Standing Stone Brewing Company

Author: scottstandingstone

Latest Specialty Beer: Jefferson Common

photo by Larry Chase

Our 2011 specialty beer series continues with Jefferson Common. Of course, it’s anything but a common beer! We crafted this microbrew since we felt the State of Jefferson, the home region of our Ashland, OR brewery, deserved its own version of a steam beer (aka California Common).

A little history…

Steam beer is an American original that was  born in the West. In the early to mid-1800’s, brewers in California were using the lager yeast that German brewers brought to the United States, a yeast generally used to ferment at lower temperatures (45-52 F). In those days, before mechanical refrigeration existed, California brewers didn’t have access to ice or colder weather to keep the beer chilled. Thus, fermented their beer at ale temperatures and yielded a hybrid style that has flavor characteristics of ales (fruit-like attributes) and lagers (crisp and dry).

Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco was the originator of modern steam beer and trademarked the name steam beer in 1981. The modern style name is California Common.

About our Jefferson Common

This beer is deep gold in color and light to medium body. It offers a spicy aroma,, bready maltiness and a soft lingering bitterness. 4.2% abv


  • Organic Two-Row
  • Organic Crystal 15
  • Acidulated


  • Bittering = Centennial
  • Flavor/Aroma = Oregon grown Liberty


  • Bavarian Lager

Come by Standing Stone Brewing Co to enjoy our Jefferson Common – and celebrate one of the great traditions in American beer!

Specialty Beer on Tap: Benefit Bock (A Pint for a Purpose)

Since winter is traditionally a time to brew lagers, we’ve created our latest specialty beer in a bock style. We’ve named it Benefit Bock because proceeds from this beer benefit the Mt. Ashland Association’s “Give a Kid a Lift” Fund, via our “Pints for a Purpose” donation program.

Wikipedia describes bock’s origins as “a dark, malty, lightly-hopped ale first brewed in the 14th century by Germans in Einbeck. The style was later adopted by Munich brewers and adapted to the new lager style of brewing. Munich’s Bavarians pronounced Einbeck as “ein Bock” (“billy goat”). Thus the beer became known as bock.”

About our Benefit Bock

This German lager features rich, warm tones of reddish brown. As you sip, you’ll enjoy layers of malty sweet aroma and flavor reminiscent of warm bread pudding. Benefit Bock offers a medium to full body, making it perfect to take the chill off of late winter weather. 6.0% abv.


  • Organic Munich
  • Organic Pilsner
  • Organic Chocolate
  • Crystal 60


  • Bittering = Liberty
  • Flavor/Aroma = Hersbrucker


  • Bavarian Lager

Food Pairings

Benefit Bock’s sweetness and maltiness makes it an ideal complement to foods with some spicy heat and acidity.

Some of our favorite spicy menu pairings are:

  • Spicy Thai Curry (with Tofu)
  • Fish Tacos with a good dollop of Wasabi Aioli
  • Charbroiled 5-Spice Ginger Teriyaki Ribs
  • Free Range Wings

For those who enjoy a little zing, we recommend:

  • Seasonal Kimchi
  • Salads with our house made vinaigrette dressings
  • Italian Sausage Linguini (spice in the sausage enhances this pairing)

(photo courtesy of Mt. Ashland Association)

As we mentioned above, every pint sold through 3/12 benefits the “Give a Kid a Lift” Fund, via Standing Stone Brewing Co’s “Pints for a Purpose” nonprofit giving program. We’re hosting a kickoff pint-raising fundraising party on 2/21 from 6-9 pm. “Give a Kid a Lift” funds an after school Ski & Ride program, Youth Summer Service Environmental camps, Special Olympics and the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, helping all kids learn how to ski or snowboard regardless of economic or physical challenges. We hope you’ll join the kickoff and enjoy Benefit Bock often to support this great cause!

