Standing Stone Brewing Company

beer & food pairings

By in Brewery & Beer 0

Latest Specialty Beer: Return of Hop Night

Back by popular demand (and the fervent requests of Standing Stone employees), Hop Night makes its return to our specialty beer menu! This Pacific Northwest style creation has been a staff favorite since its birth last year, and its big, rich flavor and body make it a great brew to bring back during the chilly winter months.

Also called Black IPA or India Black Ale, early pioneers of this beer style prefer the name Cascadian Dark Ale, as it features our region’s signature Cascade hop varietal. Characteristics typical of this brew include a piney, citrusy aroma from Cascadian hops, toasted malt flavors and a semi-dry finish. In recent years, the beer’s national popularity has grown, and The Brewers Association recognized it as a style for the first time at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

About Hop Night

This microbrew is as dark as night with a light tan head of foam. Before you imbibe, take in its savory aroma to prime your palate. You’ll enjoy a big, full mouthfeel, roasted malt flavor, and a strong finish of hop bitterness to top off the experience. 7.3% abv

Malt

• Organic Two-Row

• Organic Crystal 60

• Organic Carapils

• Blackprinz

• Midnight Wheat

Hops

• Bittering = Apollo

• Aroma/Flavor = Cascade, Goldings, Liberty

• Dry Hop = Centennial, from the Applegate Valley, OR

Food Pairings

Hop Night has a big, robust, strong character. Naturally, this beer pairs best with foods that can stand up to its hearty nature. During the winter months, we think rich, comfort food is the best pick for the job. Here are some menu items that can complement its qualities and leave your taste buds perfectly pleased:

  • Spicy Barbequed Chick Pizza
  • Black Bean Chilli
  • Standing Stone Cheese Burger
  • Charbroiled 5-Spiced Teriyaki Ribs
  • Italian Sausage Linguini

Stop by to enjoy a pint of Hop Night while it lasts! It’s a great way to savor and celebrate the Northwest’s passion around brewing, and our region’s contribution to the greater craft beer world.

By in Brewery & Beer 0

Pints for a Purpose, and Latest Specialty Beer: Peace Ale

(photo: Rachel Koning)

Our newest specialty beer is on tap – Peace Ale. This beer is part of our  Pints for a Purpose program, with portion of the sales benefitting the non-profit Peace House.

Peace Ale is expected to be on tap for about six weeks. The Pints for a Purpose program runs for three weeks, beginning with a kick-off party tonight, January 23rd, from 5-9 pm. During the kick-off, we’ll give 50 cents for every pint sold to the organization.  If supporters purchase more than 50 pints, we’ll up the donation to $1 per pint! For the remainder of the donation period, Standing Stone will give 25 cents per pint to Peace House. Come downtown and toast a pint to supporting this local non-profit!

(photo: peacehouse.net)

Peace House is a local organization that promotes community and environmental sustainability, along with non-violence and social justice in Southern Oregon.  Their list of programs includes Uncle Food’s Diner, which provides free weekly community meals in Ashland for the homeless and economically disadvantaged.  We’re thrilled to support this local group and their mission.

About the beer

This beer shows off with a bright yellow color.  A mild, slightly spicy aroma is contributed by Willamette Valley hops grown in the Oregon.  A distinct, cracker-like malt flavor balances nicely with medium bitterness. With a lower fermentation temperature (62F) than our other ales, this beer has a crisp, dry finish, much like a classic pilsner.  5.3% abv

Malt

Organic Pilsner
Ashburne Mild
Organic Carapils
Acidulated

Hops

Bittering = Centennial
Flavor/Aroma = Willamette

Beer and Food Pairings

Complement the light body and flavor of this beer with lightly flavored food. The cracker-like, dry characteristics of this beer also make it an excellent choice with foods that exhibit a light sweetness. Here are some suggestions for pairings from our menu:

  • Sea Scallop and Spinach Salad
  • Tempeh Stir Fry
  • Fish Tacos
  • House Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Sauteed Veggie Wrap
  • Black Bean Hummus

We invite you to help raise funds, and your glass, while satisfying your tastebuds with Peace Ale, January 23rd through February 12th. Support local non-profits and celebrate responsibly.

2012 Winter Beer Dinner Brews Up Great Times

We want to thank everyone who joined us for our 2012 Winter Beer Dinner! This is our yearly event to celebrate two of our greatest passions: beer and food. Our brewmaster and chef, Larry Chase and Eric Bell, enticed our guests’ taste buds with carefully concocted food and beer pairings. This year’s dinner was held on January 12th at Standing Stone.

