Standing Stone Brewing Company

Author: maschweisguth

Sustainable Agriculture Champion Joel Salatin Visits the Rogue Valley (and Our Farm!) March 15-16

As farmers and advocates for sustainable agriculture, we’re excited to help welcome Joel Salatin to the Rogue Valley on March 15-16, and encourage you to take part.

Joel Salatin operates Polyface Farm in Virginia, where he raises livestock using a free-range, rotational grazing system – a model we use on our own farm. He’s an outspoken champion for agriculture that truly sustains the environment, the economy and society. A well-respected, informed and engaging presenter, Salatin is featured in the film Food Inc. and the book Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan), and has authored several books.

The Jackson County Local Action Committee (JCLAC) is hosting Salatin for a smorgasbord of events focused on how we can create food systems that are better for all, including a tour of our farm.

“So You Want to do an Abattoir!” Dinner with Joel Salatin ** Sold out **

  • March 15, 5 pm, Deja’ Vu Bistro & Wine Bar at the McCully House Gardens, 240 E. California St, Jacksonville
  • Food has a story to tell and so does Joel Salatin. Enjoy a lively evening featuring delicious cuisine, locally produced steaks, and Joel’s wisdom and inspiration. Proceeds support the establishment of a local local slaughterhouse.

Rogue Valley Farm Tour (Valley View Beef and Standing Stone Farm) ** Sold Out **

  • Friday, March 16, 8 am-4 pm, 816 East Valley View Road (starting location)
  • Salatin will captivate, educate and challenge with his holistic vision of animal husbandry, including mob-grazing techniques, multi-speciation and biodiversity. The day includes morning coffee & pastries, Salatin’s “Ballet in the Pasture” power point, educational tours of Valley View Beef and Standing Stone Farm, and lunch from Standing Stone. Hosted by Dave Westerberg/Valley View Beef and Standing Stone Brewing Company.

Food & Farm Faire

  • March 16, 4:30-6:30pm, Medford Armory, 1701 South Pacific Highway
  • Sample the local bounty of Rogue Valley farms, ranches, restaurants, caterers and food artisans, and meet the producers behind your next meal. Tickets available online.

 Joel Salatin Presentation: “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”

  • March 16, 7-9 pm, Medford Armory, 1701 South Pacific Highway
  • In a challenging and entertaining fashion, Salatin will discuss how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. He’ll share his thoughts on what normal is, along with practical ideas for making small changes in our lives that have big impacts. Tickets available online.

For more details, see the event website. We hope you’ll come out to learn about the possibilities for truly sustainable agriculture in the Rogue Valley, and the steps we can all take to support and expand a better local food supply. For an inspiring sneak preview, check out this video of Joel Salatin (and a clip of our farm, too). See you there!

PS: Don’t forget – the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market opens this Tuesday in Ashland and this Thursday Medford with lots of early season goodies. Come and get delicious, healthful food that supports a sustainable local food system and family farmers.

Oregon Chocolate Festival (and Chocolate Stout) – Savor a Preview

We look forward to the first weekend in March since it brings the Oregon Chocolate Festival to Ashland, OR. This annual celebration of all things chocolate unites chocolatiers from across the state with bakers, brewers, wine makers and coffee roasters.

This year’s fiesta takes place on March 2-4, and includes two days of sampling, vendors and workshops, a Chocolate Makers Dinner and Art Walk, menu specials at local restaurants and more. You can get full details on the event website.

At Standing Stone Brewing Co, we’re offering a Chocolate Stout (brewed with cacao nibs, or cacao bean pieces), menu specials and cocktails. Our bartenders will satisfy your sweet tooth with some of our favorite Oregon distilleries’ chocolate-inspired creations, such as New Deal Distillery Mud Puddle Chocolate Vodka and our house-made steamed hot chocolate infused with Bendistillery’s Cofia Hazelnut Espresso Vodka. We’ll announce menu specials and Chocolate Stout tapping on Facebook and Twitter so connect with us there. The Chocolate Makers Dinner will feature our Chocolate Stout, too.

