking full bottles to go, we suggest keeping it cool and storing it for no more than one week for the freshest taste.

Holiday Six-Pack

Our new Holiday Six Pack is a complete set with everything you need to please that beer guru you’re thinking of. It includes one of our T-shirts (your choice of design and size), a set of coasters, two logo pint glasses, a half-gallon growler to-go bottle and a gift certificate to fill the growler with the recipient’s favorite brew. What better way to cover all the bases for your Hard-To-Shop-For cousin or your Has-Everything uncle? Don’t forget about I-Don’t-Need-Anything Mom. She doesn’t mean it.

Brewer for the Day

Finally, for the ultimate beer enthusiast, we’re offering a “Brewer for the Day” package. This gives the recipient the opportunity to brew a professional batch of beer at Standing Stone with our brewmaster, Larry Chase. Your lucky loved one will enjoy a full day brewing a 10 BBL batch of beer, followed with lunch, a pint of beer and a sampler tray of all of our brews on tap. They’ll also take home a T-shirt and a growler full of the finished product (after the batch is finished). This is ideal for anyone who’s passionate about homebrewing or wants to experience the fascinating world of beer making firsthand, and a great gift for Mom or Dad from all the kids. To get a sense of what this offers, check out our blog post on homebrewer Isaac Overacker’s “Brewer for the Day” experience and how it helped improve his homebrewing techniques.

That’s a wrap. Come in and look over all of the items we’re showcasing to take home and share some cheer for the holidays. We hope you sit down and treat yourself to a pint as well.

By in Food, Sustainability 0

Talking Turkey 2: Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving – Hosting & Sustainability

We hope you’re getting ready for a fabulous Thanksgiving! To follow up our post with tips for a terrific Thanksgiving meal (and drinks), here are a few more helpful ideas from our team to help you plan a stellar, stress-free, sustainable event. Feel free to post a comment to share your tips for celebrating, too!

Rachel Huntley, Event Coordinator

As the event coordinator extraordinaire, can you share a few tips for hosting a stress free, memorable Thanksgiving?

There are several ways to save stress and time without compromising the quality of your food or your experience. First, keep guests happy before the dinner with light and easy appetizers and a little activity to buy you more time to organize your thoughts and the meal without pressure. Try putting out Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese or Sharp Cheddar, wines and beer for guests to do their own tasting and pairing. Toasted artisan baguettes with garlic and butter are a good addition. They’re easy palate pleasers, and even better with local tapenades and spreads such as those from Rising Sun Farms next door in Talent, OR. Offer paper and pens to encourage note taking and discussion.

Whenever we organize an event at Standing Stone we do as much prep work ahead of time as possible, while ensuring freshness and quality. Prep vegetables, grains and legumes beforehand, store them in the fridge and finish on Thanksgiving Day. Many dishes can be prepared a day or two before, such as cranberry sauce or your favorite casserole. Make Thanksgiving a celebration week and enjoy relaxed cooking while focusing on the holiday’s joy, gratitude and togetherness.

Brandon Schilling, Sustainability Coordinator

As our sustainability coordinator, what simple tips can you share with folks to eliminate waste and have a positive environmental impact during the celebration?

Thanksgiving traditionally involves sharing a home cooked meal with family and friends, though some eat out or purchase prepared foods. There are ways to make all of these options more environmentally-friendly. Sustainable Thanksgivings ensure that we have more to come, so it’s important to do what we can.

Use reusable dinnerware for the meal (plates, utensils, beverage glasses, napkins, etc.) and storing leftovers. Reuse foil from baking dishes to cover leftovers as well.

For those celebrating at a favorite eatery, walk, bike or carpool. Pick a venue close by, too, as you’ll save fuel and might cross paths with friends. The restaurant’s practices shape its sustainability impacts so pick accordingly, such as selecting one that offers local and organic foods and uses reusable tableware. Bring your own reusable containers if you think you’ll have leftovers to-go.

