Standing Stone Brewing Company

Author: Joan Seybold

Pints For A Purpose – Beers for Bees!

The frost is on the pumpkin, and winter is upon us.  At Standing Stone Brewing Company that means that it is time for Pints for a Purpose, our annual season-of-giving, where 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 Tuesday November 27.  For every beer that we sell that that evening, $2 will be donated to The Bee Girl Organization.

The Bee Girl Organization is a nonprofit with a mission to educate and inspire communities to conserve bees, their flowers, and our food.  The Bee Girl Organization will use Pints for a Purpose funding toward running their two biggest projects: “Kids & Bees”, an educational bee-centered summer camp aimed at 3rd graders, and “Regenerative Bee Habitat”, which includes pollinator habitat research and floral preference surveys to develop seed mixes for both farmers and gardeners that benefit all of our bees.

While preparing to write this Blog post I visited The Bee Girl Organization website https://www.beegirl.org/.  I found such a wealth of information there!   There is information about beekeeping, about planting flowers that bees love, about habitat restoration and about teaching kids to love bees and honey.

I learned that honey is not ‘bee puke.’ “It’s flower nectar, which worker honey bees collect from flowers.  They store it in their “honey crop.”  This is like a chipmunk cheek.  The bee stores the honey, like a chipmunk stores nuts and seeds for its nest.  When the worker bee arrives back at the hive, she passes the nectar off to another bee, through their proboscises.  The bee inside the hive puts it into a honey comb “cell.”  It’s still not honey, though.  Bees add enzymes to the nectar, and evaporate over 80% of the moisture off of the nectar (using their wings as a fan).  When it’s the right consistency, the bees seal it with wax”. This is a quote from a lesson plan aimed at teaching elementary school students to appreciate bees and honey.

Promoting knowledge and appreciation of the value and the work of bees is something that SSBC supports completely.  Bees pollinate our plants to insure productivity and bio-diversity.  Healthy plant communities are crucial to the health of our livestock and to the basic local ingredients in our food and beer.  Another win-win-win situation.

Please plan to come on out and join us on Tuesday, November 27 between 5 and 10 pm.  Enjoy some delicious, locally grown and produced food and raise a pint of local brew to The Bee Girl Organization.

 

2018-2019 Season of Giving – Pints for a Purpose

At Standing Stone, we work to operate our restaurant and brewery in a way that protects and restores the environment, and supports the health and happiness of our community, guests and employees.” This is our mission statement, and it influences our business practices and our commitment to social responsibility.

One example of this is Pints for a Purpose, Standing Stone Brewing Company’s (SSBC) annual “season of giving” program.  Once a month on a Tuesday evening, from November through March, SSBC hosts a Rogue Valley non-profit organization; these participating groups are selected by Standing Stone employees.   Each of these chosen organizations work locally to contribute to many of the same core values and concerns of our business, our staff and our clientele: education, environmental sustainability, community and local food production.

The way it works? Each organization invites its staff, volunteers, friends and supporters to come down to Standing Stone on its particular benefit night for libations, refreshments and camaraderie.  SSBC donates $2 for each pint of beer sold that evening to the participating organization.   Last year, we raised over $2,000 for these local non-profits.

Pints for a Purpose is a win-win arrangement; Standing Stone has the opportunity to host a lively, fun-filled evening for our community and friends, the benefiting groups receive publicity, networking opportunities and much-needed funding, and guests enjoy fabulous food, company and the joy of drinking beer for a good cause.

Past Benefit Night for a Local Cause

This year’s Pints For a Purpose beneficiaries are:

The Bee Girl Organization – Tuesday November 27

https://www.beegirl.org/

Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon – Tuesday, December 11

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-southwestern-oregon

Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association – Tuesday, January 8

http://rvmba.org/

The Children’s Advocacy Center – Tuesday, February 12

https://cacjc.org/

Equamore Foundation – Tuesday, March 12

http://www.equamore.org/

So, be sure to mark your calendars.  Invite your friends. Plan to come out for Pints for a Purpose and drink beer (responsibly, of course!) for a great cause.

 

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Meet Our New Brewer Scott Saulsbury

Standing Stone Brewing Company has been producing craft beer in Ashland for over two decades.  So, when the time came to recruit a new Master Brewer to take over operation of our 10 barrel brewery, which produces about 500 barrels (1,500 gallons) of fine brew each year, it was clear that we needed a professional who had the chops to handle the job.  Part athlete, part scientist, part philosopher, Scott Saulsbury is just that person.