Beer lovers can also enjoy a chocolate and beer pairing workshop with Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer, featuring our Chocolate Stout, and a “Bean to Brew” event at Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point. If you’re attending the festival, visit Southern Oregon Brewing for a taste of their excellent craft beers, too.

Chocolate, like beer, is the result of an alchemical transformation. Here’s a peek into the magic to whet your palate for the Festival. Chocolate starts with cacao beans, the seeds of the Theobroma Cacao tree. It grows within 20 degrees of the equator and loves lush rainforest environments that provide moisture and shelter its delicate flowers. Cacao pods grow all over the tree and hold about 40-50 beans. It takes about 200 beans to make a pound of chocolate.

First, cacao farmers harvest ripe pods and scoop out the pulp covered beans, which are fermented for about 3-7 days to develop the beans’ chocolatey flavor. Then, beans are dried in the sun (or energy-powered driers if it’s rainy).

Chocolate makers roast the beans, shell them with a winnower, then grind them into a thick paste (cacao liquor). This liquor can be pressed with a hydraulic press to make cocoa butter and powder, or refined into a smooth consistency then blended with sugar (and milk, if used) in a melangeur to make fine chocolate for bars, truffles, drops and other delectables. Lillie Belle Chocolates makes chocolate starting from the bean, and is a must-try at the festival!

Of course, there’s variation in chocolate, just like craft beer. Not all chocolate is refined or made from roasted beans. In cacao producing countries, roasted beans are ground by hand and rolled into balls for rich hot chocolate. Raw chocolate, made with ingredients that haven’t been heated above 118 degrees, is growing. Don’t miss Ashland’s Zorba’s Chocolates, which makes incredible raw chocolate, at the festival.

Our mouths are watering just thinking about the Oregon Chocolate Festival. Indulge, and stop by Standing Stone for some Chocolate Stout and menu specials to top it off.

Cacao photos: M. A Schweisguth

Join us for Zwickelmania 2/18: Free Tours, Tastings and a Class

Join us this weekend for Zwickelmania, a statewide event uniting 67 craft beer establishments to offer tours, tastings and more.

This annual fiesta takes its name from the zwickel sample valve on beer conditioning tanks, which allows brewers to take quality control samples during fermentation. Now in its fourth year, Zwickelmania takes place on Presidents’ Day Weekend – an apt occasion to celebrate independent American brewpubs and American-made craft beer.

Along with Caldera Brewing and Southern Oregon Brewing Company, we’ve brewed up activities to represent Southern Oregon’s craft beer excellence with pride. We’ll offer tours and a class with Brewmaster, Larry Chase, all free of charge and open to those age 21 and over.

Event details:

  • February 18
  • Tours and tasting: 12-1 pm and 2-3 pm
  • Class: 3:30-4:30 pm, “Beer Ingredients and their Flavor Contribution”

If you’re in Southern Oregon, make a day of it and visit our friends at Caldera and Southern Oregon Brewing, too. As always, please celebrate responsibly and have a designated driver if needed.

We’re excited to be a part of this fantastic event, and the growing craft beer industry in Oregon and the US. This movement is indeed brewing quickly. According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, 19 new Oregon breweries and brewpubs opened in 2011, and participation in Zwickelmania has grown from 15 to 67 establishments since the first event in 2009.

Here’s the full list of Oregon craft beer makers that are taking part, so you can celebrate anywhere in Oregon:

Southern Oregon

  • Caldera Brewing
  • Southern Oregon Brewing Co.
  • Standing Stone Brewing Co.

Central Oregon

  • 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
  • Bend Brewing Co.
  • Boneyard Beer
  • Cascade Lakes Lodge
  • Cascade Lakes 7th Street Brewhouse
  • Deschutes Brewery
  • GoodLife Brewing Company
  • McMenamins Old St. Francis School Brewery
  • Silver Moon Brewing Co.
  • Three Creeks Brewing
  • Yet To Be Named Brewery

Hood River

  • Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom
  • Full Sail Brewing Co.
  • Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

