Standing Stone Brewing Company

Sustainability

Rogue Creamery – Sustainable, Award-Winning Handmade Cheese

The farmers, ranchers and food artisans with whom we work are essential in ensuring we deliver delicious, sustainably-minded food and beverages. We’d like to spotlight Rogue Creamery, a longstanding purveyor of handmade cheese. We feature their cheeses in our burgers, sandwiches, specials and more, including a stout cheddar they make with our beer.

Owned by David Gremmels and Cary Bryant, Rogue Creamery shares our commitment to unwavering quality and sustainable business. They’ve duly received numerous awards at national and international cheese competitions, regularly make Oregon Business’ list of the 100 Best Green Businesses to Work For (along with SSBC), and were selected as the special pairing with our beer at this year’s SAVOR event in Washington, DC. David also sits on the Oregon Governor’s Sustainability Board. We asked Robert Coplen (QA Administrator) and Tasha Butz (Marketing Intern) to share a bit about their history, creative processes and sustainability practices.

What led David and Cary to get into the cheese business?

David and Cary (on the left in the photo) initially wanted to open a wine bar in Ashland. Knowing how well wine and cheese pair, they approached Ignazio (Ig) Vella, owner of Rogue Creamery, to find the perfect cheese for this. Ig said the company was for sale and if they wanted cheese they would have to purchase the company and learn to make it themselves. Ten years ago this month, they assumed ownership.

What a great story! How did your cheesemakers learn to make such incredible cheese?

Ig Vella passed his experience and knowledge to David and Cary, who have added to our handmade cheeses by experimenting with various flavors and molds. They’ve passed their skills and knowledge to cheesemakers Craig Nelson and Jason Garcia, who have shared it with our excellent team that makes some of the world’s best handmade cheese today.

Where do you get your ideas for new techniques and flavors (like Rogue River Blue..mmmm)?

We gather ideas from team members, David and Cary, and general experimentation. Our unique flavors come from the terrior that surrounds us here in the valley…. and all over the world. Our TouVelle, for example, is an original combination of cheddar, jack, and gouda.

How does sustainability fit into your business mission?

The company’s mission is “an artisan cheese company, with people dedicated to service, sustainability and the art and tradition of making the world’s finest handmade cheese.” Sustainability is part of our business mission, not only within the mission statement itself, but within everything the Creamery does.

What are some of your key sustainability practices?

These include the Nellie Green Pedal Power Bike Commuter Program [free commuter bikes for employees], 252 photovoltaic panels that generate 30% of our energy needs (one of Southern Oregon’s largest) and our sustainable agriculture practices. These programs signify our commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Every step of the cheesemaking process takes “being green” into consideration, from start to finish. Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals — environmental health, animal welfare, and social and economic equity. The cow dairy that supplies our milk is certified sustainable by Food Alliance. Our cheesemaking facilities participate in the 3 R’s, reducing waste at facilities, reusing whey, and using recycled-content packaging

Way to go! What benefits do your sustainability practices bring?

Pursuing responsible and sustainable stewardship of our resources allows us to create our products in ways that have a positive impact on our environment. Perpetually working toward and incorporating new ways to reduce our carbon footprint brings us closer to a positive return for the environment around us. These sustainability practices allow us to benefit our environment, as resources are used, rather than destroying it.

What a delicious approach to business! Thanks, Rogue Creamery, for sharing a little inspiration and for your fabulous handmade cheeses! We’ll see you at the farmer’s market (your curds blow us a-whey!), or our next grass-fed burger!

(Last photo: M. Schweisguth)

By in Sustainability 0

Seven Sweet Rewards of Buying Local

We’re loco for local food, and can’t get enough of the fresh produce that makes its way to the Ashland Saturday Growers Market on our block.

Of course, local finds go well beyond food to cover all the goods and services we need. That’s great news we can all use! Even better, choosing to get these from independent businesses in our area has lots of benefits for ourselves, our communities, our regional economy and the planet. Though at times it may seem more expensive, every purchase returns much more than the amount we pay.

