Standing Stone Brewing Company

Community

Streamlining Operations at Standing Stone Brewing Company

Since 2011 we have raised free-range cattle and sheep on our farm, aptly named One Mile Farm for its location to our brewery, to serve in our restaurant. This endeavor has been both a rewarding and positive experience over the past 8 years. After careful and thoughtful consideration however, it is with content hearts that we have made the decision to close One Mile Farm. Many of you may ask “why?” Simply put, we are streamlining operations as well as increasing our support of local farmers by putting the task of raising our cattle in the capable hands of Ashland rancher Dave Westerberg of Valley View Farms.

Dave Westerberg of Valley View Farms, Ashland, OR

As all members of our community can attest to, recent summers of heavy smoke and hazardous air conditions have resulted in a significant decline in tourism.  Some of the hardest businesses hit? Local restaurants such as ours.  Farm operations are costly, and as we focus our attention on strengthening our relationships with local farmers to produce farm-to-table food, it was the right decision to close our farm and transfer the responsibility of raising our cattle to esteemed rancher Westerberg.

The cattle we had previously raised on One Mile Farm were purchased from Westerberg as calves and brought just a quarter of a mile from his farm to ours.  Essentially, the only difference between Standing Stone raising these cattle and Westerberg is that they will be grazing on grass just a short distance away.  The manner in which they are raised will remain the same: 1) The land and cattle are chemical-free – no fertilizer or hormones are used.  2) They graze freely on open pastures using a management-intensive rotational system that helps rejuvenate the grass and soil, with the herds moved from one section to another sequentially. 3) These cattle are raised holistically using organic, responsible and sustainable farming practices.

Adolescent Bull, Valley View Farms

Standing Stone management met with Westerberg recently to take a tour of his farmland and its operations.  It was during this tour that Westerberg shared he and his family have raised purebred Black Angus cattle here in Ashland for more than 70 years on 80 acres of family-owned property.

From left to right: Lauri Westerberg, Mrs. Westerberg, Dave Westerberg, Nathan Steele

Westerberg has 31 permanent pastures under his care and these are often divided with temporary electric fencing to facilitate their managed intensive grazing goals; the main goal being to improve the biological life of the soil.

Farm Tour with Standing Stone

Westerberg is currently raising approximately 100 cattle and separates them into various groups.  These include cows with their offspring, adolescents on an intensive nutrition plan and mature cattle nearing processing time. Just as they were on One Mile Farm, these animals will continue to be processed humanely, and the quality of the resulting product will remain the same: grass-fed, grass-finished beef that has health benefits such as higher Omega 3’s as well as lower saturated fat and cholesterol versus conventional beef.

These cattle graze on a wide variety of grass species including rye grass, orchard grass, timothy, 3 types of clover, birds foot trefoil, meadow foxtail and plantain.  During our tour with Westerberg we witnessed many cattle “mooing” for his attention while gathered at various gate entrances.  When asked what they were mooing about he shared that they were trying to get his attention in order to be let into other nearby pastures with enticing grasses.  To say these cattle live a happy life appears to be an understatement by our personal accounts.

As we continue to work with local farmers, our menu will also reflect even more farm-to-table choices than ever before.  We currently partner with RA Farms, Happy Dirt Farm, Wandering Roots Farm, Mushrooms All Year and Fry Family Farms, keeping it local while sourcing vibrant, wholesome ingredients.  The next time you dine with us, check out our Weekly Specials Board to see the current items sourced from these farms.

SSBC Steakhouse Burger

As a sustainable, environmentally conscience brewery and restaurant, we are excited for this next chapter in our story and look forward to bringing you, our loyal customers, all things “local.”  Thank you for your continued support and patronage.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Aiming High: Standing Stone Looks to Take Top Honors @ Culinary Festival

It’s that time of year again; some of the best chefs in the Rogue Valley are set to converge upon the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites to compete in the 13th Annual Ashland Culinary Festival November 7th – 10th.  Over the course of three days, chefs and their respective sous chefs, as well as the area’s top mixologists, will show off their skills in front of a panel of esteemed judges who will ultimately decide who is the year’s “Top Chef” and “Best Mixologist.”  Last year, Standing Stone placed 3rd overall in the competition as the judges’ “Wild Card” selection.