If you’re staying home and hosting, invite guests through e-vites or phone. You might even try to arrange a carpools among guests or encourage them to walk or bike, which will help shake that post-meal trance and promote a good night’s sleep.

Rogue Valley Brambles Farm in Talent, OR

Your meal choices have a big impact. If you’re planning on serving turkey, choose one that’s local and organic, or at least antibiotic- and hormone-free. Grass-fed heritage turkeys are an especially tasty and smart choice. Your quest to find the freshest, local bird may bring you to a local farm, perhaps harvesting a turkey yourself, quite a memorable experience!  Stock up on local produce to enjoy what’s fresh and in season, such as sunchokes, squash, brassicas, root vegetables and more. Look for regionally-grown grains, legumes and dairy products as well. Try challenging yourself to stick to what our predecessors would have eaten for the first Thanksgivings.

Shop as locally as possible and look for items with minimal or no packaging, or packaging that can be recycled. Buy baking supplies, nuts and grains and in bulk. Gently remind guests not to waste food and drink by taking only what they’ll finish. Compost kitchen trimmings and any food left on guests’ plates.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to give thanks for the plants and animals that are our sustenance, and for our food security!

Talking Turkey: Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving Feast

At Standing Stone Brewing Company, we’re all about welcoming our community for a delicious cuisine and beer in an enjoyable atmosphere. We hope our guests feel a little of the spirit of Thanksgiving on each visit, enjoying a great meal in the relaxed company of family and friends.

Our team is savvy about fabulous food and drinks, and how to prepare and present them in sustainable style. We thought we’d share our two cents to help you celebrate a terrific Thanksgiving full of savory seasonal fare and, of course, excellent craft beer. We’d love you to share your ideas, too, so please post a comment!

Jeff Hunt, Line Cook

What’s your favorite, foolproof way to cook a turkey?

To keep moisture around the turkey and add great flavor, try using a mirepiox in the bottom of the pan. The combination of celery, onions and carrots is the flavor base for lots of favorite soups and stocks, and the additional aroma is sure to offer guests a treat with the fragrance of the baking bird. Don’t forget salt and pepper either. These basic additions can make a world of difference.

Have you ever tried a “beer can chicken” recipe with turkey?

Beer can turkey unfortunately doesn’t turn out as well as its counterpart “beer can chicken.” Often a turkey is too big and takes too long to cook for this method. However, if you really want to give it a whirl, use a smaller turkey. Often, organic and heritage turkeys tend to be a bit smaller, so go for the smart choice.

What side dishes do you suggest, using seasonal, local ingredients?

Thanksgiving’s traditional dishes are inherently in season since the holiday is founded on appreciating the harvest. I suggest sticking with these traditions while adding a creative and new spin. Try sweet potato au gratin instead of the usual sweet casserole with marshmallows. We make a savory bread pudding at the restaurant and like to add all the seasonal vegetables we can get our hands on, like chanterelle mushrooms, onions, spinach, and garlic. This would be a nice twist on traditional stuffing. Sunflower seeds are in season now. Try adding some to your pie crust for an extra crunch and pleasant flavor. We especially love doing this for pumpkin cheesecake crust.

Larry Chase, Brewmaster

Which Standing Stone beers pair best with the Thanksgiving meal?

With turkey and stuffing try the Pilot Rock Pale Ale. We offer this and all of our beers to go in liters, half-gallon growlers and kegs. Its spicy nuances will match the spices traditional spices in stuffing, its palate cleansing hops will prepare you for the next bite and its upfront citrus flavor will add a new dimension to the turkey and stuffing.

Which Standing Stone beers go well with pumpkin pie and ice cream for a unique desert experience?

Try our Milk & Honey Ale, which has  sweetness to match the cinnamon and nutmeg of pumpkin pie. Our Oatmeal Stout stands on its own as a great after dinner beer with many dessert-like qualities, including nuances of roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

CraftBeer.com has lots of food & beer pairing tips for more ideas.

