Standing Stone Brewing Company

Oregon Chocolate Festival

Latest Specialty Beer, Dedicated to the Oregon Chocolate Festival 3/1-3/3: Chocolate Ale

The 9th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival graces Ashland this weekend and we are more excited than ever to be a part of this decadent event! March 1st-3rd over 40 chocolate vendors from all over Oregon are serving unique chocolate creations, and we’re joining with a chocolate-themed beer we’ve brewed just for the event!

choc2012We’re also sending a handful of our beers along with Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer for a beer and chocolate pairing demonstration, and serving our new brew at the Chocolate Maker’s Dinner Friday night. We’re getting our hands gooey with chocolaty fun, and we love it!

About the Beer

The light, orange rust color is a visual surprise in this chocolate-flavored ale. With a backbone of caramel flavor, the delicate character of the Criollo variety cacao bean is apparent in fruity notes of red berries. You’ll enjoy the silky body and nuanced flavors. 6.1% abv 15 IBU


• Briess Goldpils® Viennaimages

• Briess Caracrystal Wheat

• Briess Bonlander

• Briess Oat Flakes


• Bittering: Willamette

• Flavor/Aroma: Galaxy


• Medium Roast Criollo Cacao Nibs from Peru—Nibs sourced directly from Peruvian farms and roasted by Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point, Oregon. The Perfect Illusion chocolate bar from Lillie Belle is made with this cacao variety.

Food Pairing Suggestions

This beer pairs best with…chocolate! The finishing bitterness of the brew is similar to the finish of dark chocolate, and we suggest you try them together to pick up the similar flavors. Fruity desserts, with strawberry, raspberry or cherry, will also match the red berry finish. For lunch or dinner, we think the medium-bodied ale goes well with Mexican-style dishes with beans or mole and mild peppers. Here are our suggestions from our menu:marioncobbler

  • Stir Crazy Dark Chocolate Cake
  • Bread Pudding
  • Marionberry Cobbler
  • Black Bean Nachos with Roasted Chicken

Or, this weekend’s special: Tres Tacos de Pollo, with Habanero Onions, Salsa Trio and Jalapeno Crème.

If you’re in Ashland, we encourage you to dive into the annual Oregon Chocolate Festival for the once-a-year chocolate-lover’s paradise. Be sure to stop by the many local restaurants and shops dedicating specials, sales and events to the sweet occasion. At Standing Stone, we’re serving Chocolate Ale and a Fudge Brownie dessert for the tasty affair!

Oregon Chocolate Festival (and Chocolate Stout) – Savor a Preview

We look forward to the first weekend in March since it brings the Oregon Chocolate Festival to Ashland, OR. This annual celebration of all things chocolate unites chocolatiers from across the state with bakers, brewers, wine makers and coffee roasters.

This year’s fiesta takes place on March 2-4, and includes two days of sampling, vendors and workshops, a Chocolate Makers Dinner and Art Walk, menu specials at local restaurants and more. You can get full details on the event website.

At Standing Stone Brewing Co, we’re offering a Chocolate Stout (brewed with cacao nibs, or cacao bean pieces), menu specials and cocktails. Our bartenders will satisfy your sweet tooth with some of our favorite Oregon distilleries’ chocolate-inspired creations, such as New Deal Distillery Mud Puddle Chocolate Vodka and our house-made steamed hot chocolate infused with Bendistillery’s Cofia Hazelnut Espresso Vodka. We’ll announce menu specials and Chocolate Stout tapping on Facebook and Twitter so connect with us there. The Chocolate Makers Dinner will feature our Chocolate Stout, too.

Beer lovers can also enjoy a chocolate and beer pairing workshop with Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer, featuring our Chocolate Stout, and a “Bean to Brew” event at Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point. If you’re attending the festival, visit Southern Oregon Brewing for a taste of their excellent craft beers, too.