2018 Wild Card Winners Jeff Hunt & Raider Babcock Photo Credit: Graham Lewis

Standing Stone Executive Chef Raider Babcock and Sous Chef Jeff Hunt hope to secure first place in this year’s competition.  Both chefs reflected upon their experience last year and what their strengths are going into this year’s contest:

Raider: “I think having a bit more knowledge about the set-up, what the rules are, and what to expect this year is going to make a big difference. We went in completely blind last year, and I think that had a lot to do with a third-place finish. It was the first competition on that level for either one of us, and just understanding the set-up and where to find things presented a challenge. [Having that knowledge now], all of our moves going forward are going to be more concise, clean and in my mind, will make a big difference.  We aren’t rookies this year.”

Jeff: “We balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  We’ve been cooking together for almost two years now, and I think that the dance we’ve developed in the kitchen gives us an advantage.  This year, we have a fighting attitude and are going to go in, rock it out and take first.”

Sous Chef Jeff Hunt & Executive Chef Raider Babcock

Standing Stone bartender Ron Morairty will also represent the brewpub in the mixology competition that kicks off on Friday at 5:30 PM in the same location. He is competing with 5 years of bartending experience and a love for his craft.

Ron: “I enjoy the fact that I get to converse with people and help teach them about different cocktails and spirits.  I  just love being able to help someone enjoy spirits that they don’t typically try, by tailoring drinks specifically to their likes and dislikes.”

Ron Morairty

We hope you will join us for all of the exciting competition that is set to go down this coming weekend as our chefs put their best knives forward!

Tickets are available at the door or on-line at http://travelashland.com 

For more information visit: http://www.ashlandchamber.com/Page.asp?NavID=782

Pints For A Purpose – Standing Stone Gives Back to the Community

In 1997 we opened Standing Stone with several goals in mind: to brew delicious beer in-house, partner with local farmers to bring our customers locally sourced, farm-to-table pub fare, provide support to our employees and their families, and give back to our community, all while embracing the sustainable practices that we have built Standing Stone’s foundation upon.  One way in which we are able to “give back” to our community is through our fundraising campaign known as “Pints for a Purpose.”

Pints for a Purpose is our annual season-of-giving in which 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 November 12th.  For every pint of beer or house-made rootbeer that we sell that evening, $2 will be donated to the Rogue Farm Corporation.  Below is a brief summary about each of this year’s chosen five recipients.

November 12th:

“Rogue Farm Corps trains and equips the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs and the preservation of farmland. They support the local agricultural economy and serve as a model for other communities through education and the promotion of interns and apprentices into the world of community-based agriculture.” One of our biggest priorities here at Standing Stone is to partner with local farmers to source humanely, sustainably raised and grown animal products and produce.  Rogue Farm Corps is incredibly important to the farming community here in the Rogue Valley, and we couldn’t be more excited to support their cause.

December 10th:

John Muir Outdoor School is a K-8 public school with a focus on outdoor education and the arts. All students receive core academic subjects aligned to common core standards as well as outdoor education and the arts.  Our students usually spend one day a week in an outdoor setting learning essential skills such as safety, preparedness and group awareness.” John Muir Outdoor School is certainly one-of-a-kind when it comes to proving such valuable education in an outdoor setting.  We hope friends and family alike of enrolled students will join us on this particular night to raise funds.

January 14th:

Helman Elementary will host the 6th Annual “Jack’s Dodgeball Olympics” to celebrate the memory of Jack Dorr, a Helman Elementary student who passed away from a brain tumor in 2014, as well as fundraise for the Doernbecher Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Team in Portland, Oregon.  This tournament and a silent auction will be held Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at the Ashland High School.  In addition to the tournament, Standing Stone will also host a fundraising night in Jack’s honor on January 14th to raise additional funds to contribute to the Doernbecher Research Team.  This will be a night to not only remember loved ones affected by cancer, but raise money in their honor for life-saving research.

Jack Dorr, Front & Center

February 11th:

Planned Parenthood (PP) of Southwestern Oregon is a non-profit organization that Standing Stone has consistently stood behind during each Pints for a Purpose season.  PP ensures the rights and ability of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health by providing health services, education and advocacy. Access to such valuable medical care and treatment is something we can all stand by!

