Standing Stone Brewing Company

News On Tap

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Introducing FOUR new craft brew releases!

Since the arrival of our new Brew Master, Scott Saulsbury, Standing Stone has been incredibly proud to introduce his masterful takes on traditional styles of beer. Come on down to the brew pub; we can’t wait to pour you a pint (or two) of these delicious new releases!

Tempest IPA: Like a summer storm, this IPA will blow you over with flavors of mandarin orange and grapefruit. 6.5% abv

Polonius Pilsner: A subtly hopped Pilsner with delicate sweetness from Weyerman Bohemian Malt. Highly quaffable. 5.2% abv

Puck’s Porter: Smooth, yet robust Porter. Roasty, toasty caramel notes with a mild sweetness. Devilishly delicious. 6.9% abv

Oak St. Amber: A crisp, autumnal Amber with delicious roasted malt notes. Lightly hopped with Cascades and Goldings hops. 5.8%

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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…

By in Pumpkins & Pints 0

10th Annual Pumpkins & Pints!

Fall is here, and we are excited to announce our 10th Annual Pumpkins & Pints! Come join us at the brewpub for an afternoon of pumpkin carving fun and spooky festivities.

Sunday, October 28th – Noon – 4 PM

We’ll provide the pumpkins and carving tools (you’re welcome to bring your own if you take pumpkin carving really seriously), and you just show up with your creative ideas. You can purchase beer, hard cider, lemonade, brats and burgers once you’ve worked up a hearty appetite. We’ll have live music featuring Danielle Kelly Soul Project and games to keep kids of all ages entertained.

Paul Turnipseed & Danielle Kelly

https://www.facebook.com/DKSoulProject/

This year we will be holding a costume and pumpkin carving contest at 3 PM. Prizes will be awarded to all participants, so get those little gremlins dressed up and in the Halloween spirit!

Bring the family and dress warm as the event will be held outdoors on our beautiful patio (weather permitting). We look forward to seeing you at the 10th Annual Pumpkins & Pints!

 

“Pints For A Purpose” Season is HERE

 Fall is in the air, and Standing Stone Brewing Company is currently accepting applications for our 2018/2019 Pints for a Purpose. Rogue Valley not-for-profit organizations who concentrate their efforts in education, environmental sustainability, community, or local food production are encouraged to apply. We will accept applications through our website (http://www.standingstonebrewing.com/about/donations/) until October 10, 2018.

The objective of Pints for a Purpose is to support local organizations by opening our doors for them one night a month, from November through March, in an effort to raise funds to support their work. On its designated evening, Standing Stone Brewing Company donates two dollars from every pint sold to the beneficiary organization and provides a meal to their staff and volunteers.

Each beneficiary organization of our Pints for a Purpose is selected by staff members at Standing Stone Brewing Company. All staff members are given the opportunity to vote for their top five choices.

The 2017/2018 Pints for a Purpose season raised over $2,000 for local not for profits and provided a space for them to educate our community about important local projects. The beneficiary organizations of last season were Modern Roots Foundation, Ashland Food Project, Rogue Riverkeper, Rogue Farm Corps and Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon.

The 2017/2018 season was a success and we look forward to selecting the applicants for our 2018/2019 season. We encourage you to partake in supporting our local organizations by getting involved or donating when possible. At the very least, join us next season for a craft brew in support of a good cause.

 

Contact

To learn more about Pints for a Purpose, please contact:

Joan Seybold Standing Stone Brewing Company

101 Oak Street, Ashland, Oregon

Office: (541) 494-8334

joan@standingstonebrewing.com

About Standings Stone Brewing Company

Standing Stone Brewing Company is a family-owned, full service restaurant-brewery committed to craft beers, great food, happy customers, fulfilled employees, community and sustainable business. We seek to ensure customers feel like friends, employees feel like family, our community values us as good neighbors and we leave the world a better place. Handcrafted beer is our passion and we love to share it.

Introducing our new Chef Raider Babcock!

