Standing Stone Brewing Company

Brewery & Beer

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Latest Specialty Beer: Madrone NW Red Ale

As autumn steals the show this month, we think about all the seasonal colors: oranges, browns, yellows, and…Reds! Introducing our latest specialty beer, just tapped this week – Madrone Red. We think you’ll like this change of pace. Madrone Red is a big, bold beer made for enjoying slowly. So kick up your feet, take in the scenery, and give yourself a bit to unwind with this new brew.

beer2About the beer

This NW Red Ale is garnet colored with toffee aromas. The medium body, spicy and piney hops, and big bitter finish make this beer a great fit with hearty fall-time foods. 8.1% abv, 60 IBU

Malt

  • Great Western Organic Two-Row
  • Simpsons Crystal Light
  • Simpsons Crystal Dark
  • Briess Victory
  • Briess Organic Chocolate

Hops

  • Bittering: Apollo
  • Flavor/Aroma: Organic Citra, Organic Ahtanum

Food Pairing Suggestions

At home, fish out your slow-cooker from the back of the pantry and put on some spicy chili, pork shoulder, or a sharp cheese fondue. Anything big and bold, with not too much sweetness, will stand up to this beer’s character. Here are our pairing suggestions from the menu:

reubenBlack & Blue Burger

Fig & Bacon Pizza

Lamb Shawarma (seasonal special)

Black Bean Nachos with Chorizo

I Heart Oregon Pastrami Reuben

Come give this red a spin, especially if your usual go-to is the Twin Plunge Double IPA, or the seasonal Barley Wine. The toffee aroma and big hop bitterness will keep malt-lovers and hop-heads alike happy and ready for more.

Beer + Food = Delicious.

brussels sproutsThe nice thing about beer is that it’s so versatile.

OK, let’s be honest, the nice thing about beer is that it’s delicious, refreshing, flavorful, a social lubricant, delicious, and great for gathering people together.  And it’s frickin’ delicious.  Other than that, the nice thing about beer is versatility.  Flavors can range from a crisp, clean golden ale to a dark, rich and creamy stout.  In our opinion, it’s perfect for any weather or occasion.

Of course, every flavor of beer has a wide range of food that pairs with it.

Tip: when planning an occasion, it’s good to have entertainment.  Things to have: 1. Beer.  2. Food.  3. Music.  4. A game to play. Things to avoid: 1. Live, uncaged, meat-eating animals.  2. Squirt guns filled with vinegar.  3. Trapezists; beer and balance don’t mix.

For example, our new Saison style beer we tapped last week goes well with lighter meals: fondue, fish tacos or our Salmon Springroll Salad. Wine and food pairings are no different: some wines go great with some things, while you may not want to pair them with others.

Tip: don’t pair a heavy, boxed Cabernet with something light like saltine or Ritz crackers, for a couple of reasons: 1. The Cabernet smothers the flavor of the crackers.  2. It’s sad.

There are a wide variety of flavors, dishes and foods that fit together perfectly with different beers. This week, we want to highlight our weekly food and beer pairing special.  But instead of attaching the sixteen page screen play we created, we thought it would be better to show you a two-minute video instead:

We do the pairing every Sunday at 3pm, for $25 per person.  You don’t need to make any reservations (perfect for an impulsive afternoon), and you’ll be treated to a multi-course meal featuring a selection of our beers paired to perfection with every dish.  Depending on how the pairing goes, our server will also give out a high five.

Also, our resident food and beer pairing guru is there to answer all of the tough questions (“What’s the malt for?” or “What’s the difference between a stout and a porter?” or “What’s the meaning to life?” or “How do I assert my dominance as the alpha male to my cat?” or “Can you please use an adjective other than ‘Delicious’ to describe this beer?”).

Again, no reservations necessary!  Just show up with friends, or solo, with $25 and drink beer, eat food, and be merry!  Why?  Because it’s delicious, that’s why.

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Latest Specialty Beer: Lavandula Saison

Our newest beer on tap might be a little difficult to pronounce, but you’ll be so busy sipping it you won’t have time to say much anyway. We welcome the Lavandula Saison to our taps this week, making it the second never-before-brewed ale we’ve crafted this summer (see Whittle Wit). You could say we’re feeling adventurous.