March 10th:

Since 1985, WaterWatch has pursued a single clear mission: To protect and restore flows in our rivers to sustain the native fish, wildlife, and the people who depend on healthy rivers. They work in the media, Congress, courts and with agencies to advance sound water policies and protect natural streamflows statewide. WaterWatch is the only group monitoring water allocation proposals, agency decisions, and water use statewide. In the Rogue Basin, they are currently spearheading efforts to remove major fish barriers like Savage Rapids dam while also restoring streamflows. This includes the removal of three dams on local creeks to open up salmon spawn.

Please join us for us for each of these fundraising dates from 5 PM – 10 PM.  Giving back to our community through our Pints for a Purpose Program is near and dear to our hearts, but we can’t do it successfully without your participation.  We look forward to seeing you!

 

Fall Events at the Brew Pub!

The Rogue Valley saw one of the most beautiful, smoke-free summers we’ve seen in a while! For that, we are all so very thankful! As we roll into the changing season, we here at the pub are looking forward to gorgeous Fall colors, crisp temperatures, and rainy afternoons sipping our house Puck’s Porter and indulging in comfort food (such as our Chicken Pot Pie Pizza currently on special)!  We are also looking forward to two upcoming events!

First up on the agenda?

Our 11th Annual Pumpkins & Pints Event is on Sunday, October 27th from noon – 4 PM! We will provide pumpkins from Fry Family Farms as well as carving tools!  Sip on one of our craft beers while carving your pumpkin and listen to live music from long-time local musician Robbie Dacosta! He will perform from 2 – 4 PM, at which time we will hold our annual costume contest.  The winner will receive obvious kudos for the best costume as well as a gift certificate for $25.  Bring the whole family, and dress warm as the event will be held outdoors on our beautiful patio (weather permitting).

Next we have an event we’ve been looking forward to all year: The 2019 Ashland Culinary Festival!  Last year Chef Raider Babcock and Sous Chef Jeff Hunt made us so very proud when they were selected as the 2018 Wild Card Draw to advance to the final round of competition and finished 3rd overall!  Our dynamic duo will again compete this year to take the title of Top Chef!  The competition will take place at Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites on November 9th and 10th!  Prior to the festival, look for Chef Raider to be featured on KTVL Channel 10’s cooking show “West Coast Flavors” featuring some of the competing chefs this year.

Executive Chef Raider Babcock & Sou Chef Jeff Hunt

We hope to see you at both of these fabulous events!  Thank you for your continued support, we couldn’t do it without you!

Keeping it LOCAL with RA Farms, Rogue Valley

“Keeping it local.” This is one practice we continually strive to accomplish here at Standing Stone Brewing Company.  While we proudly serve our very own beef and lamb, we don’t currently raise pigs at “One Mile Farm.”  As such, we’ve partnered with local pig farm, RA Farms, to locally source the pork that we currently serve on our menu.  These pigs are raised in the most humane and environmentally friendly manner possible.  Not only that, the most interesting aspect of partnering with this farm is the fact that it’s founders are two teenagers who are taking steps to make a positive difference in our local community.  Meet Alyson Scheffler and her brother Reagan.

From left to right: Reagan Scheffler, Standing Stone Executive Chef Raider Babcock, Alyson Scheffler

In her own words, Alyson shares their story:

“My name is Alyson Scheffler, and my brother Reagan and I are the owners of RA Farms. I am a senior at Eagle Point High School and Reagan is a sophomore. We both became involved in agriculture through 4-H and FFA programs here in the valley. However, our love of agriculture started far before we owned our first hog.

We are sixth-generation hog farmers here in America. Our great-great-great grandparents moved their families to the United States from Switzerland and Germany, and began raising hogs. The first three generations had traditional farms: hogs, cows, chickens, crops, a little bit of everything. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, our grandparents expanded their hog operation where they raised 2,000 hogs per year, taking them through their entire life cycle. Though my father raised hogs through 4-H and FFA, our immediate family has moved away from farming, compared to past generations. Our parents are not involved in agricultural careers, and my grandparents also retired from farming. We have made multiple trips to visit my Great Grandma Betty on the family farm in Minnesota, which was established in 1874. We got to see the barn and the same house my grandpa grew up in. Seeing this heritage inspired my brother and I. To maintain our connection and the value of a farm upbringing, my brother and I began raising hogs through 4-H. Our business, RA Farms, began in 2011 after my first year of raising a 4-H hog to sell at the Jackson County Fair. After raising our first hog, we decided that this was something we would do year-round. My dad brought up the idea of raising butcher hogs in the off-season, and we raised our first two hogs in the winter of 2011. We have been raising and selling hogs for eight years now, and it has grown from raising just two animals per year to 40.