Scott Saulsbury

Tall and broad of shoulder, Scott has the athleticism to handle the physical demands of our second story brewing facility.  With over 20 years of brewing experience, he has the know-how to tackle the scientific and technical challenges, and the heart to forge the future of Standing Stone’s brewing legacy.   Although Scott has a resume that reads like a who’s who of Oregon craft brewing, he is very humble, hardworking and down-to -earth.

A typical brewing day could include anything from carrying 50 pound bags of grain up the steep steps to the top of the hopper, to making calculations for new formulations; from sourcing and purchasing hops, grains and yeasts, to raking spent grains out of the mash tank; from maintaining equipment to networking with other beer enthusiasts. Recently he took a few minutes out of his brewing day to visit with me.

Joan: Tell me about your “brewer’s journey”?

Scott: “I was going to graduate school at University of Oregon in 1993 when I got my first job as Assistant Brewer at Steelhead in Eugene From there, I moved to Bend and started at Bend Brewing Company then moved on to Deschutes Brewery for quite a few years.  Back in Southern Oregon I helped Jim (Mills) start Caldera Brewing Company. After that, I worked at Southern Oregon Brewing Company for about 8 years from 2008 to 2016.  And finally, I was at Ram Brewing in Medford for the last year and a half…”

J: That’s a pretty impressive resume.  What drew you to brewing in the first place?

S: I was studying philosophy, English and Ancient Greek, and I realized that I wasn’t going to be an academic and I needed to get a job.  I sort of hit that early nineties wave of brewing getting more popular, and I was able to make a career out of it.

J: So, as Standing Stone was getting started as a brewery in 1997, you were already on your brewer’s journey.  You were part of that movement in the nineties when the craft brewing community was really being established in the Pacific Northwest…

S: Yep. Eugene was sort of a popular place.

J: What is it about brewing beer that speaks to you?  What do you like about it?

S: I’ve done it for so long now, that it’s hard to imagine not brewing.   Initially, during the Deschutes years and the startup of Caldera, that there was a lot of creativity.  A lot of new types of hops were becoming available.  And it’s pretty fun.  You get to play with big tanks and hoses, and make a mess; there is that blending of art and science.   You can crunch the numbers and calculate how things ought to work out.  And then there’s always that extra remainder that is sort of just winging it.  There are not as many variables as being a chef, but you get to make something that people enjoy.  And that’s always great.

J: Yeah, for sure, that’s the bottom line, when people say, “Oh yes, this is so good.  Thank you so much!”  So, what is your brewing philosophy?  What do you look for when you are creating a beer?

S: Drinkability, or integration of flavors, as opposed to something that is distinct…like really bitter or really coffee-flavored.  Something that has a more integrated flavor profile and also something that dries out and has a clean finish.

J: How’s your palate?

S: I can taste distinctions that most people can’t… but sometimes that doesn’t work in my favor because I start to focus on imperfections or defects over enjoying the beer.  But that’s part of it.  It’s one of the best ways in the process to see if everything’s going okay, you know, tasting it out of the fermenter and tasting the yeast.

J: And that’s where the science meets the art.

S: Right.

J: How do you go about creating a new beer?

S: Well, there are style guidelines that you can follow. There’s a range.  Like making that IPA [Tempest, for example].  There’s a range of gravity, hop character and desired alcohol in the result.  You have sort of a rough range that you’re playing in.  You can do some bitterness calculations for hop addition, or for the color that you’re going to get, what sort of malt character you’re looking for….I sort of back into recipes a lot because over the years of brewing I just know how to fall into that range.

J: Let’s talk about stepping into this position at Standing Stone, a brewery with a 20 year legacy of craft beer and with several flagship beers – I ( heart) Oregon Ale, Milk & Honey and Twin Plunge Double IPA . How do you approach that?

S: My goal is to maintain the consistency as much as I can with the flagship beers, and then like with the Tempest IPA, bringing in something that both the staff and customers have been asking for….  I also want to bring in some other flavors and see what takes.  Try to get to where there are a few more special beers on all the time.

J: What are your plans for the future?  How will you make your mark here at Standing Stone?  What can we look forward to?

S: I have some traditional leanings. I plan to have a Pilsner on most of the time as well as maintaining that IPA, and possibly bringing on a porter that becomes a flagship brew….  And then just be available to hear what people want…