Portland Metro

  • Alameda Brewing
  • Ambacht
  • Amnesia Brewing Co.
  • Breakside Brewery
  • BridgePort Brewing
  • Burnside Brewing Co.
  • Cascade Brewing Barrel House
  • Coalition Brewing
  • Columbia River Brewing Co.
  • Deschutes Brewery-Portland Pub
  • Full Sail at Riverplace
  • Gigantic Brewing
  • Green Dragon
  • Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery
  • Laurelwood Public House and Brewery
  • Lompoc Brewing Co. – 5th Quadrant
  • Lompoc Brewing Co. – New Old Lompoc Brewery
  • Lucky Labrador Beer Hall
  • Lucky Labrador Brewpub
  • McMenamins Crystal Brewery
  • MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co.
  • Migration Brewing
  • Occidental Brewing Company
  • Philadelphia’s Steaks & Hoagies
  • Portland U-Brew & Pub
  • Rock Bottom Brewery
  • Rogue Distillery+Public House
  • Rogue Hall
  • Sasquatch Brewing Co.
  • The Commons Brewery
  • Vertigo Brewing
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

The Coast

  • Fort George Brewery + Public House
  • Pelican Pub and Brewery
  • Rogue Ales Public House
  • Rogue Brewer’s on the Bay
  • Rusty Truck Brewing Co.

Willamette Valley

  • Falling Sky Brew House
  • Flat Tail Brewing
  • Fire Mountain Brewery
  • Heater|Allen Brewing
  • Hop Valley Brewing
  • McMenamins High Street Brewery
  • McMenamins on Monroe
  • Ninkasi Brewing Co.
  • Oakshire Brewing
  • Oregon Trail Brewery
  • Rogue Ales Public House and Brewery
  • Two Kilts Brewing

For a detailed list of events each brewery will be offering visit the event web site.

See you this weekend!

Top 11 Standing Stone Brewing Happenings for 2011

As the year draws to a close, we wanted to take a moment to look back and celebrate the great things we’ve been a part of, and the employees, vendors, customers and community that made it all happen. Here’s our top 11 for 2011 at Standing Stone Brewing Co.

11.We remodeled and got a new neighbor

After months of work by Alex and the remodeling team, Emz Blendz and Hanson Howard Gallery settled into refreshed, functional spaces that preserve the character of our historic building. Phase two – creating additional office and kitchen space – continues.

10. Our beer took the national stage at SAVOR

The Brewers Association selected us for SAVOR, an exclusive craft beer and fine food event in Washington, DC. Attendees enjoyed – and raved about – Milk and Honey and other selections.

9. We amped up our events

Our summer “Music and Brews” series featured an increased array of bands across an extended season that made for great afternoons on our patio through October. We held our annual Pumpkins and Pints event on our new farmland with our biggest turnout ever. Thanks to all who helped create fun and community!

8. Employees got fitter together

Our RPM bike commuting program rolled into its second year with 35 participating employees. We fielded two teams in the Siskiyou Challenge Relay and earned the best costume prize. Supported by Standing Stone, server David Conley qualified for the XTerra triathlon national championships and represented us proudly. Server and yoga instructor Lindsay Holy continued to lead employees through fabulous classes. A group of SSBC employees is training for half marathon in May 2012.

7. Our sustainability efforts gained traction and inspired others

Other businesses started employee bike commuting programs and installed bike racks, motivated by our efforts. Our efforts gained notice including Oregon Sustainable Business’ Innovation award, the Ashland Conservation Commission’s Conservation Hero award, BTA’s Alice Award and a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business designation. We’re touched, and geared up to do more.

6. The Ashland Growers & Crafters Market moved to our street

We welcomed our favorite local farmers and food producers to Oak St for the weekly market, and launched a Saturday brunch in their honor. The market and our brunch will be back in the spring of 2012!

5. Brewmaster Larry Chase crafted a slate of fabulous specialty beers

Larry delivered a diversity of well-received specialty and seasonal beers, including I Heart Oregon, Jefferson Common, Indie Pilsner, NPK Ale, Hop Night, Chocolate Stout, Madrone Red, Benefit Bock and more.

4. Customers enjoyed Pints for a Purpose

We revamped our giving program (where we donate a portion of specialty beer sales to nonprofits) to invite non-profits to apply, then voted for recipients and held kickoff events to build community involvement. Thanks to all who enjoyed specialty beers (over 2,000 pints) to help us donate more than $900 across Rogue Valley Farm to School, AIFF and Mt Ashland Give a Kid a Lift.