RA Farms, Rogue Valley

The amount of animals we raise per year depends on the demand; we usually base it off of how much pork restaurants and individuals in the community need. This business has become hugely successful for us in the past couple of years because of the farm-to-table practice that many restaurants are now adopting.

Humanely & sustainably raised pigs, RA Farms.

People want to know where their food is coming from, who’s raising it, how it’s treated and what it is eating. Consumers and restaurants count on us, and we don’t take this responsibility lightly. We focus on the local aspect as much as we can: we source all litters of pigs as close to home as possible, and we buy feed that was milled within the state of Oregon. Keeping everything in our business local is a large part of our business marketing strategy & mission.

Alyson gives a tour of RA Farms to Standing Stone employees.

Outside of our business, my brother and I are also involved in sports at the high school: Reagan competes in football, basketball and track, and I compete in volleyball.  Balancing school, our activities, and the farm isn’t always easy. However, one guiding statement that has been passed down through the generations of Scheffler families is: “The animals come first. They can’t take care of themselves.” My brother and I have to coordinate our schedules to ensure we balance out the workload and complete commitments we have made to our hogs, our business and our school activities. Three hours are devoted each weekend to cleaning pens at both locations- our home and a barn that we rent down the road to accommodate extra groups of pigs.  Added time is put on for moving pigs, extensive cleaning (with new pigs), and taking care of the pigs throughout the week. I have seen firsthand how hard work through RA Farms has paid off and want to continue to grow the business by supplying more high quality local pork to families and restaurant customers.”

Standing Stone will continue to partner with local farms like the Schefflers’ in order to accomplish our mission of supporting local businesses, as well as maintaining sustainability and environmental awareness to build a better future for tomorrow.  When you choose to dine with us, you are joining us on this mission.  Thank you, to our loyal customers, for your continued support.  Stay tuned for an upcoming video feature that takes a closer look at our partnership with RA Farms.

If you are interested in contacting RA Farms, you may reach them at rabaconandeggs@yahoo.com

With the Changing Season Comes SSBC’s New Winter Menu!

Showcasing our own One Mile Farm, as well as locally owned farms and purveyors, our Winter Menu is sure to please!

Our new menu items contain fresh, vibrant ingredients that are farm-to-table in every sense of the phrase.  Some of the house-made ingredients in our new menu items include kimchi, Tempest IPA BBQ sauce, Gochujang BBQ sauce, French onion beef broth from the bones of our cows and a vanilla & marionberry vinaigrette, to name a few. * As always, we offer gluten-free options to include pizza dough and burger buns.

 

Fall Ratatouilli

 

Pear & Beet Salad

 

SSBC Bean Burger

 

One Mile Farm Korean Burger

 

Roasted Pear & Chevre Pizza

When you choose to dine at Standing Stone Brewing Company, you’re not only supporting our mission of sustainability and environmental awareness, but you’re also giving your support to the local economy. And for that, we sincerely thank you!

Be sure to check out our weekly specials as well; they change every Thursday, and bring variety and creativity to your dining experience.

For a detailed description of these items, as well as to view the rest of our menu, please click the following link: https://www.standingstonebrewing.com/menu/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Standing Stone Set to Participate in 12th Annual Ashland Culinary Festival

The Ashland Culinary Festival is a yearly event that brings together some of the Valley’s biggest names in the Industry to celebrate Southern Oregon’s bounty of food, drink, talent and creativity.  Career chefs, aspiring junior chefs, “foodies,’ local vendors and the general public all congregate at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites for one weekend of cut throat competition in which 12 outstanding local chefs, and their respective sous chefs, compete for the title of “Top Chef.”

Guests will sip, sample and explore the over 30 vendors offering local wines, brews, spirits, food and culinary themed products from around the Rogue Valley. Last year’s Festival saw over 1,500 tickets sold, and this year is projected to be even bigger.  Standing Stone is incredibly proud to enter the competition with our Executive Chef, Raider Babcock representing the brew pub along with Sous Chef Jeff Hunt by his side. With a combined total of 40 years culinary experience, they are both ready to put their best knife forward when it comes to the competition.