We thought we’d share some benefits we’ve learned about and experienced in our own efforts to increase our local purchasing to spread the positive news and a little inspiration.

  •  Local is fresh and tasty!   You’ll enjoy peak flavor and more nutritious food when you get food direct from the farmer, rancher, baker and cheese-maker. Food that has had to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles is tired – and you can taste it.
  • Local empowers consumers. We can learn more about what’s behind what we buy when we can talk to the folks who make it and work directly with producers. When we shop at the farmers market, we can ask about farming practices and find sustainable, chemical-free produce that’s more healthful for us and the environment.
  • We protect and create jobs in our communities. Local businesses need employees—sustaining employment right here at home.  We’re proud to have over 60 employees and support lots of hardworking local farmers, food artisans, service providers and more. It’s like a big family!
  • Locally-spent dollars multiply in our economy as they re-circulate. Number-crunchers say that shopping at a local business yields three times more investment in local communities than shopping at a non-local one. The longer a dollar stays in our community, the more this benefit grows. The more dollars that stay local, the bigger this benefit gets.
  • Local businesses support our communities. Check out this cool fact from our friends at THRIVE: “A study of charitable giving in Oregon showed that when in-kind contributions were included, small firms gave an average of $789 per employee, medium sized firms $172, and large firms $334. (NFIB Small Business Policy Guide)”
  • We build relationships. Our local vendors are responsive to our needs and have become important partners in shaping our business success.
  • We save resources and cut emissions. Local purchasing means shorter transportation distances, using less gas and making fewer emissions.

Wow! That’s a lot of goodness—and that’s just a piece of the pie. For more information and inspiration, pay a visit to THRIVE online, and check out their local benefits list. Then, get out and support your favorite local producers, merchants and service providers.

(photos: M. Schweisguth)

By in Sustainability 0

Get Rolling: Bike Month & Go By Bike Week in May

With warm weather and longer days, May is perfect for biking. Aptly, it’s Bike Month, organized by the League of American Bicyclists. To celebrate locally, Go Rogue Valley is coordinating “Go by Bike Week” from May 14-20, which includes events, a bike commuting transit pledge and more. (Coincidentally, this is also American Craft Beer Week. We love both bikes and beer, and celebrating them together is even better!)

Rogue Valley residents who want to participate in Go by Bike Week can get tips and pledge to ride on the event website. If you’re out of the area, check out the Bike Month site to find events near you.

To help folks get started rolling or kick your biking commitment into a higher gear, we asked Nathan Broom, Transportation Options Planner at Rogue Valley Transportation District (part of Go Rogue Valley) to for motivation and biking tips.

What’s “Go By Bike Week” about?

Research indicates that the majority of people – about 60% – are interested in bicycling, but for various reasons, ride rarely or not at all. Well-designed roads and paths help, but so does encouragement – and that’s what Go By Bike Week is about. It’s an invitation to plan ahead, get prepared and go on two wheels for a week – for work, school, errands, fun and more. It just might stick.

What are the benefits of bike transportation?

The first benefit is the reason every kid gets on a bike in the first place: it’s fun! That’s true for adults, too. Money is another compelling reason for most of us. AAA says it costs 59.6 cents per mile to drive an average sedan. That’s nearly $16 for a round trip between Ashland OR and Medford, OR. Health is another strong reason. We can combat the destruction of sitting diseases just by changing the way we make some of our trips. I could go on about emissions, mental wellbeing, parking impacts, etc. but after a while, it all starts sounding too good to be true. It’s not!

What’s a good way to find bike routes? 

Just paying attention is probably the best way, but there are some great tools, too. Google Maps has a button for directions specific to bicycling (as well as walking and public transit), and a layer showing bicycle facilities. Combining bike and bus is a great way to make longer commutes feasible. Drive Less Connect is a statewide tool that helps people connect with bike commute and carpool partners.

What tips do you have for getting started or increasing your commitment to biking?

