Standing Stone Brewing Company

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Meet Our New Brewer Scott Saulsbury

Standing Stone Brewing Company has been producing craft beer in Ashland for over two decades.  So, when the time came to recruit a new Master Brewer to take over operation of our 10 barrel brewery, which produces about 500 barrels (1,500 gallons) of fine brew each year, it was clear that we needed a professional who had the chops to handle the job.  Part athlete, part scientist, part philosopher, Scott Saulsbury is just that person.

Scott Saulsbury

Tall and broad of shoulder, Scott has the athleticism to handle the physical demands of our second story brewing facility.  With over 20 years of brewing experience, he has the know-how to tackle the scientific and technical challenges, and the heart to forge the future of Standing Stone’s brewing legacy.   Although Scott has a resume that reads like a who’s who of Oregon craft brewing, he is very humble, hardworking and down-to -earth.

A typical brewing day could include anything from carrying 50 pound bags of grain up the steep steps to the top of the hopper, to making calculations for new formulations; from sourcing and purchasing hops, grains and yeasts, to raking spent grains out of the mash tank; from maintaining equipment to networking with other beer enthusiasts. Recently he took a few minutes out of his brewing day to visit with me.

Joan: Tell me about your “brewer’s journey”?

Scott: “I was going to graduate school at University of Oregon in 1993 when I got my first job as Assistant Brewer at Steelhead in Eugene From there, I moved to Bend and started at Bend Brewing Company then moved on to Deschutes Brewery for quite a few years.  Back in Southern Oregon I helped Jim (Mills) start Caldera Brewing Company. After that, I worked at Southern Oregon Brewing Company for about 8 years from 2008 to 2016.  And finally, I was at Ram Brewing in Medford for the last year and a half…”

J: That’s a pretty impressive resume.  What drew you to brewing in the first place?

S: I was studying philosophy, English and Ancient Greek, and I realized that I wasn’t going to be an academic and I needed to get a job.  I sort of hit that early nineties wave of brewing getting more popular, and I was able to make a career out of it.

J: So, as Standing Stone was getting started as a brewery in 1997, you were already on your brewer’s journey.  You were part of that movement in the nineties when the craft brewing community was really being established in the Pacific Northwest…

S: Yep. Eugene was sort of a popular place.

J: What is it about brewing beer that speaks to you?  What do you like about it?

S: I’ve done it for so long now, that it’s hard to imagine not brewing.   Initially, during the Deschutes years and the startup of Caldera, that there was a lot of creativity.  A lot of new types of hops were becoming available.  And it’s pretty fun.  You get to play with big tanks and hoses, and make a mess; there is that blending of art and science.   You can crunch the numbers and calculate how things ought to work out.  And then there’s always that extra remainder that is sort of just winging it.  There are not as many variables as being a chef, but you get to make something that people enjoy.  And that’s always great.

J: Yeah, for sure, that’s the bottom line, when people say, “Oh yes, this is so good.  Thank you so much!”  So, what is your brewing philosophy?  What do you look for when you are creating a beer?

S: Drinkability, or integration of flavors, as opposed to something that is distinct…like really bitter or really coffee-flavored.  Something that has a more integrated flavor profile and also something that dries out and has a clean finish.

J: How’s your palate?

S: I can taste distinctions that most people can’t… but sometimes that doesn’t work in my favor because I start to focus on imperfections or defects over enjoying the beer.  But that’s part of it.  It’s one of the best ways in the process to see if everything’s going okay, you know, tasting it out of the fermenter and tasting the yeast.

J: And that’s where the science meets the art.

S: Right.

J: How do you go about creating a new beer?

S: Well, there are style guidelines that you can follow. There’s a range.  Like making that IPA [Tempest, for example].  There’s a range of gravity, hop character and desired alcohol in the result.  You have sort of a rough range that you’re playing in.  You can do some bitterness calculations for hop addition, or for the color that you’re going to get, what sort of malt character you’re looking for….I sort of back into recipes a lot because over the years of brewing I just know how to fall into that range.