Executive Chef Raider Babcock & Sous Chef Jeff Hunt

Asked what their plan of attack is: “We plan to utilize these amazing ingredients as creatively as possible,” said Raider. “We’re not scared.  A lot of people are scared of [secret] ingredients. We just see it as an opportunity to showcase them.”

“[Competitions like this] get the wheels turning for new ideas, new sauces, new toppings,’ said Jeff. ‘We also work exceptionally well together.'”

With a look of confidence Raider added, “It’s going to be a blast to showcase our abilities. We can’t wait.”

Jeff Hunt & Raider Babcock discussing upcoming menu items.

“The weekend also includes a ticketed event on Friday night (with a Mixology Competition and samplings), hands-on educational workshops, the 3rd annual Junior Chef competition, a Top Chef dinner and much more.  With lodging packages available and many fall adventures to experience in and around Ashland, this will be an exciting, culinary event that welcomes both locals and visitors from around the West Coast.” – Ashland Chamber of Commerce.

Raider was recently invited to film a segment for KTVL Channel 10’s upcoming series “West Coast Flavors,” which will showcase the skills of some of the participating chefs in this year’s festival.  During filming, Raider met with the show’s host, News Anchor and Reporter Trish Glose, and talked about Standing Stone’s dedication to sustainability, a healthy community and lessening the restaurant’s eco-footprint. One of the topics he also touched on was our very own “One Mile Farm (OMF),” where we raise our own, free range cows and sheep just one mile away from the restaurant.

 

It was also here that he demonstrated his skills behind a kitchen range, executing a current restaurant special: OMF beef tenderloin served with blackened corn, roasted mushroom and kale risotto in a creamy, parmesan sauce & house made red wine demi-glace.

Filming on the set of “West Coast Flavors” with KTVL Channel 10’s Trish Glose

This specific special not only features our own grass fed, grass finished beef, but it highlights the use of locally grown, fresh produce and house made sauces.  It is currently available to our customers, for those of you who would like to sample a taste of Raider’s masterful execution.

OMF Beef Tenderloin

As the competition approaches, we here at Standing Stone invite our loyal and local customers to check out the action, in person, at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites on November 8th – 11 th. Join us as we spread our message of sustainability and community, and participate in the local camaraderie of our Industry. Hope to see you there!

http://www.ashlandchamber.com/Page.asp?NavID=782

Another Park Clean-Up in the Books!

As we all well know, Fall in Ashland, Oregon is a spectacular scene to behold.  Our beautiful little community nestled in the hills features some of the most picturesque parks around, with Lithia Park in particular being our shining gem.  Add to this the fiery oranges, yellows and reds of Fall time, and you have some breathtaking sights indeed.  One way Ashland’s Parks and Recreation Commission (APRC) ensures our parks’ beauty is maintained is with help from the community through their “Adopt-a-Park Program.”

APRC formed this program due to the vast amount of local land requiring general maintenance; It manages 17 parks, 48 miles of trails, a golf course, multiple open spaces and numerous recreational facilities.  The organization looks to Ashland individuals, neighborhood groups and businesses to help.  Cue our amazing team here at Standing Stone Brewing Company (SSBC)!  

Front of House Staff and Park Clean-Up Volunteers

SSBC adopted a small park called Calle Guanajuato about three years ago.  Located next to Ashland Creek and behind the shops on the Plaza, this particular park is open from dawn until dusk and is dog friendly.  Although small, it still sees a lot of foot traffic due to its location downtown and, as such, trash and debris tend to accumulate regularly.  On a quartely basis, SSBC “rallies the troops” for a day of weeding, trash collection and overall grooming of the area.

Calle Guanajuato

APRC provides training as well as all of the necessary tools to get the job done.  Not only does our beautiful city benefit from this volunteer work, but our team also walks with away with a sense of pride, comaraderie and accomplishment; a win-win for all!

“Team work makes the dream work!”

With the Fall clean-up now behind us, SSBC will once again converge on the Calle this winter.  Until then, if you happen to see trash or clutter, do us all a favor and collect it!

For more information on how to adopt a local park, contact Ashland Parks & Recreation Volunteer & Event Coordinator Lori Ainsworth at 541.552.2264 or by email.