Just pick a day and make it happen. Maybe it’s during Go By Bike Week. Maybe it’s the summer solstice. To increase your commitment, explore what you value about biking. If it’s financial savings, figure out how much you save per mile. Track your saving and promise yourself a reward at a certain point.

What are your top safety tips and how can people learn more about safe biking?

The best advice I’ve gotten comes from bicyclesafe.com. It focuses on the most common kinds of collisions between bikes and autos, and gives practical advice on avoiding those. In summary, it’s a good idea to wear a helmet, but it’s a great idea to take steps to avoid a collision in the first place.

Thanks, Nate! We hope this leaves our readers as inspired and ready as we are to pump up the pedal power. Happy biking!

Earth Day: Sharing Ideas for Daily Sustainability

Each year on Earth Day, April 22nd, the world unites to celebrate the environment and recommit ourselves to upping our efforts to protect and restore it. Of course, to make this happen we need to make environmental responsibility a daily habit. To get inspiration, we asked some Standing Stone Brewing Co employees, partners and fellow green businesses to share what they do at work, home and on-the-go to lighten their load on the planet. We’d love to hear your ideas, too, so post a comment to let us know how you honor Earth Day a little bit each day.

Rachel Koning, Events Manager & Social Media

  • Bring silverware and plates from home for food on-the-go. I use them for lunch to get my favorite tamales at the Ashland Growers and Crafters Market.
  • Reuse bags for bulk foods at the grocery store. I use the same animal cracker bag each time for my son’s favorite snack from the Ashland Co-Op.
  • Walk! Ashland is a beautiful walking town with lots to do and see, all within a few miles.

 Larry Chase, Brewmaster

  • When running water and waiting for it to turn hot, we collect shower water in a pitcher to fill our dog bowls and 5 gal buckets to flush the toilet, and put kitchen water into pitchers for drinking. About 1 gal flows at most faucets in our house before hot water arrives. So, we save at least 800 gal of potable water per year.  Because municipal water is ridiculously inexpensive, our conservation saves only $1.81 per year. Nonetheless, 800 gallons is a sizable amount of water not wasted, and that’s the important thing.

Ginger Johnson, Women Enjoying Beer (and Jackson County Master Recycler)

  • When we give a beer tasting session, we bring small glasses that we buy from thrift stores and put our logo sticker on, eliminating one-use plastic cups. Glass is also best for beer that has been carefully and lovingly made, and guests get a keepsake to use again. Sending the sustainability message reverberates successfully and makes everyone happy.
  • I’ve made small washable cloth napkins for our events, using fabric from thrift stores. Cutting and sewing the edges myself reuses already available goods. It’s also economical and is met with positive response.
  • If you sell retail goods, research and procure them wisely. I try to buy only sustainable choices – organic fabrics, low impact ink, minimal waste and sustainably-minded companies. While these may have a higher price, it invites a great conversation with consumers. You may not always make a sale, yet you can always make a difference.

Annie Hoy, Outreach Manager, Ashland Food Co-op (AFC)

  • Find out what you can recycle locally and look beyond curbside programs to maximize landfill diversion. AFC reduced landfill waste by more than 20% in 2011 by finding a local company to accept more of the plastic we generate.
  • Conserve and green your energy, then offset what you need to use. AFC is offsetting 100% of our electricity usage through RECs from Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Some may say that’s just buying our way out, but it’s better than nothing. (Note: AFC also has photovoltaic solar panels.)
  • Encourage and learn from others. One AFC’s sustainability goals is to “take sustainability out to the community.” To enact that goal, I’m chairing a Chamber of Commerce Green Committee make Greeters events, the 4th of July and Food and Wine event more sustainable, and recognize “Green” greeters.

Risa Buck, Waste Zero Specialist, Recology Ashland Sanitary Service

  • It’s only trash if that’s how you treat it!

And, with that succinct no-words-wasted mantra, we have the perfect ending. Thanks for the ideas and motivation! What do you do? How will you up the ante on sustainability in life and work this year? Let us know!

