Standing Stone Brewing Company

Other Good Stuff

Standing Stone’s Rooftop Garden Embraces Responsible, “Green” Gardening

Standing Stone is constantly striving to serve food sourced from farms that are not only local, but who also grow their products with environmental awareness in mind.  We want to do our part to keep the planet as healthy as possible in a time of global climate change and harmful farming practices.  It’s why we choose to partner with local businesses such as Wandering Roots Farm, Happy Dirt Farm, Fry Family Farm and RA Farms, to name a few. Recently, we also turned a small area of our rooftop into our very own garden to grow as many ingredients as we can here at the restaurant.  It was assembled with the goals of repurposing materials that would ordinarily go to the local landfill and using materials that we already have here in the restaurant.

The structure itself is comprised of wood from an old deck, old burlap sacks we had on hand, fruit bins, drip system parts we already had and finally, compost from our farm down the road.

SSBC Rooftop Garden

Eggplant, Anaheim chilis, summer squash, chives, various types of basil, parsley, purple jalapenos and cherry tomatoes are just some of the vegetables and herbs recently planted. Various types of edible flowers were also planted, which will eventually be used as garnishes.

Purple Jalapenos

 

Cherry Tomatoes

All of the items planted were either purchased locally from the Grange Co-Op & Ashland Green Houses, grown from seed and/or donated.

A Garden Promoting Environmental Awareness

We look forward to harvesting our garden’s bounty, and will be using these fresh, organic ingredients in both our food menu items and cocktails from the bar!  The next time you dine with us, it’s quite possible you’ll be sampling the fruits of our rooftop garden’s labor.

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

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.

 

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.

 

 

2018-2019 Season of Giving – Pints for a Purpose

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

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

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

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

Past Benefit Night for a Local Cause

This year’s Pints For a Purpose beneficiaries are:

The Bee Girl Organization – Tuesday November 27

https://www.beegirl.org/

Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon – Tuesday, December 11

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

Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association – Tuesday, January 8

http://rvmba.org/

The Children’s Advocacy Center – Tuesday, February 12

https://cacjc.org/

Equamore Foundation – Tuesday, March 12

http://www.equamore.org/

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

 

Shake It Up

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Oregon Orange Oasis

In the thirty seconds between picking your favorite bar stool and the bartender noticing you, it’s a frantic scramble in your brain to come up with an exotic and fun cocktail. For those that want to try something fresh but aren’t sure where to start, we here at Standing Stone created several new specialties to delight your taste buds.

Our lineup begins with the Wild Roots Marion Drop, invented by the charismatic Jacob Nunes. One of the best qualities about this martini is its simplicity; Wild Roots Marionberry vodka, fresh lemon and pineapple juice, and garnished with a lemon for zest. The pineapple doesn’t overpower the marion berry and the tropical undertone sets the mood for a flirty and fun drink.

One of the concoctions that took me completely by surprise, was the Oregon Orange Oasis, also created by Jacob. More complicated than the Marion Drop, it’s a charming blend of Immortal Spirits State of Jefferson Rum, house made Orange Soda, Cointreau and a wheel of orange. The first taste is likened to a Creamsicle before transitioning to a smooth finish as the whisky rounds off the sweetness. Overall, the kid in you that yearns to hear the nostalgic jingle of the ice cream truck, will rejoice as the bar tender hands you the mature beverage masquerading as summertime bliss.

Craving the taste of Sangria? Put down the Carlo Rossi and sprite for a more elevated and sophisticated feel with our select wines on tap, fresh fruit and brandy. The brandy adds a solid backbone to the tangy wine, lifting our beverage beyond its vineyard origins.

If mint is your thing (and I’m sure you know where I’m going with this) never fear: the classic Mojito is now available created by the talented Gina. A blend of Four Spirits Spiced Rum, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and mint from our rooftop garden, the hit of this drink is the slight spice from the rum that packs a punch without taking away from the crisp flavor of the MIMGP9246_edited-2ojito.

Deviating away from our cocktails, I must pay tribute to the newcomer available on tap: the Summer Squeeze which derives from the ingenuity of our faithful brewer Larry. Tangy with a dash of sweetness, it’s the perfect refresher for a hot day when the AC breaks down and you’re feeling defeated by the sun’s rays. What makes this sour so unique is the amount of grapefruit involved: one pound of grapefruit is added to every gallon of the mixture.

Whether you fancy one of our exotic newcomers, or want to stick with our tried and true favorites, stop into Standing Stone this week to see what our mixologists can shake up for ya.