Lavandula is the genus name for lavender, which we added at the finish of this Farmhouse-style brew. Historically, saisons are brewed using a range of different spices such as coriander, orange zest or ginger. We threw in some lavender flowers to add to the floral character, without being too over-powering. We think you’ll like it.

About the Beersaison

This Farmhouse-style saison is hazy yellow with a mild floral lavender aroma, light body and slightly tart mouthfeel. 5.3% abv, 15 IBU

 

Malt

  • Organic Pilsner
  • Organic Wheat
  • Rye
  • Acidulated

Hops

  • Organic Hallertau

Spice

  • Lavender flowers

Food Pairing Suggestionsfish tacos

First off, we’d say pair this beer with some sunshine and an Adirondack chair. Then, we’d suggest a soft goat cheese, fruit plate, and dessert. The light body and floral, spicy aroma also pair well with white fish and herbed foods.

  • Three Cheese, Mushroom & Herb
  • Goat Cheese Fondue
  • Fish & Chips
  • Tacos de Pescado
  • Salmon Springroll Salad
  • Beet & Chevre Salad
  • Marionberry Cobbler

We’re excited to take this beer along on our last camping and rafting trips of the season. So far, we’ve heard words like “new favorite” and “boom” from our coworkers. Come try a pint, and grab some to-go in a liter or growler bottle for the road.

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Beer, Bloggers & Care Packages

With the annual Beer Bloggers Conference coming up July 17-19 in Asheville, NC, we’re reminiscing about last year’s conference in San Diego. The beer, the people, the seminars…we remember most of it and some of it’s hazy, but we know we had a great time! Beer Trio

After the conference, one of our newfound beer-blogging friends sent us a care package of Colorado beers (gotta love beer writers, right?). We sat down, had a group tasting, and took notes on our loot. In the spirit of the annual conference coming up again, we want to share our impressions of these awesome Colorado beers:

Vindication Brewing Co., Big Samson’s Imperial Rye IPA

For an Imperial IPA, we thought this beer was totally approachable (but wait, aren’t all beers?). Grapefruit hop aroma, medium mouthfeel, and a round, fruity bitter finish. But watch out for that 9.0% abv – it’s easy to forget. Consider this beer vindicated; Imperial IPAs are not always what they seem.

Our food-pairing vote: Kimchi. As funny as it might sound, a spicy and briny kimchi offers a great contrast to the round, citrus fruit aroma and flavor. We tried this one alongside our Kimchi Pork Burger, and pretty much didn’t talk for the next five minutes. No time for words when you’ve got a beer-food marriage going on.   Tasting Duo

Strange Craft Beer Company, 1000 Barrel Imperial IPA

Amarillo, Simcoe, and Summit hops give this beer a strong hop aroma and bright astringency. The light body and soft mouthfeel were pleasant surprises.

Our food-pairing vote: Chinese 5-Spice. We tried this beer with Standing Stone’s Teriyaki Ribs and Sweet Potato Fries with Harissa Aioli. This beer had the right bitterness to cut the fat, while still allowing us to taste every bite with the not-too-overwhelming hop flavor and aroma. And the golden ale just looked so nice alongside the plate. Color coordination can be everything, you know.  

Apple Pie PairAvery Brewing Co., Einzigartig Barrel-Aged Wild Ale

So fun! Think Sour Apple Jolly Rancher and Sour Patch Kids candy…this apricot/orange beer gave us a face-squinting sour finish, but we couldn’t stop tasting it. Sparkling mouthfeel and pale honey color finished bright with every sip.

Our food-pairing vote: Apple Pie with Cinnamon. From our brewpub menu, we chose the Marionberry Cobbler as a great year-round pairing, but really, the Apple Pie takes the cake (so to speak). We just happened to have a slice as a special, and we wallowed in beer-dessert-tasting heaven.

Thanks to Darlene for taking care of us! Unfortunately, we won’t be able to make it to this year’s conference, but we can almost taste the beers from Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, and so many more. We’ll maybe miss the Live Beer Blogging most of all (single tear, sad frown), but we’re excited to follow along with #BBC15 to check on everyone’s tasting notes. Have fun, everyone! Play safe, use the buddy system, and drink some great beer.