J: Let’s talk about stepping into this position at Standing Stone, a brewery with a 20 year legacy of craft beer and with several flagship beers – I ( heart) Oregon Ale, Milk & Honey and Twin Plunge Double IPA . How do you approach that?

S: My goal is to maintain the consistency as much as I can with the flagship beers, and then like with the Tempest IPA, bringing in something that both the staff and customers have been asking for….  I also want to bring in some other flavors and see what takes.  Try to get to where there are a few more special beers on all the time.

J: What are your plans for the future?  How will you make your mark here at Standing Stone?  What can we look forward to?

S: I have some traditional leanings. I plan to have a Pilsner on most of the time as well as maintaining that IPA, and possibly bringing on a porter that becomes a flagship brew….  And then just be available to hear what people want…

Standing Stone Brewing Turns 20! Come Celebrate!

1997.

Men In Black and The Titanic were filling movie theaters, while Third Eye Blind’s ”Semi-Charmed Kind Of Life” was playing from your car’s radio. Speaking of radios, it was the year Radiohead’s “OK Computer” was released, as we were first introduced to Buffy The Vampire Slayer and South Park, not to mention the publication of the first Harry Potter books.

Ah, 1997. And here, in Southern Oregon, three brothers with vision and a mission were opening what would come to be a mainstay of the Ashland brewpub and restaurant scene. Yes, in 1997, Mark, Emile & Alex Amarotico completed remodeling the historic Whittle Garage in downtown Ashland. Soon after, Standing Stone Brewing Co. opened its doors and began serving our signature hand crafted beers, with a menu that featured local organic ingredients and Pacific Northwest flavors.

Now, twenty years later, Standing Stone Brewing Co. proudly continues to serve the Rogue Valley, with a continuing focus on local sustainable ingredients, friendly service, and awesome beers!

And to celebrate, we’re throwing a party!

Please join us Saturday, August 5th from 4-10 PM, for a special event block party here on Oak Street in Ashland! We’re closing the street, firing up the grills, and opening our arms to all of you that have made Standing Stone Brewing the success that it’s been for TWO DECADES!  Featuring local live music by the Creekside String Fiddlers, Swift Pony, 33 String Drive and other entertainers, BBQ from our own One Mile Farm, and of course, beers brewed from regionally sourced hops and malts, hand crafted just for you!

Besides awesome music, great food and amazing ales, we will have face-painting and games for the kids, cornhole competition for bigger kids, with great prizes and giveaways, including a chance for one lucky person to win a Standing Stone Commuter Bike!

In the spirit of community that we support as it supports us, a portion of the sales for our 20th Anniversary Bash will be donated to local non-profit organizations.

We can’t wait to see you here!

Zwickelmania 2017- Saturday, Feb 25th 11am-4pm

 

Calling all craft beer fanatics! Zwickelmania 2017 is upon us!

This Saturday, come on down to the brewpub and join in on the action. The day dedicated to all things craft beer is being celebrated by breweries all over the state of Oregon. A tradition going on it’s 9th year, brewers open up their doors to give tours, tastings, lectures and more. If there ever was a day to bribe a friend to spend their day driving you from brewery to brewery, this would be it! (now think real hard, who owes you that huge favor?) Check out the list of breweries in Southern Oregon representing their craft brewing pride. Pretty impressive!

Our Brewer extraordinaire, Larry Chase will be offering free brewery tours every half hour. If you have ever wondered what goes in to brewing a batch of beer, what a brewing system looks like or how on earth someone gets lucky enough to brew beer for a living, this is your chance to get the down low. And for those of you who can’t resist a free sample or two, our brewing assistant, Cat will be giving away samples of our beer paired with small bites of delicious goodness. It will be a great opportunity to get a sneak peak behind the scenes and hang out with our Brewing masterminds and other craft beer lovin’ folks just like yourself.