Chocolate, like beer, is the result of an alchemical transformation. Here’s a peek into the magic to whet your palate for the Festival. Chocolate starts with cacao beans, the seeds of the Theobroma Cacao tree. It grows within 20 degrees of the equator and loves lush rainforest environments that provide moisture and shelter its delicate flowers. Cacao pods grow all over the tree and hold about 40-50 beans. It takes about 200 beans to make a pound of chocolate.

First, cacao farmers harvest ripe pods and scoop out the pulp covered beans, which are fermented for about 3-7 days to develop the beans’ chocolatey flavor. Then, beans are dried in the sun (or energy-powered driers if it’s rainy).

Chocolate makers roast the beans, shell them with a winnower, then grind them into a thick paste (cacao liquor). This liquor can be pressed with a hydraulic press to make cocoa butter and powder, or refined into a smooth consistency then blended with sugar (and milk, if used) in a melangeur to make fine chocolate for bars, truffles, drops and other delectables. Lillie Belle Chocolates makes chocolate starting from the bean, and is a must-try at the festival!

Of course, there’s variation in chocolate, just like craft beer. Not all chocolate is refined or made from roasted beans. In cacao producing countries, roasted beans are ground by hand and rolled into balls for rich hot chocolate. Raw chocolate, made with ingredients that haven’t been heated above 118 degrees, is growing. Don’t miss Ashland’s Zorba’s Chocolates, which makes incredible raw chocolate, at the festival.

Our mouths are watering just thinking about the Oregon Chocolate Festival. Indulge, and stop by Standing Stone for some Chocolate Stout and menu specials to top it off.

Cacao photos: M. A Schweisguth

Specialty Beer and More: Chocolate Stout & Oregon Chocolate Festival Menu Specials

Cacao Pods (photo: M. Schweisguth)

The 7th annual Oregon Chocolate Festival hits Ashland, OR this weekend, March 4-6. Our mouths are already watering as we peruse the list of first-rate chocolate companies coming from across the state to offer their wares, along with excellent wineries and coffee roasters, educational sessions, events for adults and kids, specials around town, and more. This looks like the most delectable lineup yet.

We’re infusing our restaurant and brewery with the chocolate-covered spirit of this extravaganza, from cocktails and entrees to special desserts, including

  • Chocolate/Smoked Ancho Chili BBQ Wings
  • Chorizo Tacos with Chocolate Mole, Cotija Cheese & Cilantro Cabbage with Rice & Beans
  • Coconut Mud Pie
  • Chocolate Trifle

Naturally, we’ve crafted a Chocolate Stout to top things off. We’ll tap this Friday, March 4 in time for the Art Walk (which will, of course, be choco-licious). Please come savor it!

Unwrapping our Chocolate Stout

Our Chocolate Stout blends the smooth mouthfeel and rich flavor of our Oatmeal Stout with notes of chocolate, imparted by organic, roasted cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are pieces of de-shelled cacao beans, the essential ingredients in chocolate. They’ve been fermented (like wine grapes or coffee cherries) and roasted to bring out their full flavor.

Organic roasted cacao nibs help create our Chocolate Stout and enhance the aroma and flavor of chocolate that is generally found in our Oatmeal Stout. You’ll discover the essence of chocolate from the first sniff through the lingering after-flavor. 5.1% abv.


  • Organic 2-Row
  • Organic Munich
  • Organic Crystal 60
  • Organic Chocolate (…malt, not actual chocolate)
  • Organic Carapils
  • Organic Roasted Barley
  • Flaked Oats


  • Bittering: Nugget
  • Flavor/Aroma: Crystal and Goldings


  • Organic, Fair Trade Certified, roasted cacao nibs (Ecuador in origin)

Menu pairings

Cacao beans, drying after fermentation (photo: M. Schweisguth)

Chocolate Stout pairs well with a diversity of foods that complement its boldness and sweetness. For starters, try it with sweet potato curry fries. We especially love it with vanilla ice cream, and suggest ordering our Stout Float (on our dessert menu) made with Chocolate Stout. Our cheesecake would also work well as a dessert pairing.

Don’t miss the Oregon Chocolate Festival, and please come over for a pint of Chocolate Stout and a festive delicious meal while you’re in the neighborhood.