(photos: R. Koning)

By in Brewery & Beer 1

Latest Specialty Beer: 2015 Hefeweizen

There are a few tell-tale signs of the transition to summer in Southern Oregon. Mornings get bright earlier, light sweatshirts replace down jackets, and Hefeweizen makes its annual appearance on our tap list. Hefeweizen (pronounced HAY-fuh-veyt-ssenn) is one of our favorite summer seasonals, and it makes a return just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Now’s a great time to toast a pint to warmer weather to come, and pair with some great local produce like seasonal salad greens and strawberries.

hefeweizenAbout the beer 

Our German style wheat beer is hazy yellow with mild banana and spice aroma, a clean, clove flavor, and light mouthfeel. 5.4% abv, 18 IBU

Malt

  • Organic Wheat
  • Organic Pilsner
  • Acidulated

Hops

  • Bittering: Organic Magnum
  • Flavor/Aroma: Organic Sterling

Yeast

  • Southern German Munich Wheat

marioncobblerFood Pairing Suggestions

If you’re taking your Hefeweizen to-go in a growler or keg, stop by the Tuesday or Saturday Growers & Crafters Markets in Ashland and pick up some local fruits and veggies to pair with this light, bright beer. Strawberry, goat cheese, and spinach salad is an easy winner, as are local jams and jellies. At the brewpub, check out our specials board for featured seasonal ingredients, or choose a lighter-bodied, year-round option from the menu. Dessert is a winner with this beer, too! Here are our suggestions:

Roasted Beet & Chevre Salad

Calamari with Fried Jalapenos & Lemon Wheels

Fish & Chips

Rhubarb Crisp

Marionberry Cobbler

We hope you get a chance to enjoy the Hefeweizen soon, before we drink it all to ourselves. We’re suckers for seasonals, and plan to enjoy lots of pints on the back patio. We’ll probably take some growlers on upcoming raft trips, road races and camping journeys, too, since nothing quite says “summer” like Hefeweizen outdoors.

By in Brewery & Beer, Events 0

American Craft Beer Week Celebrates 10th Year, May 11-17

From California to New York Island, from the redwood forest to the Gulf stream waters, beer lovers everywhere will celebrate the country’s small and independent craft brewery renaissance during American Craft Beer Week (ACBW), May 11-17. All 50 states will hold events including exclusive brewery tours, special craft beer releases, food and beer pairings, tap takeovers and more to honor the ever-advancing craft beer culture and unite tens of thousands of beer lovers nationwide.

“American Craft Beer Week has provided independent beer fans across the country a chance to support their local breweries since 2006,” said Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com and craft beer program director at the Brewers Association. “With celebrations happening in all 50 states, this is truly an annual national event that recognizes all those involved in making craft beer from small breweries in the U.S. such a success.”

In the spirit of celebration this year, CraftBeer.com created an interactive graphic with fun facts to commemorate each state and their commitment to craft brewing. Check it out on their website to view craft beer happenings and history in your area. acbw15_feature At Standing Stone, Ashland Mayor John Stromberg will join us on Wednesday, May 13th at 6pm to read the 2015 Craft Beer Proclamation. The Ashland City Council adopted the proclamation into their minutes last week, recognizing the significance of the craft beer community and its contributions to our local economy.

We’ll kick up the live-reading by tapping a collaboration beer we joined in making for last month’s Craft Brewers Conference in Portland. Spirit of the 90s is a modern Northwest Amber Ale brewed at Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland. Other contributors to this brew include Breakside BreweryGilgamesh Brewing,  Laurelwood Brewing Co., Portland Brewing, and Standing Stone. Come toast a pint with us in honor of collaboration and camaraderie in the craft beer community!

To stay in the loop all week long, follow and use #ACBW on Instagram and Twitter, and visit CraftBeer.com for a complete list of events across the U.S.

Catching Up with BA Board Member Larry Chase

larry drinkThis is our head brewer, Larry Chase. 
Larry likes craft beer.
Larry makes craft beer.
Larry advocates for craft beer.
And, yes, Larry drinks craft beer.

