Standing Stone Brewing Company

Beers Made By Walking

New on Tap: Wildtrail Ale

Once-again we are participating in Beers Made By Walking, a program that asks brewers to make beer inspired by plants found on nature walks. Our beer will be served during a special event, with other nature-infused brews, on October 26th at Belmont Station in Portland. The beer starts flowing at noon and some of the brewers will be available to talk from 2-4.

Michael Altman, a certified nutritionist and member of the American Herbalists Guild, blazed the trail this summer in our search for edible, flavorful, and medicinal plants for the brew. On our foray around Hyatt Reservoir,  we discovered yarrow, mint, elderflower, and St. John’s Wort among others.

Our friends at Beer Made by Walking say “yarrow, mint, and elderflower perhaps are most familiar in beer history. Yarrow has been used as a bittering agent in beer, providing some medicinal value, and was used in gruits before the widespread use of hops. Elderfower has been used recently in a few different commercial beers, and a recent cider. It is appealing to many because of it’s soft citrusy character. Mint has also been used in beer and is certainly more common in tea. It is likely that many of the mint beers have used commercially available mints, so the use of a variety growing wild in the landscape is certainly appealing.”

(*photo by Larry Chase)

Come taste the bounty of The Pacific Crest Trail with Yarrow and Saint John’s Wort! The style is similar to a braggot, which is an ale brewed with malt and honey. This light, amber colored ale with its spicy and floral aroma will leave you wanting more! Cheers!

Beer Made By Walking

Style:  Its Own Style 

Color:  Light Amber
Aroma:  Spicy and Floral
Mouthfeel:  Medium
Flavor:  Honey, Yarrow, Perception of sweetness with slight sour character
Alcohol:  6.9% abv
IBU:  15 (estimate)

Original Extract:  14.8 Plato (% sugar in the wort)

Malt

  • Organic 2-row
  • Briess Special Roast
  • Organic Carapils
  • Acidulated

Adjunct

  • Wildflower Honey (Willamette Valley) – 30% of fermentable sugar

Hops

  • Bittering:  Organic Magnum

Flavoring Plants – collected near Lake Hyatt

  • Yarrow
  • St. John’s Wort
By in Brewery & Beer, Events 2

Latest Specialty Beer: Wildcraft Ale

Larry with Jon Carlson from the Vitalist School of Herbology

If there has ever been a craft beer that warrants attention from all the senses, that beer is Wildcraft Ale. This intriguingly complex brew is the latest in our specialty beer line-up, and boasts ingredients that no other Standing Stone beer has: wild foraged herbs from Southern Oregon’s own Grizzly Peak. These herbs blend with hops, malt and yeast to create a dark, black colored beer with strong anise aroma, earthy flavor and spicy mouthfeel.

Last month, our brewmaster, Larry Chase, stepped up to a challenge presented by Beers Made By Walking, a Pacific Northwest group that encourages breweries to craft a specialty beer with locally foraged ingredients. This summer, they asked five craft breweries in Oregon to join in and brew up their own unique beers that show off edible (and drinkable) herbs in their regional landscapes. All five breweries came together in Portland last Sunday, October 21st, to present their specialty concoctions at the unveiling event, a fundraiser for the Northwest Trail Alliance. You can visit the Beers Made By Walking website to see all the participating breweries and their creative new brews.

Larry rose to the beer-making challenge with enthusiasm last June and enlisted local herbalist, Jon Carlson, to join him on a hike to Grizzly Peak to identify edible plants near Ashland, OR.

SSBC Brewer, Larry Chase, at Beers Made By Walking event (photo: BeerGirlSays.com)

After a day of trekking through local trails and identifying handfuls of edible and medicinal plant varieties, Larry chose the featured ingredients for Wildcraft Ale – Sweet Root and Wild Ginger.

About Sweet Root

Sweet Root can be found in nearly all the mountains of the Pacific West and is best harvested late-summer through fall. Its flavor can be compared to licorice or fennel, and a tea made with the plant can aid in digestion and respiratory function.