Standing Stone Brewing Company’s new Chef, Raider Babcock, was born on Super bowl Sunday 1981; the day the Raiders beat the Eagles.  His father named him Raider after the victorious football team.  And like his namesake team, Raider comes on the scene with his “guns blazing.”  He arrives at work on his bike; medium height, muscular build, fair-haired.  His 12” chef’s knife is tucked into the back of his apron, Like a Samurai he is ready for action.

Raider is busy from the moment he enters the kitchen.  He is checking inventory, creating new specials, organizing ingredients.  He switches easily between English and Spanish when communicating with kitchen staff.  Why he speaks Spanish so well?  “Four years of high school Spanish class, plus twenty years in kitchens.”

I sat with Raider at the bar at Standing Stone on a Saturday evening, in the slim space of time between a busy lunch and a busy dinner.  I asked Raider to tell me about his “Chef’s journey”; about where he started and how he came through, and how he got where he is now.

“Growing up in Lake Tahoe, eating out was very expensive, so my dad cooked for us. It was just the two of us my whole life. So, he cooked for us every single night.  And he cooked good food. Not gourmet, but good food.  And it was all scratch cooking.  That gave me the basis of it when I was a very small kid… And then my first legal job when I was 12 years old was a dishwasher and a prep cook in Tahoe at Squaw Valley.”

“All the way through high school I thought I wanted to be the next Bill Gates, so I was into computer engineering… hardware, software, writing programs and all that… My first job in college was an internship with Hewlett Packard.  I thought that was going to be my calling.  But, it turns out that pushing a cubicle for eight hours a day wasn’t exactly my speed.  So, after six months of that I got out of it and didn’t know what the hell I was doing…”

“What I was doing was cooking to pay my rent and my bills….. But in Sacramento it wasn’t exactly gourmet. … And then I kind of fell into the wrong crowd.  Then, I finally had a moment of clarity, a moment of realization that I was killing myself.  I called my Dad…… I hadn’t talked to him in years, but without a second thought he came and got me… I was able to load up my whole life into one pickup truck.  I left everything else behind and then came back to Tahoe.”

“So I found a job at a place called Plump Jack’s…… which is really, really fine dining.  For the first time I was able to cook really good food…. I got exposed to some really good culinary and got to work with some really good cooks. [It was] that speed and that energy for the first time and that was my niche and I fell right into in and loved it ever since.”

“That was in 2000 and ever since then I have been working my way up through kitchens; banquet chef, sous chef, line cook, pastry chef and so on.”

Ten years ago Raider got his first Executive Chef position, at Squaw Valley.  Three years after that he moved to Salem, Oregon.  During that time Raider and his wife took full advantage of their .5 acres.  They raised chickens and grew vegetables.  They had enough produce to feed themselves and to sell some back to the restaurant.”

“But, wanting to move closer to family they made the move to Ashland.  “We love the vibe.  We love the energy.  We love the people. We love the food.  We visited Ashland numerous times before we moved here. …  Every time we visited we fell more in love with the place.  They brought with them over 200 potted plants to restart their homestead.”

And now Raider finds himself at Standing Stone Brewing Company.  He says it’s a “dream come true… Honestly, this is the best crew, the nicest kitchen, I have worked in.  The food is my kind of pallet.  Everything is made from scratch.  Which you can do in volume, if you do it right. In fact it’s actually cheaper that way, and with a better product.  And that just makes sense to me.”

Game: either/Or

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Bacon or sausage? Bacon

Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla

Wine or Beer? Beer

About coming in to the position of Chef in a restaurant with a twenty year legacy:

“They just look at me and think: are you the same kind of chef or are you a different kind of chef? And, you know, of course, I come in with my guns blazing….I come in the middle of the summer, the busiest time…. But these people need to be able to see that.  Are you still going to be able to sustain that?  Are you going to be able to be the same guy? …That’s just who I am, so it will be pretty easy for me to sustain it.  But the energy level, the amount that you actually have to put out to make this thing work, it’s tough.  And I just need to get everybody to match that, and we will be just fine.