Photo and Video Recap: Rogue Valley Farm Tour with Joel Salatin

We want to share some photos and a video from our memorable afternoon last month with author, lecturer and holistic farmer, Joel Salatin. Joel came to the Rogue Valley in March for a full weekend of tours and presentations on sustainable farming and eating, and the 2012 Rogue Valley Farm Faire.

The Jackson County Local Action Coalition (JCLAC) organized the multi-day affair, and we were thrilled to be a part of Saturday’s Rogue Valley Farm Tour 2012, with our friends at Valley View Beef.

After a fresh, local lunch in Valley View’s barn, we spent the afternoon with Joel and 60 other guests strolling the acres of our farmland on Eagle Mill Rd. in Ashland, OR. Our farm manager, Brandon Schilling, led the tour of our multi-species intensive grazing operation, where our cows, goats and chickens rotate across different sections of pasture. Joel joined in with guidance and input for sustainable agriculture strategies. We also visited our compost site on the farm, where we’re turning pre- and post-consumer food waste from our restaurant kitchen into nutrient rich soil.

The Mail Tribune/Daily Tidings joined us and took video of the Standing Stone portion of the tour, which you can view here for a recap and to learn more about our farm project.

We want to thank everyone who joined us for the full day of learning and touring, even with cold rain and wind leading us to thoughts of warm indoors.

If you’re interested in learning more about local food and farms and earth-friendly living, be sure to stop by Rogue Valley Earth Day at the ScienceWorks museum this Saturday, April 21st in Ashland, OR. There will be informational and educational talks, exhibits and entertainment for the whole family, 11-4pm. Stay tuned for more info coming soon!

Starting Up Our Rooftop and Farm Gardens + Tips for Yours

In Southern Oregon, spring keeps farmers and gardeners busy sowing seeds and transplanting starts. This year, we’ve joined the action. Our efforts launched last summer when we started a rooftop garden, and we began leasing farmland last fall to grow produce for our restaurant menu. We’re excited to get going on our farm and rooftop garden, with a full season ahead of us.

Melza Quinn, Standing Stone server and chicken caretaker (photo below), is also a gardener with a super green thumb. She’s been planting seeds for vegetables, herbs and flowers, including artichokes, basil, cauliflower, pink corn, kale, tarragon, tomatoes, hollyhocks, poppies, morning glories and sweet peas.

If you visit our restaurant and brewery, you’ll see some of our seedlings in the front window, getting their start in compostable cups. We’ve got many more inside under our skylights and grow lights.

When they’re ready for transplanting, we’ll take them to our rooftop garden and farm. We’ll leave a few inside the brewpub, too, to beautify the space while educating and captivating our guests.

On our farm, we’ll test them in different areas to find the best growing conditions. Over the winter, our farm team constructed some raised beds using a sheet mulching method. They laid down corrugated cardboard to squash out star thistle, then added a layer of mulch from spent grain and a layer of farm-fresh compost. This is a quick, easy, low-cost and successful way to start a garden in any area where you have grass or poor soil. Try it at home!

We chose heirloom varieties from Seed Savers Exchange, which specializes in heirloom varietals and gathers seed from a network of individuals who save seeds from home gardens and small farms. When buying seed, look for local growers and family farmers, too, like the Rogue Valley’s Siskiyou Seeds. If you have several friends who want to share a bulk seed order, the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative is a great option. They’re a co-op of small farmers in the western US who produce open-pollinated, organic varietals, including lots of heirlooms and select varietals adapted with traditional breeding. Their seed is available in bulk online.

We can’t wait until our efforts bear fruit – or veggies, herbs and flowers, to be exact! Growing food is a fascinating process that rewards us with fresh food, slashes food miles and eco-impact (especially if organic methods are used) and gives us exercise, fresh air and sunshine. What a delicious deal!

We hope you’ll join the fun and fulfillment by growing some of your own food. If you need guidance, contact your local Extension program or seed companies for information about when to plant specific crops in your area (from seed or transplanting starts), and optimal growing conditions for them. The Rodale Institute is a great source of information on organic gardening, too. If you need inspiration, stop by Standing Stone to say hello to our seedlings. Happy planting!