That’s all for now. Check out part two of this post pairing for ideas on hosting an unforgettable and stress-free Thanksgiving, and doing it in sustainable style.

Did you make it to the Food and Wine Classic?

Top Chef Chandra from Cucina Biazzi

If you were around this weekend for the Ashland Food and Wine Classic at the Ashland Armory, then you may be feeling like we do this week…satisfied from sampling the delicious beer, wine and food, and inspired to take home some of the culinary wisdom and creativity we saw from Ashland’s top chefs.

If you missed it, here’s a recap to whet your taste buds for next year…

Standing Stone Brewing Co. was one of two beer vendors at the event, along with Caldera and several local wineries and artisan bakeries with treats to satisfy every savory and sweet taste bud.

While we poured hearty tastes of our Amber Ale and Harvest Ale for the crowd, Ashland’s finest chefs had thestage for the four rounds of Ashland’s Top Chef Showdown.

Chefs from eight local restaurants participated, including:

Omar’s

Cucina Biazzi

Lark’s

Tease

Chateaulin

Peerless

The Black Sheep Pub

Allyson’s

Omar's competes in the final round

Chef Chandra Corwin of Cucina Biazzi won Top Chef this year in the final round against 2009 Top Chef Franco Console of Omar’s. The secret ingredients for the last round, unveiled as the clock started, were whole rabbit and Dabob Bay oysters. Congratulations to all of the chefs who participated, truly showing talent under pressure!

Thank you to the Ashland Chamber of Commerce for coordinating another successful Food and Wine Classic event. We’re happy to be a part of Ashland’s favorite culinary exhibition every year. Missed it this time? We still pour hearty tastes of our beer at the restaurant, any time of the year.

Birds of a Feather: Melza and our Chickens

At Standing Stone, we love showcasing our coworkers with hidden talents (and not-so-hidden ones, too). This week we want readers to know about server, bartender, photographer and resident chicken expert extraordinaire, Melza Quinn, and share an update on the expansion of our chicken flock.

Melza has been with Standing Stone Brewing Co. since the summer of 2009, when she began serving and hosting. She had just moved to Ashland after a cross country road trip from Florida. She says she was searching for a community where people know their farms and have a passion for food, and she found it here. Lucky for us!

Melza has a passion for working and living locally, which is why she is such an important piece of our Standing Stone puzzle. A weekly patron of the Tuesday Farmer’s Market, Melza knows many of our local farmers by name and makes a priority to visit and learn as much as she can about Southern Oregon and our available year-round bounty. She recently visited Thompson Creek Organics in the Applegate valley and came back raving about how beautiful the orchards were and how accommodating owner, Blaire Smith, was with his tour of the orchards and cellar.

Melza’s latest passion at Standing Stone is chickens. Currently, our flock  has 45 egg-laying chickens, providing all of our restaurant’s eggs and ensuring they are all free-range and hormone and antibiotic free. Melza is researching the best breeds for egg production,optimal housing methods and how to start producing our own chickens for meat so that all the chicken we serve will remain the freshest and most healthful option for our guests. The future of our chicken operation will be the fruits of her labor!

You can also get a glimpse of Melza’s photographic and artistic talents, and our chickens and cows, in our front window, where the brewing tanks live. She recently put up a window display to showcase up-close-and-personal pics of our cows and chickens, and is working up another one to catch your eye and show off our local farming friends.

Ashland Food and Wine Classic Preview

Halloween has passed and it’s time for the next big thing on our calendar – Ashland, Oregon’s 4th Annual Food and Wine Classic, held November 5th – 7th. We’re taking part in this weekend long event, which brings together Southern Oregon’s best beer, food and wine vendors to offer samples, educational workshops and the Top Chef Showdown.