About teaching and training:

“I like people that I can mold and teach the way I do things.  I have a specific style and I know it.  All chefs do……There are so many different ways to skin a cat….but you got to learn how I skin it.  Because my way is, over the years of me doing it, the most efficient way, or the most productive way …. or simply the way not to hurt that cat. “

About challenges:

“Cooking is easy and I can teach anybody how to cook food.  I can’t teach everybody how to work together properly… to move at the same speed, to communicate really well with each other.”

“Consistency is the most important thing that we can do in this industry ….  If a customer comes in and has something one way.  They loved it.  They go back and tell all their friends how good it was.  Everyone then comes in and tries it and it’s different that time?  Nobody’s coming back….So we need to make sure that that person who had it amazing,  that is the way it’s done every time. “

Skip the straw at Standing Stone

You may have seen the viral video on You Tube showing a single-use, plastic drinking straw being removed from the nose of a Costa Rican Sea Turtle. If not, you can go to www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org to check it out. The video is painful to watch because the afflicted creature is clearly suffering and the cause is so obviously generated by wasteful human habits.

According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. That is a huge number of straws; enough to fill 125 school busses! Once found mostly in Soda fountains of the 1930’s, straws have come to be expected with every beverage served. And while there are some legitimate reasons that some people need single-use straws, for the most part, they are unnecessary.

Because of their size and light-weight, straws do not usually make it into plastic recycling streams. They go into landfill where they take centuries to break down and emit toxic pollutants into the earth and ground-water. Or they go into the oceans where they become dangerous to marine life.

Plastic straws are just the tip of the plastic iceberg. And the issue of plastic straws has been taken up by environmental activists as a “gateway” to raising awareness about the monumental, global problem of single-use plastics in general. Choosing not to use plastic straws is a first step that we all can take in the direction of curbing the use of single-use plastics.

At Standing Stone Brewing Company we have a commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. Long ago we gave up on petroleum-based, plastic drinking straws in favor of biodegradable, corn-based straws. However, the biodegradable straws still require an inordinate amount of time to break down in landfill and are still at risk of being washed into the ocean.

Now we are going a step further. Standing Stone Brewing Company has joined with the City of Ashland and Recology in participating in the “Straws on Demand” program.  This pilot program will be kicked off on May 14. Participating restaurants will make straws available on request. The pilot will run from May 14 to August 14, 2018.  Participating businesses are requested to take notes of the reduction of number of straws, on customers’ reactions, and to staff reactions.

We recognize that as food-servers we have an opportunity to help educate people about the dangers of single-use plastics. So, while we will continue to give straws to guests who prefer to use them, we will not be bringing a straw with every beverage. We welcome our patrons and guests to join with us in reducing unnecessary, single-use plastic waste.

For more information about the “Straws on Demand” pilot program, visit www.Recology.com/Recology-Ashland.

 

 

December 12th Pints For A Purpose – The Ashland Food Project!

On the evening of Tuesday November 14 Standing Stone’s dining room was alive with the sound of music. The teachers and students from Modern Roots Foundation played fiddles and guitars and sang to the delight of guests and staff. It

was the first event of our 2017-2018 Pints for a Purpose program, and it really kicked off our season-of- giving with a flourish. The music was so much fun! Kids and adults together playing familiar tunes from traditional Americana, to pop and rock, even some yodeling by a
very talented young singer. Friends and family gathered around and raised a pint to Modern Roots Foundation and their work in musical education for youth. For each pint of beer sold that night SSBC donated $2 to Modern Roots. Together we also raised over $250 to support their programs.

We are really looking forward to our next Pints for a Purpose event. On Tuesday, December 12 we will celebrate and benefit the Ashland Food Project.