Madrone Red Ale Specialty Beer on Tap

Madrone Red is our newest specialty beer, ideal to imbibe over lingering conversations and leisurely reading that we enjoy in the cozy indoors in winter.

It’s named in honor of the Madrone tree, a broad-leaf evergreen with reddish-orange bark that’s native to Oregon, just like the Oregon-grown hops this beer is made with. Madrone is fast-growing and thrives in unimproved soil and drought conditions. This makes it a more sustainable source of firewood,  which is why we use it in our wood-fired ovens at Standing Stone Brewing.

Madrone Red is a session style ale with a deep red color and a light to medium body. Session style beers have lower alcohol levels so you can savor the taste of multiple pints through a session of conversation. You’ll enjoy an up front malt sweetness, light caramel-flavor and medium bitterness intensity in the 25 IBU range. It offers a snappy, clean finish for the perfect ending. 4% abv.

Here’s the mash up:


  • Briess Ashburne
  • Organic Munich
  • Organic Crystal 60
  • Organic Chocolate


  • Bittering = Willamette Valley Goldings
  • Flavor/Aroma = Liberty & Goldings (both Willamette Valley)

Our chef suggests pairing Madrone Red with our wood-fired oven pizza (especially the Margherita Pizza) or Marionberry Rocket salad. The sweetness of the beer marries well with the sweet and savory blends in these dishes, and the madrone theme behind our pizzas. It also goes well with our Sauteed Veggie Wrap, Blue Corn Chips and Salsa and Italian Sausage Linguini. We also suggest creating your own pairings, as this beer is quite versatile and its light body and brightness makes it an ideal candidate to enjoy with lots of your favorite dishes.

We invite you to enjoy a few pints, perhaps after a hike through Ashland’s watershed to see the madrones in their seasonal beauty.

Double Hoppiness: Barley Wine & Farmer Brown Ale specialty brews

Those who enjoy trying a twist on what’s typically on tap, rejoice! We’ve got two specialty brews for you: Oak-Aged Barley Wine and Farmer Brown Ale.

Oak-Aged Barley Wine

This much-anticipated, annual holiday favorite is back! It’s actually a beer, since it’s made with malt, but its higher alcohol content is the reason behind the English tradition of labeling the drink as a wine. It’s also aged, something associated more with wine, though varieties of many beverages, including beer and tea, are also given time to improve.

The barley wine style originated in England, with the first commercial items hitting the market in the early 1900’s. You may see it served in various glassware to enhance the experience of its rich aromas.

About Barley Wine:

This is a big, bold, unique tasting beer with a full mouthfeel. Our 2010 batch was brewed two years ago and aged in an oak barrel made by Seguin Moreau. You’ll enjoy vinous-like aromas and dried fruit flavors of raisin and plum. It’s sweet as it hits the palate, with a drier finish that will leave you anticipating the next sip. A pleasant wood character also permeates through the tasting experience. 11% abv.


  • 2-row
  • Crystal 60
  • Munich
  • Chocolate
  • Roasted


  • Bittering = Nugget
  • Flavor/Aroma= Cascade, UK Kent Golding

Original Gravity = 23.7 Degrees Plato

What’s original gravity? This scale measures the wort density as the percent sugar by weight. Most of our beers are in the 10.0-19.0 range. A higher original gravity generally means the beer will have a higher alcohol percentage since sugar is converted to alcohol by the yeast. We hope you enjoy our Barley Wine soon—our annual holiday gift for all who enjoy great, craft beer.

Farmer Brown Ale

Our latest specialty beer is an English-style Brown Ale. Employee Alison Blakeslee suggested the name “Farmer Brown” and we liked it, since it expresses our support for local producers everywhere. This is a complement to a previous, and very well received specialty beer, Butternut Brown, which was more of an American Brown Ale.