Larry just returned from his most recent trip to Boulder, Colorado to attend the quarterly Brewers Association Board Meeting. He was elected to the Board in 2012, and this year moved into a new position as Secretary/Treasurer and Finance Chair on the Executive Committee. Way to go, Larry! When he got back, we asked him all about the Brewers Association, what they do, and where his travels take him.

What does the Brewers Association Board of Directors do?

The BA Board of Directors is the governing body for the Brewers Association. We develop high level strategy and provide direction for the Brewers Association staff of 50 employees. In 2013, we met for a two-day strategic planning session where we refined the organization’s purpose and revised our mission looking forward past the year 2020. The big goal that came from this session is for craft brewers to have 20+% market share by 2020. Board members also chair and/or participate in one or more of the ten committees that do more specific work in conjunction with staff.

How often do you attend BA meetings?larry desk

The board has four meetings per year. The first meeting is always in late February in Boulder, CO where the Brewers Association has its headquarters. The second quarter meeting generally occurs in conjunction with SAVOR (SSBC was a participating brewery at SAVOR in 2012 & 2013) and the BA’s annual legislative Hill Climb in Washington, D.C. For the Fall and December meetings the board picks locales around the country where we can meet with local brewers and state guilds. 2014 included Kansas City and Los Angeles. This year we are headed to Portland, ME and Tampa, FL.

How were you elected to the Board in 2012?

The Board is comprised of Brewpub members, Packaging Brewery members, and At-Large members. In 2012 I ran for a Brewpub seat – the third time I had run – and was elected by other Brewers Association brewpub members. As some would say, third time’s a charm. The elected position is a three-year term, so if I’d like to continue on the Board I’ll need to run for election again in Fall 2015.

How has your role changed over the last few years?_DSC3980_edited-1

One way the BA Board vets potential candidates is by looking for participation in committee work. Beginning in 2005 the Public Relations & Marketing committee is where I first began gaining experience with the work of the BA. In 2011, one year after I began working at Standing Stone, the BA created the Brewpub Committee in an effort to ensure the organization remained relevant to its brewpub members. I was an inaugural member of that committee, became vice-chair in early 2012, and briefly took over as chair in the latter half of 2014. Since mid-2012 I’ve worked on the Brewpub Server Training Manual subcommittee, and after almost three years we will be publishing Beer Server Training for Brewpubs – A Manual for Hiring, Training & Retaining Great People.

In 2011 I also joined the Finance Committee which is tasked with overseeing the financial side of the organization. Mark Edelson of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant was the long-time chair of that committee as the Secretary/Treasurer of the organization. With his departure from the board at the end of 2014 the board requested that I take over his position. Beginning with our February 2015 meeting in Boulder, I am now a member of the Executive Committee in my position as Secretary/Treasurer and Finance Chair.

What else do you like to do when you’re in Boulder, CO?

Drink beer and hang out with BA staff members who have become friends. On this past trip Boulder received 13 wonderful inches of snow, so [my wife,] Ginger [of Women Enjoying Beer] and I went snowshoeing in Chatauaqua Park on the outskirts of Boulder.

Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Larry! Standing Stone is proud to have you as our brewer. Cheers!

By in Brewery & Beer, Events 0

Freestone Sour Takes Bronze

We can add the first notch on our belt for Best of Craft Beer Awardsaward winning beers in 2015; our Freestone Sour took bronze at the Best of Craft Beer Awards!  The beer took third place in the Berliner Weisse category, a style also designated as sour beer.  The Best of Craft Beer Awards is a competition put on by beer connoisseurs to help promote the best of the best in craft brewing.  The Berliner Weisse category was one of forty-nine styles judged at the contest.