Our dining room was full of eager Standing Stone Brewing fans, excitedly awaiting each beautiful dish to harmonize with each tasty beer during our six-course annual dinner. As each course was served, Larry and Eric took a moment to explain the flavor profiles of their creations and the characteristics that make for exquisite pairings.

If you missed this year’s dinner, here’s a recap of the flavor and fun:

Milk and Honey Ale with Feuillete de Poisson

I Love Oregon Ale with Warm Artichoke and Mizuna Salad

Amber Ale with Sushi Lasagna with Vodka Gravlox, Flying Fish Roe and Matchstick Ginger

Double IPA with Standing Stone Farm Black Angus Rib Eye and Chanterelles

Oatmeal Stout with Mont Blanc

Barley Wine with Caramel Chevre Crème Brulee

We captured lots of great moments this year, both in the dining room and behind the scenes. The colorful dishes coming from the kitchen and our guests’ happy faces made for some great pictures. We want to share a few of these photos and highlight this great night! You can also view our full photo album for more tasty snapshots.

For those of you who attended, thank you for joining us and we were thrilled to see everyone there! This is our favorite Standing Stone event of the year, and we couldn’t be happier to see lots of our regular customers and new faces as well.

Keep your eyes open on our event calendar for the next Standing Stone Beer Dinner on the horizon. Remember, you can always create your own food and beer pairing at the restaurant any time, too. Feel free to ask one of our servers or bartenders for suggested combinations, or get inspired to try your own. Cheers!

Reserve Your Seat For Our 2012 Winter Beer Dinner

Once a year, we get our collective heads together here at Standing Stone Brewing and organize a beer dinner, offering one fun, sumptuous event for beer lovers and culinary enthusiasts alike. We present our 2012 Winter Beer Dinner, Thursday, January 12th at 6:30pm!

This formal dinner features six courses of beer and food pairings. Chef Eric Bell has once again devised delicious fare, created to pair perfectly with six of our beers. We’ll highlight flavors of the season and the state, with Oregon coast Dungeness crab and rockfish, Mama Terra goat cheese from Williams, and potatoes from Klamath Falls, to name a few. This year, for the first time, our Beer Dinner menu features our very own Standing Stone Black Angus beef, served in a rib eye cut with wild foraged chanterelles. This grass-fed beef comes from our very own farm, just a few miles away in Ashland, OR!

Seats for this event are $60 a person. Seating is limited, with 80 seats available for this year’s dinner, so be sure to make your reservation soon to save your spot at one of our tables! We have tables in various sizes, and you’re welcome to reserve seats together with friends and family.

In the spirit of the holiday season, we’re also featuring a Beer Dinner Gift Pack as a great gift for your favorite beer aficionado. This gift pack includes two logo’d pint glasses, two half gallon growler bottles and a gift card for filling with a favorite Standing Stone beer, as well as a gift card for two seats at this year’s Winter Beer Dinner. It’s the gift that keeps giving! We also have gift cards available in any amount, so you can purchase seats separately, or put together your own gift package.

To make your Winter Beer Dinner reservation, call the restaurant at (541) 482-2448, or come in and speak with a bartender or server to learn more. You can also email us at Rachel@standingstonebrewing.com. We look forward to seeing you there!

Barley Wine is Here to Toast the Holidays!

Standing Stone Brewing Co regulars know the winter holidays bring a special gift from us – Barley Wine. We know our customers anticipate this every year and wanted to let you know…the wait is over! This annual favorite is now on tap for all to enjoy responsibly.

Barley Wine blends elements of beer and wine making, thus its name. It uses traditional beer ingredients but has a higher alcohol content (typically 9-12%) like wine, so we serve it in a wine glass as a half pint size.

About our 2011 Barley Wine

Our 2011 blend is reddish brown and full boded. It offers aromas of toffee swirl with vinous, prune and raisin-like flavors.  This beer will warm your heart, not to mention your soul, with its big malt flavors.  Best enjoyed at a cellar temperature of 50 F. 9.9% abv.

Malt

  • Organic Two-Row
  • Briess Extra Special
  • Acidulated

Hops

  • Bittering = Nugget
  • Flavoring = Cascade & Golding

Food & Beer Pairings

Barley Wine is a bold, rich beer so pair it with dishes with lots of flavor intensity or rich sweet desserts. We suggest these items from our restaurant menu:

  • Charbroiled 5-Spice Ginger Teriyaki Ribs
  • Our Own Valley View Beef Cut
  • Spicy BBQ Chicken Pizza

Also check our Specials Menu for the latest dessert.