In general, American browns follow the American culture mantra of bigger is better. Whether “bigger is better” is debatable and differs across palates, but “bigger” is certainly different. While English browns have mild bitterness and toasty flavors, American browns have more hops, and thus higher bitterness, and the toasty flavor can tend toward more pronounced roasted characteristics with more caramel tones. English browns impart a lighter bodied mouthfeel and you’ll generally be able to enjoy more of them because of their lower alcohol content.

About Farmer Brown Ale:

This ale is copper to light brown in color. It offers a fruity and fresh-bread-yeast aroma, toasty and graham cracker flavors, and low hop bitterness. 5.0% abv


  • Organic 2-row
  • Organic Carapils
  • Vienna
  • Briess Brewers Reserve Carabrown


  • Bittering = Nugget
  • Flavor/Aroma = Golding (from the Willamette Valley)

Food Pairings

We enjoy this with our Black Bean Hummus Plate, Chicken Marsala and other pleasantly spicy foods, including desserts like bread pudding.

Cheers to farmers, and the diversity of brown ale! Hop in and try a pint before this limited specialty beer is gone!

Spotlight on our Standard Beers: Noble Stout

By popular demand, our Noble Stout is on tap. This marriage of our Oatmeal Stout and locally roasted Noble Coffee Roasting Mokha Java always goes quickly, so come by and enjoy it soon.

Noble Coffee Roasting is located a few blocks away from our brewery. They’ve received multiple awards for product quality and share our sustainable business values, so it was a natural to craft a specialty beer with their coffee. All coffees are organic and sourced through direct, fair trade relationships.

Noble Coffee’s owners visit coffee growing regions to connect with producers and support the establishment of projects that benefit farmers and their communities. They’re also a fellow member of the Ashland Green Business Program and seek to follow good environmental practices from sourcing through roasting and packaging.

Here’s a peek into the tanks:

Noble Stout blends the silky smooth mouthfeel of our oatmeal stout with the richness of Mokha Java coffee. You’ll enjoy a roasted coffee aroma and delicate sweetness with balanced espresso, dry cherry and dark chocolate flavors, and delicate undertones of spice. 5.1% abv.


  • Organic 2-Row
  • Organic Munich
  • Organic Crystal 60
  • Organic Chocolate
  • Organic Carapils
  • Organic Roasted Barley
  • Flaked Oats


  • Bittering: Nugget
  • Flavor/Aroma: Crystal and Goldings


  • Cold press Mokha Java, Noble Coffee Roasting (organic and fairly traded, origins: Ethiopia & Java)

Noble Stout pairs well with a diversity of foods that complement its boldness and sweetness. For dinner, try it with our Marionberry Rocket Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, Bison Burger or Valley View Beef Primal Cut. For dessert, we suggest our Stir Crazy Chocolate Cake, Mud Pie or Marionberry Cobbler.  If you’re enjoying lighter fare, pair it with our Wood Fired Pretzel with Spicy Ale-Marionberry Mustard.

Enjoy soon!

“Brewer for the Day” & Supporting Homebrewers

We recently had the pleasure of inviting Isaac Overacker, an avid homebrewer, to spend a day at Standing Stone Brewing Co. and take part in the professional brewing process. Isaac was the lucky winner of a raffle prize we donated to a homebrewing event hosted by our friends at Grains, Beans & Things (supplies for homebrewers). It was a great experience so we thought we’d share it here.

Homebrewers are vocal proponents of small craft breweries. As a professional brewer I always enjoy conversing with homebrewers who are as passionate about their avocation as I am about my work. Here at the brewery, we love to welcome our hobbyist friends and help them advance their craft. So, when Dennis Dye of the Bear Creek Homebrew Club called for a raffle prize for a “Learn to Homebrew Day” event hosted by Grains, Beans, & Things as part of an annual, nationwide celebration sponsored by the American Homebrewers Association, I was glad to help. After musing about what a home brewer might like most, I thought they’d probably enjoy working on professional equipment and being able to share questions and insights with a brewmaster. So, we offered the grand prize of “Brewer for the Day,” providing the lucky winner with the opportunity to spend the day brewing at Standing Stone Brewing Co., including sampling our range of beers, eating a delicious lunch and taking home a Standing Stone t-shirt.