3. There’s a garden on our roof

Seeking to bring our food production in house, we put a container garden on our roof. Customers enjoyed greens, tomatoes, tomatilloes, herbs and more harvested just steps from our kitchen.

2. New babies joined our family

Standing Stone couples Alex and Danielle, Eric and Sophie, Rachel and Rob, and Ashley and Matt became the proud parents of beautiful babies. We can’t get enough of them!

1. We started a farm!

Realizing a long held goal to farm, we signed a lease for 260 acres of City land, which is home to our cattle, egg laying and poultry chickens, sheep and sheepdogs. Our community joined us there for our Pumpkins and Pints event, and we’re planning more ways to welcome folks.

Thanks for helping make 2011 so fantastic. We look forward to an even better 2012 together!

By in Sustainability 0

Meet Our Heat Exchanger: Transforming “Waste” Heat Into Energy

Photo: M. Schweisguth

One of our sustainability goals is reaching zero net energy use at our restaurant and brewery. This means making sure the energy we make at Standing Stone Brewing is equal to or greater than what we take from utilities. This reduces emissions, increases energy independence and cuts operating costs.

Several years ago, we commissioned an audit to map out electricity and natural gas consumption, and develop a plan to reach zero net energy use. We’ve been making progress since then, including installing an Energy Management System (automates heat, light and other systems), putting solar panels on our roof and adding a heat exchanger (also known as waste heat recovery).

Heat exchangers transform “waste heat” emitted by appliances and building systems—like the warmth you feel behind your refrigerator—into fuel for other processes. By harnessing it, we avoid wasting this resource and reduce external energy needs. To share more about the process we asked co-owner Alex Amarotico, who set up the heat exchanger and spearheaded our zero net energy plan, to tell us about it.

What does a heat exchanger do?

We installed a water-cooled heat exchanger. This captures heat that’s produced by condensing units in refrigerant systems like our walk in cooler, walk in freezer and glycol chiller, and transfers it to our hot water heating system.

What are the main pieces and how does it work?

It has a stainless steel heat exchanger (made of many plates of thin stainless steel), valves that divert waste heat to the water-cooled heat, an exchanger for heating water (or our original air-cooled heat exchanger), circulators that push water through the heat exchanger, and a computerized control unit that monitors and controls system operations.

Why did you decide to install a heat exchanger?

The zero net energy use plan we commissioned showed this was one of the measures with the highest energy savings and cost efficiency. We’re prioritizing improvements by overall impact to make the most of our resources and generate savings to invest in additional pieces of the plan.

How much energy does it save?

It cuts about 10% of our energy use. Given the energy load of a typical brewery and restaurant, this is significant!

What’s next for SSBC’s energy conservation and renewables efforts?

We’re exploring ways to reuse waste cooking oil to make electricity or heat. We currently provide this to a biodiesel company but would love to close the loop, and process and reuse it in house.

Thank, Alex! If you’re intrigued and inspired, try a few simple tricks at home. If you have an oven that vents through one of your stove burners, plan ahead to cook on that burner when you’ll be baking. Steam veggies above a pot of pasta. If you have a cat or a laptop, keep them on your lap and turn down the thermostat down a few degrees, too (wink).

Feel free to ask for a peek at the accessible parts of our system the next time you visit our brewpub and restaurant, too.

By in Food, Sustainability 0

Year-round Food Gardening: Tips for Cold Weather Cultivation

Photo: M. Schweisguth

Once fall comes into full force and edges toward winter, we often see this as end of the produce growing season. However, in Southern Oregon, and many climates, we can cultivate food year round. We just need to do a little digging to learn what can weather the winter, and how to protect plants and soil from the elements. Several crops can be plated in the fall or late winter for harvest through the winter or early spring. Others are traditionally planted in the fall and mature later in the spring.

At Standing Stone Brewing Co, we’ve been doing a bit of research to help us expand our rooftop garden into a year-round source of fresh ingredients for our restaurant.