Brewing companies from all over the United States participate: from Pennsylvania, to Wyoming, New Jersey, to Washington, and even all the way out from Hawaii with Maui Brewing Company.  Our Berliner Weisse ranked third after silver medalist Tower 23 by Cape May Brewing Company and gold medalist Volkssekt by Bend Brewing Company. Sour beer

The first thing one can assume from reading the name Freestone Sour, is that it’s probably very different.  Berliner Weisse style beers have a fruity sour tartness that gives them a unique flavor, different than any other kind of beer.  Our sour used over 120lbs of fresh peaches during the brewing process, giving us the name Freestone Sour.  The beer has a rounded, sweet-sour flavor, not as tart as some – it doesn’t pucker your face like a handful of sour candies – but still has enough to give it a lively temperament. We’re incredibly proud of the beer, and of Larry for making two award winning beers in the last six months!  In case you missed it, our Steelcut Stout took silver in an organic beer competition last fall.  For the full list of beer contestants and beer winners, check out the award list at the Best of Craft Beer Awards website.  When you’re done perusing through the winner’s list, come by Standing Stone and try out the Freestone Sour while you still can!

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Latest Specialty Beer: Farmer Brown

There’s a new special beer in town, and its name is Farmer Brown. This returning seasonal brew boasts warm, nutty aromas and a slightly hoppy finish. We’re thinking fireside chats, warm boots, and leather-bound books. Or maybe this is the beer to drink after a hard day of work in the cold outdoors. Whatever your lifestyle, give the Farmer Brown a try, either here at the brewpub or at home with a growler bottle.

About the beer

Our newest seasonal sports a chestnut color and offers toasted aromas of graham cracker. This brown ale’s medium body and biscuit-like flavors are followed by a slightly dry and nutty finish, with mild bitterness. 4.7% abv 25 IBU

Maltbrown ale chalkboard

  • Great Western Organic Two Row
  • Briess Carabrown
  • Briess Organic Carapils
  • Briess Special Roast
  • Briess Organic Chocolate

Hops

  • Bittering: Organic Magnum
  • Flavor/Aroma: Organic Golding

Food Pairing Suggestions

This medium intensity beer matches well with foods in the same realm. To complement a pairing, look for items with toasted bread and nutty flavors. Roasted beef and pork work well with brown ales, as do nutty cheeses like Gruyere and Asiago. Here are our pairing suggestions from our menu:quinoa burger

  • Tempeh Stir Fry
  • Greek Salad
  • Quinoa Nut Burger
  • House Salad with Mixed Greens & Stout Glazed Walnuts
  • Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Next Tuesday, we’ll welcome Rogue Farm Corps as the recipient for our Pints for a Purpose benefit evening, and we’d say this beer feels pretty appropriate. Toast your Farmer Brown with local farming enthusiasts on Tuesday, February 2nd from 5-10pm, and give $2 for every pint sold to this organization. Come enjoy this seasonal brew while it lasts!

2015 Winter Beer Dinner Photo Recap

You came, you saw, and you ate and drank a whole lot of craft beer and food. If you joined us for our Winter Beer Dinner last Thursday, we want to say a big “Thank You” for helping us make the evening a tasty and fun success! If you weren’t able to make it, there will always be next year (and keep it on the down low…we’re considering a summer pairing event, too).

toastingWe had a full house for the three-hour-long beer and food pairing soiree. Our brewer, Larry Chase, led everyone through flavor combinations and concepts, such as matching, contrasting, complementing, echoing, and finding a homerun – when the pairing is so phenomenal that all the flavors are elevated and the whole is greater than individual parts. Mmm, yes please. You can find more about beer and food interactions at CraftBeer.com.

It sounds like everyone had a different favorite course of the evening. The brewer’s favorite (as he let everyone know before the course) was the Carrot Cake with Vanilla-Mint Coulis paired with the I ♥ Oregon Ale. Typically, IPAs are great matches for carrot cake, but this hoppy pale ale provided the right amount of astringency between bites, while the lighter body complemented the light and fluffy cake and cream cheese frosting. Yes, it was delicious.

What was your favorite course of the evening? The 2011 Reserve Rogue River Blue from Rogue Creamery certainly stands out in our mind as a treat alongside the 2014 Barley Wine. Whichever course made your taste buds swoon, we’d love to hear about it!

For more mouth-watering fun, check out some of our favorite photos of the evening, below. Our house photographer, George Rubaloff, was on-scene to make sure every dish and Standing Stone craft beer had its time in the spotlight.

And if you’d like to be on our mailing list for next January’s Winter Beer Dinner, please email us at Rachel@standingstonebrewing.com and we’ll send the word next November when we’ve picked the perfect date. Until then, keep pairing, citizens!