Standing Stone Brewing Company

Gina Velando

Behind the Scenes: Tips and Favorites from Our Bartenders

Our bartenders are a valued part of the team at Standing Stone Brewing Co. They make sure our beer, wine and special libations get from the taps and bottles to you, efficiently and beautifully. Our mix masters take care to make sure every beverage is served with quality (and sometimes even a little entertainment). Their efforts make for happy customers. In the Sneak Preview’s 2010 Best of Ashland, our own Mike DuBois was among the top “Favorite Bartenders” and we received mention for “Friendliest Bar Staff.”

We asked two of our bartenders, Gina Velando and Mike, to share some of their suggestions for crafting and serving great drinks. As always, these experts were happy to pour it on.

What is your favorite specialty drink to make?

Gina– Our SSBC Chai Toddy (Standing Stone Black Chai Tea, Spiced Rum, and Tuaca liqueur), since it awakens the palate, and senses, fully. Research tells us that “70-75% of what we perceive as taste actually comes from our sense of smell.” Any time I’m mixing up a Chai Toddy several noses up and down the bar can be heard echoing… “mmmm, that smells good!”

Do you have a favorite beer to suggest to customers?

Mike– My favorite beer to drink and serve is the Double IPA. This beer offers medium-high hop bitterness with a crisp citrus finish. It’s great to enjoy on its own or paired with the rich flavors in a burger or pizza. It’s everything I love in a beer!

What are some seasonal ingredients people can use when making their own cocktails at home?

Gina- It’s hot toddy season! I’m a fan of the classic winter warmer with whiskey, honey and lemon in hot water. Numerous Oregon distillers are turning out some great whiskeys, like Hood River and Pendleton Canadian Blend Whiskey. Let your closest liquor store know you would like to see these Oregon products made available! Throw in a lemon wedge and add some sweetness, taking advantage of the taste and health benefits of local honey. Then, top with hot water. This drink will soothe an aching throat and warm cold bones!

Do you have a favorite food and beer pairing from our menu?

Mike– Beer pairs so well with food, it can be hard for me to choose a favorite duo. A classic match is a hoppy beer with a hearty burger. The hops have an astringent quality that cleanses the palate of the rich flavors, helping every bite taste like the first. I suggest trying a pint of our Amber with our Black and Blue Burger. The Amber, which won a bronze award at last year’s Brain of Brewer’s competition in Colorado, boasts medium hop bitterness and a medium-light refreshing body. The caramel characteristics from the roasted malt pair well with the Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese that tops our Valley View beef patty. All in all, a local and delicious choice for anyone interested in food and beer pairings.

Thanks Mike and Gina for offering your suggestions! We hope our customers enjoy our favorite beverages as much as we do.  Please let us in on your preferred drink or food and beer pairing  by sharing with us online or face to face with our bartenders.  We always appreciate the input and new ideas!

Standing Stone Places 6th in Siskiyou Challenge Relay Race!

Last Saturday, as the sun rose at 6:45am, the Standing Stone crew gathered at the inaugural Siskiyou Challenge, a multi-sport relay benefitting Rogue Valley Farm to School.

Clad in running shorts with kayaks and bikes in tow, five of our athletic and energetic employees collected in a pre-race huddle with supporting coworkers cheering around them.

Fifty three teams participated in this five-leg relay race. The beneficiary, Rogue Valley Farm to School, is a great nonprofit that connects schools and farms through educational programs and farm-to-cafeteria partnerships. The scenic course covered 46 miles around Ashland and Talent across land and water, touring farms, orchards, lakes and parks.

The weather and course were beautiful, the volunteers were amazing and we had a blast sharing the day with the rest of the participants and community. Team Standing Stone huffed and puffed and came in 6th overall with a time of 4:05:59!

Here is run down of the course and our participants for each:

  • 11K run – Rob Koning
  • 3K kayak course – Mike DuBois
  • 25 mile road bike – Brandon Schilling
  • 9.5 mile mountain bike – David Conley
  • 5K run – Gina Velando

Racers crossed the finish line at ScienceWorks to enjoy good food, live music and the company of their teammates, fellow racers and supporters. Treats at the post-race festival included baked goods from Ashland Food Cooperative, coffee and pastries from  Rogue Valley Roasting Co and handmade ice cream in fresh waffle cones from Artik Creamery. Standing Stone was a lead sponsor and provided a free post-race meal and beer to all participants, of course using lots of local food.

We were thrilled to participate in the Siskiyou Challenge, both as a racing team and as a sponsor since we’re a long time supporter of RVF2S. We want to thank RVF2S for the great race and all the participants for a huge turnout. Siskiyou Challenge, we’ll see you next year and we hope to see an even bigger turnout at this great event!