To help get more folks into the fulfilling, sustainable fun of four-season gardening, we thought we’d share some of what we’ve learned. While it’s a bit late to plant all but a few roots and bulbs for the fall, you can start planning to get an early start on your 2012 garden.

Choosing Crops

Lots of well-loved veggies can take the cold, including beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, chard, collards, kale, parsley, parsnips and scallions. Garlic and fava beans are generally planted in mid- to late-fall and mature in spring. Don’t forget perennial crops like sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), which sustain themselves year after year. To determine what will work where you are, look for localized gardening calendars and information, check seed packets and plant tags, or ask seed providers for temperature ranges needed for germination, growth and survival.

Raise the Temperature

Reuse old windows and doors, laid on bricks or a wooden frame, to make a cold frame. Cover rows with home-size tunnels from a garden supply store, or make some from reused plastic sheeting or pallet wrap on a frame of bamboo or flexible branches. Those with more space and extra cash might consider a small greenhouse. We’ve built a cold frame for our rooftop garden and are devising a way to route heat from our waste heat recovery system to our garden to warm it in winter.

Protect Plants

Pallet wrap garden cover (photo: M. Schweisguth)

Cover plants that aren’t in a cold frame or other shelter when nighttime temperatures are predicted to get close to or below the lowest temperature at which they can survive. Reused large plastic bags and pallet wrap work well. Gardening stores sell various plant coverings, too. Put leaves, reused plastic sheeting or seasonal row cover over the tops of root vegetables to keep them alive during hard frosts and snow, then uncover during the day to promote growth.

 Safeguard Your Soil

Mulch around plants to keep soil from freezing. Mulch or cover unused garden beds to prevent soil compaction from heavy rain, sleet and snow, too.

Grow Indoors

Small plants like herbs and greens can thrive indoor in pots, and you won’t need to brave the elements to harvest them. Turn sunny windows into winter gardens, and delight in the flavor, clean air and ambience this provides.

Happy gardening!

By in Community, Events 2

Pints for a Purpose to Benefit Rogue Valley Farm to School – Kickoff 11/7!

We’re excited to announce the next round of Pints for a Purpose, benefitting Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S)! They connect local farms with students, teachers and school cafeterias to cultivate health and family farms. Please join us to enjoy great craft beer for a fabulous cause!

To refresh your memory, in Pints for a Purpose, we dedicate a batch of specialty beer to a nonprofit focused on the environment, local food and farms, education or community. Nonprofits apply and employees vote to select recipients. For three weeks, that nonprofit gets 25 cents for each pint of that beer sold. The specialty beer will be NPK Ale…more details in a blog post coming soon.

On November 7 from 5-9 pm, we’ll hold a kickoff at our brewery to maximize awareness and our donations. That evening, we’ll contribute 50 cents per pint if we sell up to 50 pints of NPK Ale, and $1 per pint if we sell more than 50 pints. Thereafter, through 11/27, we’ll contribute 25 cents per pint of NPK Ale sold. Please join the fun, and remember to celebrate responsibly!

To inspire folks to support RVF2S, we asked Executive Director, Tracy Harding, to tell us about their work and why it matterss

What does RVF2S do?

Our programs include farm field trips, nutrition education, school garden support and farm summer camps. Our cafeteria program helps get food from local growers into school lunchrooms. RVF2S works with school food service staff to evaluate produce needs and then assist farmers in seasonal planning. We stay appraised of local and regional product availability to facilitate the purchase of fresh, local produce according for school cafeterias. We’re also engaged in local to national efforts to improve school food though policies that determine funding and nutrition guidelines.

Why is it important to connect kids, schools and local farms?

It’s crucial to influence healthy lifestyle choices and to keep farmers farming. On-farm experiences connect students to where their food comes from using hands-on experiences that create immediate outcomes. Children who may have declined a serving of vegetables in another setting are excited to eat what they’ve helped plant, nurture, harvest and prepare on the farm.

What are some of the highlights of your work?