About Wild Ginger

This plant is indigenous to America and can be found in moist woods and shady areas that are at mid- to low-elevation. The root is strongly aromatic with a mild bitter taste, and slight sweetness.

Of course, we recommend having an expert with you when doing any wild foraging for edible plants. Contact Jon Carlson with the Vitalist School of Herbology in Ashland if you’re interested in learning more about wild, edible herbs specific to Southern Oregon.

About the Beer

Deep black color, strong anise aroma, and medium body. The spicy, tingling mouthfeel is accompanied by flavors of earthy and woody licorice. 5.5% abv. 20 IBU

Malt
Organic 2-row
Briess Extra Special
Briess Carapils
Briess Midnight Wheat

Hops
Bittering = Willamette

Italian Sausage Linguini

Suggested Pairings

The licorice and earthy qualities of this beer make it an excellent pairing with similar-flavored food. Try it with roasted fennel at home, or pair with black and red licorice to compare the flavors. Mushrooms make a great match, especially wild-foraged varieties from your local farmers market or food co-op. Dark chocolate is an excellent pairing, too, with its slightly sweet and bitter qualities. Here are our pairing suggestions from the menu:

Italian Sausage Pizza
Three Meat Pizza
Italian Sausage Linguini
Sautéed Crimini Mushrooms
Stir Crazy Dark Chocolate Cake

Be sure to ask your server or bartender for a sample of Wildcraft Ale on your next visit. We’re certain it’ll grab your attention! Take a few moments to assess its color, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel for an enjoyable and complex tasting experience.

By in Brewery & Beer, Events 0

A Tasting Trek for Our Brewer: Joining ‘Beers Made By Walking’

In the Pacific Northwest we’re fortunate to have a fresh selection of innovative beer ingredients, such as herbs and flowers from our backyards, fields and forests, to brew our favorite ales and lagers. This month, our brewer, Larry Chase, joined local herbalist, Jon Carlson, to identify native Southern Oregon plants that can be used in beer to complement our beloved hops and malt. Their hike was part of a program called Beers Made By Walking, and brewers all over Oregon are joining and brewing beers with plants that can be found on day hikes around the state.

Beers Made By Walking (BMBW) invites brewers to make a beer inspired by nature hikes and urban walks. It first began as a summer-long series in Colorado Springs in 2011, and the buzz has inspired versions in Oregon and Washington. This summer’s program culminates with a special BMBW tapping on October 20th at Portland’s Belmont Station. The five breweries participating across Oregon will send a keg of their specialty-brewed beer for a night of celebrating Oregon’s beer bounty!

The other Oregon craft breweries participating in Beers Made By Walking include:

Deschutes Brewery (Bend) – HIke 6/15, Deschutes Land Trust’s Whychus Canyon Preserve
Flat Tail Brewing (Corvallis) – TBA
Upright Brewing (Portland) – Hike Date TBA, Gordon Creek Timber and Larch Mountain Trail System
Coalition Brewing (Portland) – Hike 7/21, Forest Park in Portland

Standing Stone’s hike took place July 17th at local landmark, Grizzly Peak Trail, and our brewer spent the day learning about the edible plants our neck of the woods has to offer. Jon helped Larry identify the following list of herbs and plants (Larry’s notes included), and they did plenty of tasting!

  • Douglas Fir–new growth is citrusy
  • Wild Ginger–has a pleasant bitterness

  • Sweet Root–both the flowers and root have an anise/licorice flavor
  • Thimbleberry
  • Yarrow–flowers are bitter and has an abundance of aromatics
  • Dandelion Root
  • St John’s Wort
  • Elderberry
  • Pineapple Weed–comes across as chamomile

Of course, we don’t recommend eating plants in the wild unless you know for certain what they are, or have an expert like Jon with you.

Stay tuned for more news on which ingredients Larry chooses for his batch of specialty BMBW beer, and check out the Beers Made By Walking blog post all about Larry and Jon’s hike, too. And if you’re in the Portland area on October 20th, be sure to stop by Belmont Station for a great selection of fresh and innovative Oregon-grown craft beer. infused with fresh, flavorful, local herbs and flowers.