( photo credits: Top left – Rachel Koning, others – George Rubaloff

By in Sustainability 0

Sustainable Travel: Tips for the Journey

With spring in full swing, no doubt many folks are thinking about warm-weather travel plans. We love to get away to play and rejuvenate, and especially love enjoying the Oregon coast, hiking the state’s verdant forests and rafting the Rogue River. (Of course, Ashland, OR is a fabulous place to visit, too, and we’re happy to live in and around it!)

We’ve been thinking about how to make our own escapes more sustainable lately, since Travel Oregon granted us its Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award, recognizing our efforts to provide visitors with food and beverages that benefit people and planet. We try to practice Standing Stone’s sustainability ethics wherever we go, and are always looking for ways to do more. We think the best way to appreciate the places and people we encounter is to take steps to protect and enhance the environment, and support local communities.

We thought we’d share a few ideas we’ve incorporated in our own travels, inspired by some great resources we’ve found:

  •  Choose reusables. Carry a reusable water bottle to avoid waste and enjoy the local tap water. (If local water is not potable, take appropriate purification supplies.) Pack a durable bag for souvenirs, a cloth napkin or multi-purpose cloth handkerchief, and reusable utensils and a plate for food on the go.
  • Pack your own personal care items. Travel-size toiletries and single-size hotel freebies result in a lot of waste. Refill small bottles and jars you already have with your favorite shampoo, toothpaste and other products, and pack soap in a small reused container (lid make a great soap dish).
  • Visit natural, cultural and historical sites and enjoy environmentally responsible recreational opportunities to appreciate the environment where you are, and support efforts to protect and maintain it. Take in local arts and music for multi-sensory cultural immersion.
  • Waste not. Find out what’s recyclable where you’re traveling, and try not to buy things that will generate non-recyclable waste. Recycle everything possible. (On airplanes, decline plastic cups and keep cans to recycle at the airport if the airline doesn’t recycle.) When booking lodging, looks for hostels or green hotels, which usually have recycling and even compost.
  • Travel lightly. Opt for public transit, which is a great way to experience real local culture that saves gas and emissions, too. Rent a bike or take a bike tour to explore places at human speed using clean pedal power. If you’re taking a shorter road trip and have some extra room and flexibility, consider a ride share. When renting cars, choose fuel efficient, electric or hybrid options.
  • Eat and buy local. Ask around for restaurants that use local food and stop by the farmers market to get a true taste of your destination and support hardworking producers. Bring home locally crafted souvenirs and gifts to share and remember your experience, and help artisans thrive.

How do you make your travels lighter on the planet and positive for the communities you visit? Post a comment to share your ideas. Happy trails!

By in Sustainability 1

Meet Our New Electric Motorcycle

Co-owner Alex Amarotico on Standing Stone's new Enertia (photo: R. Koning)

At Standing Stone, we’re big fans of cleaner transportation. Our brewpub proudly maintains a fleet of over 40 commuter bicycles that employees use to travel to and from work, and we have a bike parking hub right outside our front door. Over 50 percent of our employees use some form of environmentally preferable transportation to get around, including pedal-power, walking, public transit and carpooling.

Now, we’re happy to welcome another mode of transportation with a smaller eco-footprint to our business – an electric motorcycle from Ashland, OR-based Brammo.

Our new Brammo Enertia bike provides us with zero-emission transportation around town and back and forth to our Standing Stone Farm. We can easily carry small tools and cartons of farm eggs with this pint-sized vehicle – a task that has typically required use of a larger, motorized vehicle.

ABOUT BRAMMO AND THE ENERTIA

Brammo designs and develops battery-powered electric motorcycles. The Ashland business has won national and international awards and recognition for their electric-powered transportation. We feel fortunate to be neighbors with this progressive company right here in Southern Oregon!