Tracy (ED) and Melina (Education) of RVF2S (photo: RVF2S)

Establishing relationships between school food service managers, farmers and kids, and connecting eaters with the origins of their food. Working with Grants Pass School District Food & Nutrition Assistant Manager Lisa Fisher is a true highlight. She and her staff all have their agricultural roots intact, they grow their own food and want students to eat the best food they can serve. Lisa works with local farmers and ranchers, and has made Grants Pass one of just a few schools serving local meat.

How can people support farm to school programs and RVF2S, besides coming in and getting a pint of the NPK?

We welcome and depend on volunteers. If you’re interested in helping with farm events, summer camps, school garden activities, cafeteria programs or office needs, please contact Melina.

Donations are always appreciated and we’d especially like to grow our Recurring Gift program to generate regular income to cover monthly expenses. People can start at as little as $5.00 monthly. It’s an easy way to give that maximizes the dollars going directly to our programs by reducing donation processing time.

Thanks Tracy, and everyone involved with RVF2S, for your great work. Enjoy a Pint for a Purpose and help us support this fantastic cause!

Standing Stone Farm Project Launches!

Melza, Alex Brandon and Rachel at our farm (photo: M. Schweisguth)

There’s an extra special buzz around here lately since we moved onto our new farmland on October 1st, launching the Standing Stone Farm Project. To prepare this new home for our chickens and cows, our farm team is spending lots of time there, especially Co-owner Alex, Server/Sustainability Coordinator Brandon Schilling, Server/Chicken Caretaker Melza Quinn and our fence and irrigation team. We’re excited about this latest step in our journey to produce our own food and shrink our environmental footprint.

We’ve long made it a priority to purchase sustainable and locally produced ingredients to maximize quality, reduce environmental impacts and support our local economy. Our menu features produce from diverse family farms, beer made with Alpha Beta hops, Rogue Creamery Cheese, regional wines and Noble Coffee, among other regional delights. We’ve also undertaken significant measures to reduce waste through landfill diversion while slashing energy use and installing solar panels.

In 2009, we began using beef from Valley View Beef in Ashland, OR and started musing about raising our own food. Since Valley View raises grass-fed beef on expansive, chemical-free pasture using rotational grazing, we asked owner Dave Westerberg if we could start a chicken flock there. He heartily agreed, and we got hens that produce all the eggs we need. We started our own composting operation there, too.

Seeking to produce more of our ingredients, we developed a plan for our own farm and began looking for land. Our plan included adding chickens for poultry, purchasing our own cattle and composting kitchen waste. As luck would have it, the City of Ashland put out a Request for Proposals for City-owned pasture a mile from our restaurant, so we applied.

After the City approved our proposal (hooray!), we started preparing by raising breeder chickens for poultry and purchasing cattle from a neighboring farm. Melza, who plays a central role in caretaking our egg layers, took the lead in researching and selecting heritage chicken breeds  for full-flavored poultry. We purchased chicks this summer, which are now growing hens that will reproduce to create our poultry flock. They’re Delaware, New Hampshire, Wyandotte, and Australorp breeds, coloring the pasture white, red, orange and black feathers. We also bought three Anatolian Shepherd sheepdogs, named IPA, Stone and Ruby, whom we’re training to herd our cows.

On October 1st, we began preparing the site for our chickens and cattle, starting with fence building. We’re looking forward to seeing our livestock make themselves at home in their spacious digs. Like Valley View, we’re using a rotational grazing system wherein cows and chickens cycle through different sections of pasture to prevent over-compaction and over-grazing, and help the land rejuvenate.

We’re working on additional farm activities to localize more of our food (bees…honey..mmmmm), further our environmental goals and welcome our community to learn and enjoy. For starters, we’re holding our Third Annual Pumpkins and Pints there on October 23, and invite all to attend. In additional to the usual pumpkin carving, food and drinks, Brandon and Melza will share our vision and plans for the farm, and you’ll be able to get up close and personal with our chickens and cattle, who will be moved onto our farm by then. We hope to see you there!

By in Brewery & Beer 0

Latest Specialty Beer: Farmer Brown (2011)

Our latest specialty beer is Farmer Brown Ale. Standing Stone Brewing Co regulars might remember enjoying an ale with this name last fall. This batch is a bit of a different recipe, however.