Isaac sent us a note reflecting on his experience and has allowed us to post it here:

I stopped by Grains Beans & Things a few weeks ago to pick up a few supplies for my next batch of beer. While I was there, I entered a drawing to be a “brewer for the day” at Standing Stone Brewing Company. I’ve been brewing all-grain with my dad for two years, but when I won the opportunity to help brew a batch of beer at Standing Stone, I knew it would be a fantastic opportunity to improve my techniques. Spending a day helping a brewer as skilled and friendly as Larry was certainly one of the best things I’ve done for my brewing! Incorporating some of his tips and tricks, we improved the mash efficiency of our next batch by 50%. But more importantly, I had a lot of fun. Thank you, Larry, and the rest of the Standing Stone staff, for a great day! ~ Isaac

We had fun too, Isaac! Thanks for coming by, and thanks to Grains, Beans & Things and the American Homebrewers Association for supporting the growing movement of homebrewers. If you’d like the opportunity to be a “Brewer for the Day,” or know a special someone who would, we offer this package for purchase with other merchandise and gift items . . .perfect for the holidays or any day.

Latest Specialty Beer: Pilot Rock Pale Ale

This week, we debuted Pilot Rock Pale Ale, our latest specialty beer.

Our servers said numerous customers have requested a spin on this favorite style, and we’re dedicated to delivering what our guests want. So, I explored and experimented, and hope you enjoy this refined classic we’ve crafted just for you.

This pale ale uses different flavor, aroma, and dry hops than our  previous IPA and current Double IPA, creating a distinct flavor experience between the Pilot Rock Pale Ale and the Double IPA.

It’s named after Pilot Rock, the southern Oregon landmark that inspired our business name. We initially thought we’d call ourselves Pilot Rock Brewing but wanted to use something a bit more unique. We learned that the Takelma Native Americans called the landmark ‘tsin tsat tsaniptha’ which translates to ‘stone stands up’ and settled on Standing Stone Brewing Company.

Pilot Rock is part of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and makes for a stunning day hike as its peak rises above 5,000 feet. Those who persevere to the top will be rewarded with gorgeous 360-degree views of the Cascades and Siskiyou mountains and the Rogue Valley. Of course, we suggest topping off your day with a pint and a meal at our restaurant-brewery in Ashland.

So, back to the beer…here are the details:


Delicate fruit-like aroma. Refreshingly crisp and easy drinking. Light spicy, cinnamon-like flavor. 5.5% abv


(Photo: M. Schweisguth)

  • Organic 2-Row
  • Organic Munich
  • Organic Crystal 60


  • Bittering: Nugget
  • Flavor/Aroma: Golding & Willamette
  • Dry Hop: Organic Cascade

Food Pairing Suggestions

Black Bean Nachos w/ Italian Sausage—both have similar intensities of flavor and the spicy character of the beer will match the spiciness of the sausage

Lamb Pita—the hop bitterness level is just right to cut through some of rich texture of the feta cheese and basil aioli allowing you to taste the ingredients of the dish more fully

Charbroiled Naturally Raised Oregon Pork Chops—pleasing flavor combinations arise between the sautéed apples in this dish and the cinnamon-like spice flavor in the beer

Please come by and enjoy it soon, and let us know what your favorite craft beers are.

Specialty Beer on Tap: Milk & Honey Ale

Our latest specialty beer is on tap: Milk & Honey Ale!

Regular Standing Stone Brewing guests may remember this beer from May when we tapped it for American Craft Beer Week. It was so well received we’ve decided to bring it back.

About Milk & Honey Ale

This ale presents a polished copper color, silky smooth medium body and nuances of honey. The honey flavor comes from a proprietary honey malt. We add lactose, an unfermentable sugar that comes from milk, to provide body and a slight residual sweetness.  5.5% abv.