Enjoy the holidays with a glass of Barley Wine. Like all our beers on tap, you can get this to go to liven up your celebrations at home and take to parties to be the most favored guest. To add even more fun for the beer lovers in your life these holidays, check out our gift selection, too.

By in Food 0

Thanksgiving Recipes and Beer Pairings: Two Simple, Tasty Treats

Thanksgiving can seem hectic, with food to prepare and guests to tend to. To help you out, we thought we’d share some easy and appealing appetizer recipes, with beer pairings, to keep everyone happy and well-fed.

Our  chef, Eric Bell, was recently featured on Southern Oregon news channel KDRV where he shared the Thanksgiving Day appetizer ideas we’ve posted here, along with preparation tips. They’re are easy to prepare and perfect to enjoy while your other entrées and sides are baking away for dinner.

Eric suggests pairing these spreads, which we’ve highlighted at Standing Stone on both our daily and special menus, with fresh baked bread spread with olive oil and garlic (toasted at your oven’s highest temperature – see the KDRV video for tips). We think a loaf of our baguette, which is made fresh every morning, makes for a real Standing Stone experience. You can order these to go but sure you come by and grab your a day early, as we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving Day to spend it with our families.

Photo: KDRV

We also asked our brewer, Larry Chase to give us some perfect beer pairings for each of these spreads, since offering guests with some fun, flavorful pairings is a great way to entertain a houseful. We offer our beers to go in liter and half gallon bottles, and kegs, perfect for the holidays, and any day.

Heirloom Tomato & Feta Salsa

Ingredients

2 large heirloom tomatoes, or a few roma, juice removed & diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1-2 Tablespoons fresh thyme minced
1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
½-1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
¼-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (like Rogue Brambles, available at the Growers and Crafters Market)
¼-1/3 cup Spanish sherry vinegar (12 years old- yes, you can find it!)
Pepper (coarse fresh grind) to taste
6-8 oz feta cheese
Salt (coarse sea salt is best)

Instructions

Incorporate all ingredients except salt in a large bowl. Since feta is already fairly salty, it’s good to taste first, and only salt as you need.

Food-Beer pairing

A great way to balance the acidity of this dish is pairing it with a maltier beer, like Amber Ale. Our current specialty beer, NPK Ale, also has delicate flavors and a light mouthfeel that wouldn’t overpower the light, fresh flavors in this bruschetta.

Artichoke Spinach Dip

Ingredients

12 oz chevre goat cheese (we like Mama Terra)
8 oz cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
1 can artichoke hearts with water, coarsely cut
6-8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 c chopped fresh spinach
1-2 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructuctions

In a mixer, using the paddle, incorporate all ingredients except artichoke hearts. Mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. When smooth, add artichoke hearts and mix on low for 1 minute. Move to an oven-safe bowl and bake at high heat until the top starts browning. We suggest heating the oven as high as it will go, around 500 degrees, and toasting your bread at the same time to enjoy both servings warm.

Food-beer pairings

A great beer to go with this dip is the Oatmeal Stout. Both have a creamy mouthfeel and rich flavors. You could also try an India Pale Ale, or our Double IPA, as the hops offer an astringent property that cuts through richness, refreshing the palate after each drink.

Thanks Eric and Larry! We hope you enjoy these Thanksgiving food and beer pairing suggestions. Let us know how they go, and feel free to some creative twists and pairings of your own!

Latest Specialty Beer: NPK Ale

We’ve got a freshly harvested specialty beer on tap for you to enjoy: NPK Ale.

This craft brew is part of our Pints for a Purpose program wherein specialty beer sales benefit a nonprofit for three weeks. Rogue Valley Farm to School (RVF2S) is the beneficiary. You can learn more about this cause and program on a previous blog.  Join us for the kickoff on Monday, 11/7 from 5-9 pm, and enjoy a few pints from 11/7-11/26 to support this great cause.

About the name

NPK Ale is named after the NPK balance – nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (K is its elemental symbol) that farmers seek to achieve in nourishing their soil. Soil amendments often list NPK proportions. These important nutrients help build productive, healthy plants with strong roots—analogous to what we’re doing by supporting RVF2S, and the work they’re doing to connect kids, schools and local farms to cultivate a resilient food system.