It’s a marriage of two well-received brown ales we brewed in 2010, its namesake Farmer Brown Ale and Butternut Brown, which was brewed by our intern at the time, Acacia Baldner. Its darker color and body are reminiscent of Butternut Brown while its strong toasty flavor and lower alcohol harken back to the Farmer Brown 2010.

Despite the new formulation, we’ve recycled the name Farmer Brown to celebrate the launch of our farm project on October 1st. We’re now farmers, leasing farmland that’s home to our ever expanding flock of chickens and our new herd of cattle. (If you want to check out our farm and meet our animals, don’t miss our Third-annual Pumpkins & Pints on 10/23, to be held on our new farmland!)

Back to the beer, here are the specs…

About Farmer Brown (2011)

This ale sports a light coffee color and a light to medium body. You’ll enjoy a warm, roast-like aroma with a pronounced toast flavor (like the essence of bread fresh out of a wood-fired oven…mmmmm). 5.2% abv

Our Farmland (photo: M. Schweisguth)

Malt

  • Organic 2-row
  • Carabrown
  • Organic Chocolate
  • Organic Carapils

Hops

  • Bittering = Nugget
  • Flavor/Aroma = Willamette

Beer & Food Pairings

Farmer Brown Ale goes well with hearty and savory foods, especially those made with fresh ingredients. Here are some of our favorite restaurant menu items to pair it with.

  • Black Bean Hummus Plate
  • Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
  • House Greens with Savory Walnuts
  • Pesto Pizza
  • Standing Stone Cheeseburger
  • Alder Planked Wild Alaskan Salmon
  • Bread Pudding

Head on over and enjoy it before it’s gone. Grab a liter or growler to go to enjoy with meals at home made with fresh finds from local farms and ranches, too.

Latest Specialty Beer: Oktoberfest

As autumn rolls in, it’s once again time to put Oktoberfest on tap! This lager style craft beer is a perennial favorite with customers. The official festivities, centered in Munich, Germany, run from September 17-October 3rd this year. Our 2011 Oktoberfest brew will be available through October to help extend this annual celebration of great beer in Ashland, OR.

If you’re wondering how Oktoberfest came to be and why it occurs in September, here’s a little history: It began on October 12, 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese got married and invited the residents of Munich to celebrate with them on a vast meadow named “Theresienwiese” in honor of the bride. A parade and horse races were highlights of the festivities. Citizens decided to hold these in subsequent years, making Oktoberfest an annual tradition. Beer stands appeared in 1818, along with amusement rides and a carnival, and scaled up to the characteristic beer tents in 1896. At some point, the fiesta was lengthened and moved up to the third weekend in September to take advantage of warmer weather.

About our Oktoberfest

This lager is deep golden with orange hues and a smooth medium body. It offers a hard candy aroma and a rich, intense malty flavor with a biscuit note, finishing with a slight alcohol warming. 6.8% abv.

Malt

  • Gambrinus Organic Pilsner
  • Briess Aromatic
  • Briess Vienna
  • Briess Organic Carapils

Hops

  • Bittering = Organic Magnum
  • Aroma/Flavor = Crystal

Yeast

  • Lager strain from Weihenstephan in Germany

Food and Beer Pairings

Our Oktoberfest goes well with spicy, hearty foods. Here are some pairings from our restaurant menu.

  • Pepper Jack Quesadilla
  • Vegetarian Black Bean Chili (add chicken or sausage for an authentic Oktoberfest taste)
  • Three Meat Pizza or Italian Sausage Pizza
  • Grilled Reuben
  • Wood-fired Pretzel with Marionberry Mustard or house made Kim Chee – Pretzels and sauerkraut are Oktoberfest staples

Here are some suggestions for enjoying our Oktoberfest at home. Like all of our beers, it’s available at our brewery to go in liters, growlers and kegs.

  • Mexican or any hearty/spicy food including chicken, sausage, pork
  • Jalapeno Jack Cheese
  • Spice Cake for dessert

We encourage you to expand your enjoyment and your horizons by whipping up traditional Oktoberfest foods at home. Check out a recent blog with tips for menu items and hosting your own celebration to get started.