Swing on by, grab a pint and celebrate some Zwickelmania madness with us!

 

Carharts and protective eyewear not required

 

 

 

2017 Winter Brewer’s Dinner- Wednesday, January 18th 6pm

2017 Winter Brewer's Dinner at Standing Stone

Our annual Winter Brewer’s Dinner is just around the corner- Wednesday, January 18th at 6pm. This has been a long time favorite event of ours and we are excited to be hosting yet another in our downtown Ashland brewpub. This five-course food and beer pairing, created by our Chef Javier and Brewer Larry Chase, will feature a seasonal menu sure to wow your taste buds. Seating is very limited and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Curious what we’ve got up our sleeves for the evening? Check out the menu for this year’s event:

1st Course: Citrine Pale with Shrimp Cake Micro Green Salad, Blood Orange Segments, Pickled Onions & Citrine Pale Vinaigrette

2nd Course: Twin Plunge IIPA with Red Lentil & Barley Curry Soup, Carrots, Potatoes, Yogurt and Cilantro Micro Greens

3rd Course: Milk & Honey Ale with 5 Spice Slow Roasted Pork Roast, Roasted Sweet Potato Purée & Beer Glaze

4th Course: Robust Porter with One Mile Farm Filet Mignon, Myriad Mycology Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, Creamy Polenta, Roasted Carrots and Sautéed Kale.

5th Course: Barley Wine with Valley View Orchard Peach Bread Pudding, Cardamom Spiced Whipped Cream & Peach Coulis

This night is a great way for us to showcase the talent in the kitchen and upstairs in the brewery and we are thrilled with the menu the guys put together. The event will start at 6pm with a short “beer+cheese hour” to get you in the festive spirit of eating and drinking– and dinner will be served at 6:30pm. Tickets are $75 per guest, including gratuity and can be purchased online or at our brewpub. This event sells out almost every year, so get those tickets fast– before someone else beats you to them!

Feel free to call us at 541-261-0021 or email samantha@standingstonebrewing.com with any questions.

Happy Holidays & we look forward to serving you at this year’s Winter Brewer’s Dinner!

Pints for a Purpose benefits Maslow Project

At SSBC we like to create win-win-win situations. Pints for a Purpose is a win-win-win situation. It is another example of SSBC’s commitment to sustainability. Check out this neat set-up. SSBC guests get to enjoy our amazing beer while contributing to a valuable, local organization– win, win! Our organization of choice gets to celebrate their achievements, represent their work to the public and raise much needed funds, to help further their mission– win, win! The restaurant and brewery staff get to enjoy a lively evening of community involvement, which also increases our ability to continue to give back to the community – win, win, win!

Our second event of the 2016/2017 Pints for a Purpose season is coming up on Tuesday, December 13. That evening from 5 to 10pm we will host the Maslow Project and will donate $2 for every pint of beer and $1 from every pint of Root Beer sold to support their work with homeless youth in the Rogue Valley.

It is so appropriate that we chose to feature the Maslow Project in our December PFP.  In this holiday season, as the outside temperatures drop and we are safe and warm, celebrating friends and family, it is so important for us to turn our attention to the most vulnerable people in our community– the kids.

In Jackson County, one in ten school aged kids is homeless. That means that they are living on the streets, in shelters, in motels, in vehicles, in places not designed for people. They are couch-surfing or “doubling-up”. Most of these kids are not runaways, but living in homeless families. These are real kids in our local towns, going to our schools, who really need extra support and care.

The mission of the Maslow Project is to offer every homeless child and youth the probability of success and the opportunity for a better life. Their focus is on education completion. On average, only 25% of homeless youth in America ever graduate from high school. But 66% of Maslow Project seniors graduate on time. The Maslow Project creates their own benefit-loops by empowering kids to finish school and thus increasing their chances of breaking cycles of poverty and homelessness. 