About the beer

NPK Ale has a soft amber hue and a light body. You’ll enjoy a toasted marshmallow aroma, a smooth mouthfeel, rounded sweet malt flavor and low bitterness.

Malt (2nd runnings from a mash with these malts*)

  • Organic 2-Row
  • Briess Extra Special
  • Acidulated

Hops

  • Bittering:  Organic Magnum
  • Flavor/Aroma:  Goldings, Cascade

* This beer was brewed from the second runnings of our upcoming barley wine.  So what’s that mean? During the later process of brewing, the sweet wort (sugar water) is separated from the malt and run to the kettle.  The initial wort sent to the kettle comprises the high content sugar water made up of the initial mash water added to the process.  More water is added to rinse the malt of remaining sugars through a process called sparging.  This next bit of wort is lower in sugar content and is called the second runnings.

We effectively made 2 different beers from the same mash:  a higher alcohol barley wine from the first runnings and a lower alcohol “small beer” from the second runnings. While they both have the same malt bill, albeit different sugar contents, the beers can be hopped differently in the kettle.  Our small beer was very low hopped to approximately 12 IBU, allowing the malt profile to shine through.  We also added a touch of lactose to add weight to its naturally light body.

Beer and Food Pairings

Schoolkids learning about seed saving (photo: RVF2S)

We suggest complementing NPK ale with lightly flavored foods so as not to overwhelm its delicate flavor.

  • Wood Fired Pretzel
  • Savory Chicken Soup
  • Caesar Salad
  • Sauteed Veggie Wrap
  • Local food menu specials – support local farms and reward yourself, too!

Enjoy responsibly – and help RVF2S cultivate healthful eating and strong family farms!

By in Brewery & Beer 0

Latest Specialty Beer: Farmer Brown (2011)

Our latest specialty beer is Farmer Brown Ale. Standing Stone Brewing Co regulars might remember enjoying an ale with this name last fall. This batch is a bit of a different recipe, however.

It’s a marriage of two well-received brown ales we brewed in 2010, its namesake Farmer Brown Ale and Butternut Brown, which was brewed by our intern at the time, Acacia Baldner. Its darker color and body are reminiscent of Butternut Brown while its strong toasty flavor and lower alcohol harken back to the Farmer Brown 2010.

Despite the new formulation, we’ve recycled the name Farmer Brown to celebrate the launch of our farm project on October 1st. We’re now farmers, leasing farmland that’s home to our ever expanding flock of chickens and our new herd of cattle. (If you want to check out our farm and meet our animals, don’t miss our Third-annual Pumpkins & Pints on 10/23, to be held on our new farmland!)

Back to the beer, here are the specs…

About Farmer Brown (2011)

This ale sports a light coffee color and a light to medium body. You’ll enjoy a warm, roast-like aroma with a pronounced toast flavor (like the essence of bread fresh out of a wood-fired oven…mmmmm). 5.2% abv

Our Farmland (photo: M. Schweisguth)

Malt

  • Organic 2-row
  • Carabrown
  • Organic Chocolate
  • Organic Carapils

Hops

  • Bittering = Nugget
  • Flavor/Aroma = Willamette

Beer & Food Pairings

Farmer Brown Ale goes well with hearty and savory foods, especially those made with fresh ingredients. Here are some of our favorite restaurant menu items to pair it with.

  • Black Bean Hummus Plate
  • Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
  • House Greens with Savory Walnuts
  • Pesto Pizza
  • Standing Stone Cheeseburger
  • Alder Planked Wild Alaskan Salmon
  • Bread Pudding

Head on over and enjoy it before it’s gone. Grab a liter or growler to go to enjoy with meals at home made with fresh finds from local farms and ranches, too.

Latest Specialty Beer: Oktoberfest

As autumn rolls in, it’s once again time to put Oktoberfest on tap! This lager style craft beer is a perennial favorite with customers. The official festivities, centered in Munich, Germany, run from September 17-October 3rd this year. Our 2011 Oktoberfest brew will be available through October to help extend this annual celebration of great beer in Ashland, OR.

If you’re wondering how Oktoberfest came to be and why it occurs in September, here’s a little history: It began on October 12, 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese got married and invited the residents of Munich to celebrate with them on a vast meadow named “Theresienwiese” in honor of the bride. A parade and horse races were highlights of the festivities. Citizens decided to hold these in subsequent years, making Oktoberfest an annual tradition. Beer stands appeared in 1818, along with amusement rides and a carnival, and scaled up to the characteristic beer tents in 1896. At some point, the fiesta was lengthened and moved up to the third weekend in September to take advantage of warmer weather.