A fleet of Brammo electric bikes turning onto Oak St. in Ashland (photo: Brammo.com)

Brammo’s Enertia is one of the most popular electric motorbikes in the country. Its battery gives the bike a range of up to 40 miles on a single full charge. This is the equivalent of about 13 round trips to and from our farmland, 1.5 miles away from our restaurant and brewery. Recharging the battery takes approximately 4 hours, and is done by plugging the bike into a regular electrical outlet. With a maximum speed of 60 MPH, this is a perfect vehicle to get us all around the Rogue Valley on zero petroleum.

We’re always excited to find ways to increase the use of lower-eco-impact transit, and we encourage you to learn more and join us! Rogue Valley residents can get more information through websites like Go Rogue Valley, which promotes commuting options like biking, walking, jogging, and more, and organizes local events and resources. Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) has routes all across the Valley, with evening and Saturday bus service beginning in April 2012, creating more public transportation opportunities. RVTD also offers biking tips, has bicycle racks on each bus, and offers ride sharing resources.

If you live elsewhere, look for local public transit, ride-share, bicycling and walking resources to get you going. There are lots of options wherever you are, so learn about and go with what works best for you!

Sustainable Agriculture Champion Joel Salatin Visits the Rogue Valley (and Our Farm!) March 15-16

As farmers and advocates for sustainable agriculture, we’re excited to help welcome Joel Salatin to the Rogue Valley on March 15-16, and encourage you to take part.

Joel Salatin operates Polyface Farm in Virginia, where he raises livestock using a free-range, rotational grazing system – a model we use on our own farm. He’s an outspoken champion for agriculture that truly sustains the environment, the economy and society. A well-respected, informed and engaging presenter, Salatin is featured in the film Food Inc. and the book Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan), and has authored several books.

The Jackson County Local Action Committee (JCLAC) is hosting Salatin for a smorgasbord of events focused on how we can create food systems that are better for all, including a tour of our farm.

“So You Want to do an Abattoir!” Dinner with Joel Salatin ** Sold out **

  • March 15, 5 pm, Deja’ Vu Bistro & Wine Bar at the McCully House Gardens, 240 E. California St, Jacksonville
  • Food has a story to tell and so does Joel Salatin. Enjoy a lively evening featuring delicious cuisine, locally produced steaks, and Joel’s wisdom and inspiration. Proceeds support the establishment of a local local slaughterhouse.

Rogue Valley Farm Tour (Valley View Beef and Standing Stone Farm) ** Sold Out **

  • Friday, March 16, 8 am-4 pm, 816 East Valley View Road (starting location)
  • Salatin will captivate, educate and challenge with his holistic vision of animal husbandry, including mob-grazing techniques, multi-speciation and biodiversity. The day includes morning coffee & pastries, Salatin’s “Ballet in the Pasture” power point, educational tours of Valley View Beef and Standing Stone Farm, and lunch from Standing Stone. Hosted by Dave Westerberg/Valley View Beef and Standing Stone Brewing Company.

Food & Farm Faire

  • March 16, 4:30-6:30pm, Medford Armory, 1701 South Pacific Highway
  • Sample the local bounty of Rogue Valley farms, ranches, restaurants, caterers and food artisans, and meet the producers behind your next meal. Tickets available online.

 Joel Salatin Presentation: “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”

  • March 16, 7-9 pm, Medford Armory, 1701 South Pacific Highway
  • In a challenging and entertaining fashion, Salatin will discuss how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. He’ll share his thoughts on what normal is, along with practical ideas for making small changes in our lives that have big impacts. Tickets available online.

For more details, see the event website. We hope you’ll come out to learn about the possibilities for truly sustainable agriculture in the Rogue Valley, and the steps we can all take to support and expand a better local food supply. For an inspiring sneak preview, check out this video of Joel Salatin (and a clip of our farm, too). See you there!

PS: Don’t forget – the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market opens this Tuesday in Ashland and this Thursday Medford with lots of early season goodies. Come and get delicious, healthful food that supports a sustainable local food system and family farmers.

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!