The Ashland Food Project is known by the jaunty green bags that we see outside the homes of our friends and neighbors six times a year. The green bag program was started in 2009 as a way to help Ashland residents donate to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

How it works is that green bags are
given to volunteers who fill them with non-perishable food items. The bags are then collected – and replaced by an empty bag – by volunteers on a Saturday morning. The food collected is taken directly to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and placed on shelves by more volunteers. This amazing process brings over 25,000 pounds of food to the Food Bank every other month. The Ashland Food Project provides a regular supply of food to our hungry neighbors, creates new neighborhood connections that strengthen our community, and serves as a model for other communities.

Standing Stone Brewing Company is pleased to partner with Ashland Food Project this year. Whether you are already involved with the Ashland Food Project, or are interested in volunteering or just wanting to learn more, come down to Standing Stone from 5-10pm and meet representatives from Ashland Food Project. Bring your friends and raise a pint to help support their work in our community.

The Second Annual Harvest Dinner on Oak Street

A little over a year and a half ago, one of our staff members brought to the table an idea that made us ask ourselves, “why didn’t we think of that first?” Because we work alongside some brilliant people, we are fairly used to that feeling; but this idea just seemed like something we could not pass up.

The idea was to host an outdoor dinner on Oak Street towards the end of summer. We love throwing parties and we love interacting with the community outside of our own four walls, so this was a no-brainer for us.

As we started to envision what the event would look like, we quickly agreed that donating proceeds to a local non-profit would be a definite. We also knew that we wanted the dinner to highlight our local region, farmers and produce. After putting two and two together, we knew who the beneficiary would be–our friends at Rogue Valley Farm to School.

Over the course of several months, we poured everything we had into planning the first

Harvest Dinner 2016 picture by Allie Harrington Photography

Harvest Dinner on Oak Street. It was the first event of this type we had ever planned and it was a true labor of love. With the help of local vendors, donors, restaurateurs and our awesome staff, the event sold out and was more of a success than we could have ever imagined….

That was, until this year.

The Second Annual Harvest Dinner on Oak Street was held in mid-October. The event sold out, and over 75 guests wined and dined under the stars in celebration of all things local. We were thrilled with the success of the dinner and happy to have hosted it another year.

What we didn’t expect in our wildest dreams, was that this “fun idea” our employee suggested would have such an impact on the community. This year, more than $34,000 was raised to support farm to school education, connecting local schools with local farmers and supporting a healthier community.

The generosity of guests and our sponsors helped Rogue Valley Farm to School raise more than $19,000 in cash and in-kind gifts.  That amount was matched with an additional $15,000 from a private foundation.

The proceeds will be used to hire a dedicated staff member who will be working closely with local producers and schools to create systems so that schools can readily incorporate healthy, locally grown and processed food into their school meal menus.

We are filled with pride and gratitude. As a company who is driven to have a positive impact on our community, the Harvest Dinner on Oak Street has become one of our greatest success stories.

We would like to thank all the sponsors, volunteers and vendors who helped make this event possible. From the beautiful tables and decor donated by Motif Event Rentals, to the flower arrangements by Jack Lily Seasonal Floral Design and especially the helping hands from Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine, this could not have happened without your help and support. Thank You.

 

9th Annual Pumpkins & Pints – Sunday, Oct 29th 1-5pm

Fall is here and we are excited to announce our 9th annual Pumpkins and Pints! Come join us at the brewpub for an afternoon of pumpkin carving fun and spooky festivities.

We’ll provide the pumpkins and carving tools (you’re welcome to bring your own if you take pumpkin carving really seriously), and you just show up with your creative ideas. You can purchase beer, hard cider, lemonade, brats and burgers once you’ve worked up a hearty appetite. We’ll have live music from Phoenix Sigalove and games to keep kids of all ages entertained.

This year we will be holding a costume and pumpkin carving contest at 3pm. Prizes will be awarded to all participants; so get those little gremlins dressed up and in the Halloween spirit.

Bring the family and dress warm as the event will be held outdoors on our patio (weather permitting). We look forward to seeing you at the 9th annual Pumpkins and Pints!

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!