Through street and school based outreach the Maslow Project hooks homeless kids up with basic needs byproviding access to clothing items, food boxes, hygiene supplies, hot meals, snacks and other services at their drop-in center in Medford. They also provide family advocacy, counseling and positive youth development programs.  You can go to the Maslow Project Website to learn more about their programs.

In addition to the traditional Pints for a Purpose donation, SSBC will also host a Donation Drive to collect gifts of food, new or gently-used clothing, hygiene supplies, diapers and school supplies. So, when you come visit us on December 13 to enjoy a pint or two, bring some friends along to celebrate the holidays and, please bring what you can to help fill our donation box.

 

“Go big or go gnome” at the Little Woody Festival

Join us this weekend for some Rogue Valley beer-drinking fun! We’ll be pouring alongside 20 other breweries and distilleries at the Harry & David Field in Medford this Friday and Saturday. The Little Woody Barrel Aged Beer and Whiskey Festival will celebrate craft wood-aged beers from across the Northwest, along with small-batch American rye whiskeys, bourbons and barrel-aged ciders, during the third annual festival May 12-13, 2017.

Seriously though, how could you get not excited about a festival chock-full of incredible brews, cider & whiskey? The line-up this year is absolutely killer (check it out here) and if beer isn’t enough to entice your taste buds, the food trucks should do the trick. We hear local favorites, Peruvian Point will be there slinging their tasty Peruvian fusion cuisine along with All Smoked Out BBQ and more.

If running is your thing, than you won’t want to miss the Beer Run happening Saturday, May 13th at noon. Grab your friends and lace up those running shoes– this 5k fun run around the Harry & David Field includes tastings from 10 Barrel and from yours truly, Standing Stone Brewing Co. We’ll be pouring tastes of our I ♥ Oregon Ale and Vienna Lager to quench your thirst while you and your beer-drinking compadres earn your brews for the day. After you finish, you’ll receive 6 tasting tokens, a Little Woody tasting glass and entry to the festival– all for $30 (sign up here).

Speaking of beer lovers, our friends The Brothers Reed will be playing both Friday and Saturday from 6-10pm. If you’ve yet to see these guys perform, you’re in for a treat! We’ve had the duo out at the brewpub several times and love their music.

Tickets can be purchased online for a discounted price ($30 for a VIP package say what?!) or at the gates. All ages are welcome Saturday until 6pm and designated drivers will receive entry for only $5. Check out the Little Woody Festival website for more information.

We hope to see you out at the Little Woody this weekend!

Pints For A Purpose Returns!

Well, Summer is officially here!  Whether hitting the trails, lakes or rivers, we’re all excited for outdoor adventures and warm weather fun here in the Rogue Valley. At Standing Stone, it’s also a time we look forward to kick off our annual Pints for a Purpose application period, which runs from July 1st to October 1st, 2017.  

If you aren’t familiar with the program, through our Pints for a Purpose we donate $2 of every pint of beer sold to an employee-chosen nonprofit group, on their designated benefit evening. The top five voted recipients gather family, friends, and supporters from all over Southern Oregon on nights running November through March.

Our great staff votes for the top five favorite organizations, and we’re always amazed at all the wonderful work being done by the people in our communities. We award each nonprofit a special evening, during which all pints sold between 5pm – 10pm contribute to their cause. The organizations send representatives to answer questions, offer information, and participate in the fun! You just enjoy a beer, some excellent company, and have a great time knowing you’re helping a passionate local organization.