To start the weekend off, previous years’ Top Chefs, Franco Console and Neil Clooney, will be preparing a three-course dinner at the Ashland Armory on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the 2010 Top Chef Competition and Showdown take place at the Armory from 12-5, with lots of local food and beverages to enjoy while watching the excitement. Standing Stone Brewing Co. will be there pouring tastes of beer and selling pints from our brewery. There will also be a People’s Choice dessert competition between several local restaurants, and spectators are welcome to bid on the sweet dishes afterwards.

Local artisan food and beverage providers sampling at the Armory include:

  • Apple Cellar Bakery
  • Branson’s Chocolates
  • Caldera Brewing Co.
  • Cary’s of Oregon
  • Dagoba Organic Chocolate
  • EdenVale Winery
  • Enchanted Florist
  • French Kiss
  • Grizzly Peak Winery
  • Homemade Confections
  • Nobel Coffee Roasting
  • Organic Nation
  • Rise Up! Artisan Bread
  • Rising Sun Farms
  • Standing Stone Brewing Co.
  • Sterling Silver Food Company
  • Vintner’s Kitchen
  • Weisinger’s of Ashland
  • Willamette Valley Vineyards
  • Windridge Vineyards

Throughout the weekend, there will be several workshops to indulge your culinary curiosity and creativity. Don’t miss the homebrewing workshop, held Saturday and Sunday 10-11:30 AM, led by expert brewer, Bob of Grains, Beans and Things. There’s also the ever-popular wine tasting class, and one holiday table art promises to help the crafty entertainer get a jump on holiday decorating.

You can purchase tickets from the Ashland Chamber of Commerce by following this link, or at the door.

We recommend buying your tickets in advance, since some events sell out.

There’s a full menu of options from tickets for the dinner, one or both weekend days with or without workshops, or the complete event package.

Hope to see you there!

By in Community, Events 0

Food and Fun for Pumpkins and Pints

A big THANKS to everyone who joined us for the Second Annual Pumpkins and Pints event on Sunday.  We had a great day of pumpkin carving, eating and drinking, all in the warm comfort of our sunroom.  We had over 60 pumpkins for guests to carve and had only 2 LEFT at the end of the day!  To us, that says success!

The Apple Cider Doughnuts were a hit, and the Bratwursts flew off the grill.  We featured hot specialty drinks, including a Wassail made with spiced cider, Oatmeal Stout and rum.  We also debuted our Chocolate Covered Orange cocktail, created with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Cointreu, Noble Coffee and dark chocolate and orange shavings.  What a way to spend a rainy Sunday!

We also sold out of our seasonal Butternut Brown Ale on Sunday, which means we won’t be seeing it again until next fall.  However, we’ll have Oktoberfest on tap until we unveil a new seasonal beer next week.

As always, thank you to Tim Church who played acoustic guitar music throughout the day as we carved, played, ate and drank.

We appreciated the creavitiy to all of our guests. We’ll be on the lookout for all those Jack-O-Lantern faces come Halloween!

By in Community, Events 0

Join us for the 2nd Annual Pumpkins and Pints!

The season is changing, Oktoberfest is on the menu and Halloween is around the corner.  That must mean it’s time for Standing Stone Brewing’s second annual Pumpkins and Pints event!

Join us this Sunday, October 24th from 3-7 pm, on our back patio for pumpkin carving, fresh beer, warm specialty drinks and grilled bratwursts as we welcome the fall!  Bring the family and get ready for some good old-fashioned outdoor fun.

We’ll have live guitar music and a patio grill for made-to-order sausages with beer mustard.  For dessert, we’ll feature special apple cider doughnuts. Heaters will help keep us warm as the afternoon goes on, but remember a sweater for the fall breeze.

If weather drives us inside, we’ll carve pumpkins in our sunroom and celebrate by the warmth of our wood-fired oven.

Bring a pumpkin or carve one of ours!  We’ve got the carving tools, you’ve got the creativity.  See you there!

Standing Stone Places 6th in Siskiyou Challenge Relay Race!

Last Saturday, as the sun rose at 6:45am, the Standing Stone crew gathered at the inaugural Siskiyou Challenge, a multi-sport relay benefitting Rogue Valley Farm to School.