  • Pilsner
  • Honey
  • Acidulated


  • Bittering = Centennial
  • Flavor/Aroma = Czech Saaz and UK Goldings


Milk and Honey Ale pairs well with our Chicken Marsala or Bread Pudding. Or, take some home and pair it with your own favorite holiday foods.

Stop by and enjoy it while it lasts!

Latest Specialty Beer: Oktoberfest is on Tap

It’s that time of year again – Oktoberfest is on tap!

We always enjoy brewing this beer style since it is one of the few lagers that we make.  It’s also fun to be a part of the history behind this annual favorite and the slate of celebrations that bear its name.

About our 2010 Oktoberfest

This seasonal lager is deep gold with a smooth medium body. It imparts hints of orange and a sweet malty flavor with balanced bitterness. 6.3% abv.


  • Organic Pilsner
  • Organic Carapils
  • Vienna
  • Briess Bonlander


  • Bittering = Centennial
  • Aroma = German Hersbrucker

Lagers are brewed with bottom-fermented yeast. The name of this beer style comes from the German word for storage, associated with storing beer at cool temperatures to keep it fresh.

Food Pairings

Oktoberfest pairs well with a variety of dishes on our menu. We suggest:

  • Wood Fired Pretzel with Spicy Ale-Marionberry Mustard
  • Three Meat Pizza
  • Standing Stone Italian Sausage Pizza
  • Charbroiled Naturally Raised Oregon Pork Chops

Oktoberfest Style Origins

If you’ve ever wondered how the Oktoberfest style came about, here’s a little history from Many years ago, the Germans used to brew a malty, amber-hued lager in March, which they’d store in caves (lagers) through the summer in the absence of refrigeration. This usually lasted through early fall, making it available during the Oktoberfest celebration. In honor of this tradition, German brewers began to produce a special autumn beer, inspired by the original German recipe. The style has evolved over the years, but generally consists of a malty, copper-colored lager, perhaps with nuances of spice and a dry finish. Some breweries make ales for Oktoberfest but we like to honor the tradition and stick with a lager.

You will want to come enjoy our Oktoberfest and the wonderful autumn season that heralds its annual arrival.

Specialty Beer on Tap: Butternut Brown Ale

We tapped a new specialty beer this week at Standing Stone Brewing Company.  In honor of the great flavor nuances of the fall harvest, we’re calling it Butternut Brown Ale.  We sampled it at a preview event on 9/20 with a terrific response and tapped it for customers on 9/21.

This ale is particularly special because it was brewed by Acacia Baldner, an exceptional intern we had this summer.

Acacia is a biochemistry major at Southern Oregon University and an experienced home brewer.  She’s entering her senior year at SOU and has already been accepted to the highly regarded and very competitive UC Davis Extension Brewing program for 2012, where she’ll continue her training to become a professional brewmaster.  If the Butternut Brown Ale is any indication of what’s brewing in her future, we know she’ll craft some amazing beers!

About Butternut Brown:

Based on the American Brown Ale style, this beer features a deep brown hue and a rich, medium body. This malty, flavorful microbrew exhibits notes of caramel, roasted nuts, and a crisp, dry walnut-shell finish with aromas of mild hop and biscuit. 6.1% abv


  • Organic Two-Row
  • Organic Crystal 60
  • Organic Chocolate
  • Carabrown from Briess Maltster’s Reserve Series


  • Bittering: Nugget
  • Aroma/Flavor: Crystal & Cascade

It pairs well with autumn fruits such as figs, apples and pears, and bold cheeses like Rogue Creamery’s award-winning cheddar.  You’ll find these in several items on our menu and specials.

As with all specialty beers, this is a limited edition small batch and these always go quickly.  Come savor it while it lasts! Please feel free to share your comments about this beer on this blog post and chat with the brewmaster when you stop by to enjoy it.