Last year’s Pints For a Purpose Events Supported:

White Oak Farm Education Center

The Maslow Project

Southern Oregon Alzheimer’s Association

Oregon Wild / Oregon Brewshed Alliance

Modern Roots Foundation

This year, to celebrate twenty great and exciting years of business at Standing Stone Brewing, we’re inviting all of our past Pints for a Purpose groups to apply, as well as looking for new groups to support.  If your nonprofit would like to apply for a Pints for a Purpose evening at Standing Stone, please visit our donations page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Standing Stone Brewing Company

Pints For A Purpose 2016/2017 – And The Winners Are…

Well, you’ve all been waiting patiently to see Standing Stone’s 2016/2017 Pints for a Purpose line up, and here it is! We’re pfap-image-265x300excited to announce our first evening of beer sales donations will benefit White Oak Farm Education Center. We’re looking forward to launching this season’s program with this Southern Oregon grass-roots organization on Tuesday, November 15th from 5pm-9pm. 

Nestled into a northern fold of the Siskiyou Mountains in Southern Oregon, White Oak Farm is dedicated to cultivating connections between people and their local ecosystems by pursuing community food security, fostering agricultural and ecological diversity, and teaching the arts of sustainable living.

If you aren’t familiar with the Pints for a Purpose program, we donate $2 of every pint of beer sold to an employee-chosen nonprofit on their designated benefit evening, November through March. Our annual application period runs June-October, and then our staff votes for their top five favorite organizations. We award each nonprofit a special evening, during which all pints sold contribute to their cause. The organizations send representatives to answer questions, offer information, and participate in the fun! You just enjoy a beer, some excellent company and have a great time knowing you’re helping a committed local organization.

Our other Pints for a Purpose winners and dates this year, as voted for by our very own Standing Stone Crew, are:

The Maslow Project – December 13th 2016

Southern Oregon Alzheimer’s Association – January 7th 2017

Oregon Wild / Oregon Brewshed Alliance – February 7th 2017

Modern Roots Foundation – March 7th 2017

Last year, we hosted five Pints for a Purpose benefit evenings totaling over $2,000 in donations for local nonprofits. Our recipients for the 2015/2016 Pints for a Purpose included Sanctuary One, Bee Girl, Children’s Advocacy Center, Rogue Valley Farm to School, and the No LNG Pipeline Campaign.

So mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 15th from 5pm-9pm and help us kick off this season of giving. We’ll use #pintsforapurpose to tag photos of the benefit evening on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and encourage you to do the same! Come say hi, mingle and have a pint with family and friends to help support White Oak Farm with Pints for a Purpose.

Pints for a Purpose

Last Call– Pints for a Purpose 2015/2016 application period ending soon!

Pints for a Purpose

Well it’s hard to believe, but Summertime is coming to an end. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably scratching your head and wondering where the heck the past few months went. While we’re scrambling to get those last minute camping trips in and hold on to our totally awesome Chaco tans, ready or not, Fall is upon us!

Kicking off the season at Standing Stone is the closing of the Pints for a Purpose application period (October 1st). All summer long we’ve had some incredible Southern Oregon non-profit groups send in their applications in hopes of being a Pints for a Purpose recipient for the 2016/2017 season.

The first week of October, we’ll have our amazing staff of over 70 employees choose which tPrintop five groups they would like to see become the next Pints for a Purpose beneficiaries. The recipients will each be given a dedicated benefit evening sometime Nov-March in which $2 from every pint of beer sold from 5-10pm will be donated to their group. It’s a great opportunity for members of the community to meet and celebrate the hard working and dedicated people behind our local nonprofits. It’s also a great opportunity to drink beer for a good cause. What more of a reason could you possibly need to be excited for Pints for a Purpose??

These are some of the amazing groups we’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past few years: Sanctuary One, Rogue Climate, CASA of Jackson County, Bee Girl, Friends of the Animal Shelter, Rogue Valley Farm to School, No LNG Campaign and Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County. Last season alone we raised over $2,000!

There is still time to tell your favorite local non profit group to submit an application! Applicants must be locally based, grassroots organizations with 501c3 status. The form is available online here along with more information about the program.

Stay tuned– we’ll announce the 2016/2017 Pints for a Purpose recipients mid-October. We’re hoping to have a record-breaking season this year and we can’t do it without you all.

Cheers to community and to drinking good beer for a good cause!

RVFARM

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