Clad in running shorts with kayaks and bikes in tow, five of our athletic and energetic employees collected in a pre-race huddle with supporting coworkers cheering around them.

Fifty three teams participated in this five-leg relay race. The beneficiary, Rogue Valley Farm to School, is a great nonprofit that connects schools and farms through educational programs and farm-to-cafeteria partnerships. The scenic course covered 46 miles around Ashland and Talent across land and water, touring farms, orchards, lakes and parks.

The weather and course were beautiful, the volunteers were amazing and we had a blast sharing the day with the rest of the participants and community. Team Standing Stone huffed and puffed and came in 6th overall with a time of 4:05:59!

Here is run down of the course and our participants for each:

  • 11K run – Rob Koning
  • 3K kayak course – Mike DuBois
  • 25 mile road bike – Brandon Schilling
  • 9.5 mile mountain bike – David Conley
  • 5K run – Gina Velando

Racers crossed the finish line at ScienceWorks to enjoy good food, live music and the company of their teammates, fellow racers and supporters. Treats at the post-race festival included baked goods from Ashland Food Cooperative, coffee and pastries from  Rogue Valley Roasting Co and handmade ice cream in fresh waffle cones from Artik Creamery. Standing Stone was a lead sponsor and provided a free post-race meal and beer to all participants, of course using lots of local food.

We were thrilled to participate in the Siskiyou Challenge, both as a racing team and as a sponsor since we’re a long time supporter of RVF2S. We want to thank RVF2S for the great race and all the participants for a huge turnout. Siskiyou Challenge, we’ll see you next year and we hope to see an even bigger turnout at this great event!

Wine on Tap Continues to Sparkle

By now, most of our frequent customers know about the kegged wine we offer in cooperation with Wooldridge Creek Winery in the Applegate Valley. After a year of pouring this great vintage we want to rave about it again and recap our success with this progressive program.

Last June we contracted our first order of Wooldridge Creek wine in 15.5 gallon kegs. We started with three varieties: Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Tempranillo. The goals of the using wines in kegs are to offer customers quality house wine at a lower cost, and reduce our natural resource use and carbon footprint by shrinking the materials used for packaging and the fuel consumed in distribution. The concept is catching on nationally as winemakers seek to save costs, eliminate waste and help the planet.

Customer feedback and our own taste testing assures us that quality is never compromised. Customer conversations are engaging and positive. More and more, we are pleasing guests by showing them bulk wine is good to the last drop.

We asked Wooldridge Creek winemaker, Greg Paneitz, to share some facts about the overall environmental impact that Standing Stone and Wooldridge Creek have made by serving kegged wines. Here’s what kindly he broke down for us:

We have delivered a total of 634 gallons of wine in kegs since we started about a year ago.

That is equal to:

267 cases

3210 bottles, corks, labels and foils

10,680 pounds of glass (Over 5 tons)

Just to give you an idea of what that looks like; 267 cases is 7 pallets of glass.

Wow, pretty cool reality check.

We know that glass is the largest contributor to a winery’s carbon footprint. Together, we are doing a nice job of mitigating that fact.

Wine deliveries have gone from once a week to once every four to six weeks. A single vehicle makes one 65 mile round trip, with enough space saved from eliminating bottles to fit everything securely inside one regular sized delivery car.

Recently, we have added a sparkling Brut to our taps for customers to enjoy. Following the same principles as the other wines on tap, the Brut stays sparkling and fresh pour after pour. How nice to enjoy a glass with dinner or dessert, or as a delicious palate cleanser between courses.

To learn more about Standing Stone and Wooldridge Creek’s cooperative relationship, follow this link to an article in the Ashland Daily Tidings. The trend is expanding to other local restaurants as well. Oregon Winepress featured a story on the winery’s growing distribution to 4 Daughter Irish Pub in Medford, Ore. and several other regional eateries.