About our Oktoberfest

This lager is deep golden with orange hues and a smooth medium body. It offers a hard candy aroma and a rich, intense malty flavor with a biscuit note, finishing with a slight alcohol warming. 6.8% abv.

Malt

  • Gambrinus Organic Pilsner
  • Briess Aromatic
  • Briess Vienna
  • Briess Organic Carapils

Hops

  • Bittering = Organic Magnum
  • Aroma/Flavor = Crystal

Yeast

  • Lager strain from Weihenstephan in Germany

Food and Beer Pairings

Our Oktoberfest goes well with spicy, hearty foods. Here are some pairings from our restaurant menu.

  • Pepper Jack Quesadilla
  • Vegetarian Black Bean Chili (add chicken or sausage for an authentic Oktoberfest taste)
  • Three Meat Pizza or Italian Sausage Pizza
  • Grilled Reuben
  • Wood-fired Pretzel with Marionberry Mustard or house made Kim Chee – Pretzels and sauerkraut are Oktoberfest staples

Here are some suggestions for enjoying our Oktoberfest at home. Like all of our beers, it’s available at our brewery to go in liters, growlers and kegs.

  • Mexican or any hearty/spicy food including chicken, sausage, pork
  • Jalapeno Jack Cheese
  • Spice Cake for dessert

We encourage you to expand your enjoyment and your horizons by whipping up traditional Oktoberfest foods at home. Check out a recent blog with tips for menu items and hosting your own celebration to get started.

Food and Beer Pairings: Expert Tips From Our Brewmaster

Our brewmaster, Larry Chase, isn’t just an expert on beer. He’s also savvy about food and is particularly fond of crafting beer and food pairings that bring out the best in both. We asked him to share a few pointers.

Why pair beer and food?

It creates new flavor experiences that are often more than the parts. Craft beers provide many flavor possibilities from the wide variety of malted barley, hops, carbonation and yeast used within and across beer styles. Microbrews also work with many foods that wine doesn’t pair so well with.

What are your general tips for pairing food and beer?

First, think about intensities. Combine foods that have a delicate flavor with lighter microbrews, and vice versa. You want the pairing to be complementary instead of having one element overwhelm the other. Think about flavors, too. For example, malted barley provides sweetness you can use to balance acidity and spicy heat. Alternately, use a beer’s bitterness to emphasize spicy heat. Balance sweet or rich food with hop bitterness, carbonation, alcohol and roasted malt flavors..

What pairings do you recommend for folks to try at home?

Bring out the cheese. Beer’s carbonation scrubs away the fat, readying your palate for more cheese. Blue cheeses have fun with IPA’s – the stronger the IPA, the stronger the cheese can be. Try mild white cheddar with a classic Pilsner. Then move to dessert. An easy one is brownies, paired with stout and a fruit-flavored lambic.

Any suggestions for combining craft beer and other ingredients for blended beverages?

A stout float is one of the tastiest and surprising blends. Our Christmas Eve tradition is to create a tomato beer with a low flavored pale lager, tomato juice and lots of spices, like a bloody mary.

What pairings do you suggest for Standing Stone’s microbrews and menu items?

  • Double IPA: Black and Blue Burger, Spicy Thai Curry
  • Amber Ale: Charbroiled 5-Spice Ginger Teriyaki Ribs, Bread Pudding
  • Pilot Rock Pale Ale: Sauteed Veggie Wrap, Cobb Salad
  • Oatmeal Stout: Sweet Potato Curry Fries, Stir Crazy Black Chocolate Cake
  • Noble Stout: Saturday breakfast, especially bacon

What’s one of the most surprising – but delicious – pairings you’ve tried?

I helped host a summer beer and food pairing a few years ago. Being a hound for basil, I topped a water cracker with a few lemon basil leaves and chevre. This was paired with a Hefeweizen. People often enjoy a slice of lemon with hefeweizen, a flavor which the lemon basil brought forth. The creamy chevre played along with the Hefeweizen’s unfiltered texture and added a tanginess to its banana-like character. It was yummy.

A classic pairing that gets at the essence of umami is fresh oysters and stout. The stout’s roasted barley balances the oysters’ brininess. Together, the two create a new flavor sensation that’s heavenly.

Thanks Larry. We’re excited to mix and match across the brewery and restaurant menu, and explore the options at home, too. How about you? Feel free to share your favorite beer-food pairings and any questions in the comments section.