Standing Stone Brewing Company

Standing Stone Farm

Top 11 Standing Stone Brewing Happenings for 2011

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

11.We remodeled and got a new neighbor

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

10. Our beer took the national stage at SAVOR

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

9. We amped up our events

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

8. Employees got fitter together

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

7. Our sustainability efforts gained traction and inspired others

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

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

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

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

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

4. Customers enjoyed Pints for a Purpose

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

3. There’s a garden on our roof

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

2. New babies joined our family

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

1. We started a farm!

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

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

Thanks for Joining Us! Pumpkins and Pints Recap

Wow! We want to send a big thanks to everyone who joined us for the Pumpkins and Pints in Our Pasture celebration on Sunday, October 23rd. We enjoyed the fine company and fresh air on a full day out on our farm.

Record numbers of eager pumpkin carvers and friends flocked to our new farmland in Ashland, OR for the third year Standing Stone’s annual pre-Halloween event. We were so happy to host it on our farm this year to enjoy the weather and seasonal fare of fall and welcome everyone to our new land.

Together, everyone carved 120 pumpkins! We’re excited to see these great jack-o-lanterns on porches and doorsteps around town. We also went through lots of apple cider and ale on tap, as well as bratwursts, burgers, veggie burgers and pears, since the pumpkin carvers and bike cyclists worked up a thirst and hunger on the warm day.

A big thank you to the musicians who played for our guests! Standing Stone employees Sarah Goldberg, Alex Davis-Mauney, and Brandon Schilling all took part in furthering the ambiance by offering their musical talents. Local musician, Jeff Kloetzel also joined in the fun, bringing Jef Ramsey on mandolin to accompany him on guitar and vocals.

We had our farm gurus on hand to educate interested people about our practices and plans, and introduce everyone to our new cows, chickens and farm dogs (or puppies, for now). Folks got up close and personal with these new Standing Stone family members, as well as some visiting goats and horses from Valley View Beef’s Dave Westerberg, who rode in with cowboy boots and hat.

We’re excited to put together more events out on the pasture as our farm grows and grows. Stay tuned for more news and pictures of our land and our animal residents, as we’ll keep everyone up to date on this fun farm building. You can also visit our Facebook page to view even more photos of Pumpkins and Pints 2011. Thanks again for joining us!

Standing Stone Farm Project Launches!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3rd Annual Pumpkins and Pints in Our Pasture

At Standing Stone, we love reasons to celebrate! Bringing together friends over good food and fresh beer is our idea of paradise.

So, we’re excited to invite you to join us on Sunday, October 23rd from noon until 5 pm for a special, all-ages happening. We’re combining a few great reasons to celebrate into one family-friendly, fun seasonal event: the 3rd Annual Pumpkins and Pints – in Our Pasture! It will be held on our own farm, located on Eagle Mill Road in Ashland, OR.

On October 1st, we proudly began our latest endeavor, the Standing Stone Farm Project. We’re leasing the farm land from the City of Ashland. It’s now home to 15 cows and over 200 chickens grazing freely on sustainably grown pasture to fuel our restaurant menu. This represents the next step up in our mission to grow and raise much of our own food, furthering our journey toward zero-waste and offering sustainably and locally grown fare for the health of our customers and the planet. Among other plans for the farm, we’ll also compost our restaurant waste, harvest fruit from resident plants and create an outreach program to get our local community involved in the fun!
 Our Farm Project begins just in time for our Pumpkins and Pints celebration, and we think this annual get together is a great opportunity to bring people to our new land and enjoy some fresh fall air. For this well-loved event, we gather the pumpkins and provide all the necessary tools for a carving party, along with seasonal specialty food, kids’ drinks and Oktoberfest beer.

On top of the usual carving, food and drink, this year’s festivities will include welcoming our happy cows and chickens to their new home. We’ll have staff on hand to talk about our goals and sustainability mission, and introduce you to our farm animals face to face. We’ll carve loads of pumpkins– you just bring your creativity and we’ll supply the rest! We’ll have beer on tap and apple cider for drinking, as well as some yummy food in case you get hungry from all that carving.

To get to our new farm, follow Oak St. to the very bottom, and then take a right on Eagle Mill Rd. and go under the bridge. The entrance to the pasture is on the left side of the road. We’ll have bicycle parking right up front, and encourage everyone to use two wheeled transportation to enjoy some fresh autumn air, exercise and great views.

Happy Fall, and we all look forward to seeing you there!