–Written by Katie Butler

Summertime Fun in the Rogue Valley

britt

Photo by Josh Morell

There are a couple things us Southern Oregonians think of when it comes to summer: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Britt Fest. OSF and Britt provide opportunities to draw out our classy nature and enjoy shows and concerts beneath dark pines that scrape the stars. Together, they form a gateway of performance glamour in our quaint town of wayward travelers and inquisitive locals. In time though, I began to peel back the gloss that Ashland prides itself on to discover summertime jamming that flirts at the edges of stage life. With the official start of summer this week, it’s time to reveal some of the lesser known gems of the Rogue Valley.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Allen Elizabethan Theatre. Featured is the set of OSF's 2013 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Just up the street from the trio of theatrical siblings in the shell of an abandoned church, is a performance space where fine dining and musicals of bygone eras come to life: the Cabaret Theater. While the directors like to showcase lesser known shows such as the ongoing 9 to 5 which concludes on July third, its successor, Chicago, is sure to be a provocative experience, as the ambience of the building’s stained glass windows draw you in the moment you step across the threshold. While dinner reservations typify the dining experience of the Cabaret, it’s just as fun (and a lot less pricey) to simply order appetizers and desserts.

Beyond the streets, it’s no secret the Rogue valley is ripe with countless wineries beckoning folks in from the heat and humidity. Beyond the tantalizing aromas of fermented fruit, lies summer concert series spanning a range of musical genres. If you want to bask in a secret garden-esque patio while listening to valley favorites such as the Brothers Reed– then South Stage Stage Cellars is the place to be every Wednesday and Friday at 6:00 pm. Got a hankering for some food trucks as well? Swing by Del Rio Winery every Friday from 6-9 until September 23rd  for a range of food including BBQ and Peruvian cuisine and a spectrum of music from soft rock to bluegrass.

One more overlooked event that can’t be missed, is the Rogue Poetry Slam. A participatory event that occurs the third Tuesday of every month, aspiring poets read their original work during three rounds of a competition. If you don’t fancy yourself a writer, it’s just as much fun to be a judge: just make sure you stick around until the final round. Admission is $5 and sign ups begin at 7:30, and I guarantee you’ll laugh, cry, or be inspired during this event.

This is only a taste of the summertime events, but it’s a start in what’s sure to be a remarkable season of unbridled joy that only the Rogue Valley can bring. Cheers!

written by Katie Butler

All in favor of beer say “I”…

Two things you should never talk about at a bar: Religion and Politics.oak st2

Well, this isn’t a bar and we aren’t going to talk about religion. *Spoiler Alert* We are going to talk about politics.

In a time where the American political world seems like one big giant WWF matchup-it’s good to know that behind the scenes, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S House of Representatives can still agree on one thing- Beer.

The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 2903) is now officially supported by the house majority of U.S. Representatives.

The bill seeks to “reform burdensome laws regulating America’s brewers and beer importers and recalibrate the current federal excise tax structure for the nation’s brewers, fostering economic development and innovation in the industry (B.A).”

“Beer is as bipartisan as it gets,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “Brewers large and small stand together in support of this critical legislation, Democrats and Republicans have shown the same unity. We’re grateful for the degree of support behind this bill, which will have a profound impact on the breweries in this country that are actively contributing to our culture and economy (B.A).”

Let’s talk about how exactly the American beer industry contributes to our economy.

1.75 million people employed

$79 billion in wages and benefits

$253 billion generated for the U.S. economy

Those are some pretty outstanding numbers. No really, nice work America!

We want to personally thank the Brewers Association and Beer Institute who are continuing to work to pass the bill into effect. Also, thank you to our Oregon Representatives who have signed in support:

Suzanne Bonamici- 1st District Oregon Rep.

Greg Walden- 2nd District Oregon Rep. (our local representative!)

Earl Blumenauer- 3rd District Oregon Rep.

Peter Defazio- 4th District Oregon Rep.

Kurt Shrader- 5th District Oregon Rep

And finally a big THANK YOU to Senator Wyden, who was a primary Senate sponsor of this bill.

This is just one of the many reasons that we love beer- it brings people together. Do you feel those warm fuzzies? We sure do.

Let’s raise a pint to our local Government, and to Representatives all around the country for supporting U.S. Craft Beer!

The Brewers Association (2016). The Majority of House Representatives support Beer Tax Reform. [Press Release

Brewers Association

Sunday Sessions- The Brothers Reed (Feb 28th)

Thank you to everyone who came out last week for Eight Dollar Mountain. We had a packed house and they sure put on one heck of a show! We continue our Sunday Sessions this Sunday (Feb.28th), from 2-5pm, with The Brothers Reed.

Brothers Phil and Aaron play a medley of folk/country/bluegrass and if your lucky, a little pop. Their tight harmonies, pretty riffs, and comically fun entertainment between songs is sure to please.

Click the link to see a video of the brothers playing “Monsters In My Head“.

bro-reed-brickroom

We are excited to have The Brothers Reed play at Standing Stone Brewing Company and look forward to you coming to enjoy this FREE SHOW. We love our mid-afternoon live music and hope you do too. As always, KIDS WELCOME!