Standing Stone Brewing Company


By in Brewery & Beer 0

Latest Specialty Beer: Brewer’s Surprise Ale

Experimenting with new recipes, preparation methods and flavor combinations can be the best part of being a brewer or chef. When new ideas and ingredients brew into something delicious, we all enjoy the final reward! Hence, we’re proud to debut our latest specialty (never before brewed) beer at Standing Stone: Brewer’s Surprise Alelarrybrewery

This new beer stems from our brewer Larry Chase’s craving to use a few new Breiss Malt varieties in a specialty beer. He mixed Briess Goldpils® Vienna, Caracrystal Wheat and Bonlander for color and flavor contributions. Larry also used the “hopportunity” to feature a new organic hop variety we’ve never used before: Ahtanum. We dry hopped with 2lbs per BBL (31 gal.) in this new beer, compared with 1.4lbs per BBL for our Twin Plunge Double IPA, to create hoppy, herbal aroma. We welcome this proprietary hop as part of our mission to move toward all organic brewing ingredients.

About the Beer

This Hoppy Wheat Amber style ale features an orange-rust color, herbal aroma and medium mouthfeel. The mild bitterness and hop flavor are reminiscent of green tea and spicy herbs. 6.1% abv, 15 IBU


• Briess Goldpils® Vienna

• Briess Caracrystal Wheatbriess

• Briess Bonlander

• Briess Oat Flakes


• Bittering: Willamette

• Flavor/Aroma: Galaxy

• Dry Hops: Willamette and Ahtanum

Food Pairing Suggestions

This beer’s fresh, citrusy aroma and medium body pairs well with fried foods and spicy meats. We recommend hearty, though not creamy, dishes to let the mouthfeel shine through. Here are our suggestions from the menu:fishnchips

• Three Meat Pizza

• Calamari

• Fish & Chips

• Black Bean Nachos

• Tacos de Carne Asada

Come try Brewer’s Surprise and Chocolate Ale side by side while they last. They started out as the same batch, and then Larry separated them to add the final ingredients and fashion two new concoctions. Be sure to let us know what you think about the Ahtanum hops and the aroma and flavor this variety adds to our new beer.

By in Community 0

Spotlight on Noble Coffee Roasting: Part 1 of 2

The Rogue Valley is fortunate to be home to several world-class businesses that focus on creating high-quality products. One such business is Noble Coffee Roasting in Ashland, OR. At Standing Stone Brewing Co. we proudly serve their award-winning coffee and espresso, and even use their cold-press Mokha Java blend in our Noble Stout. We asked owner Jared Rennie to share a bit about his passion for roasting and brewing quality and organic coffee, and he offered us so much wonderful information we’re featuring two posts this week on Noble Coffee. Here’s what’s brewing on Fourth Street in Ashland:

What inspired you to open a coffee roasting company and how did you learn to perfect your sourcing, roasting and brewing?

After roasting and preparing coffee while working my way through high school and college in the Rogue Valley, I graduated from SOU and became a teacher. This was great and I loved teaching, but I soon began to miss serving coffee. I started to collect some great coffee paraphernalia for home-use and this collection grew large fast. As I got further and further into coffee, I realized that coffee could and should be considered a craft food, as was happening with beer, wine, chocolate, and cheese. As I learned more about coffee over the next couple of years and honed my roasting and brewing skills, I saw how much folks in Ashland, and Southern Oregon in general, appreciate high-quality products that are responsibly-produced. By the time early 2007 came around, my coffee hobby and desire to show people what great coffee can taste like had grown out of control and Noble Coffee Roasting was born.

What’s your approach to coffee sourcing?

Our approach to sourcing our coffee is simple – we aim to work with the producers who share our values. First, we are interested in the world’s best-tasting coffees. Often times through awards programs like the Cup of Excellence we find coffee producers who are uncompromisingly dedicated to quality. When it comes to buying based on quality, we are among just a few companies worldwide that buy the level of coffee that we by. What sets us apart from every other coffee company out there is that every coffee we’ve ever purchased is certified organic. So, we have to search pretty hard to find producers that create the level of quality that we search for and do so without the use of synthetic chemicals. This is a big deal as the high quantity of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides used to grow coffee conventionally make it the most chemically-laden crop in the world that we consume. Choosing to source high-quality organic coffees truly helps to make the world a better place.

What are some of the highlights of your work?

We have been awarded a Good Food Award for both years that the program has existed – we are one of only three companies nationally that can say the same. Most importantly, we love serving our customers the best coffees in the world daily – that represents the greatest highlight imaginable.

Thanks Jared! Coming up next, tips on brewing a great cup of coffee and ideas for using coffee in recipes at home…

All photos courtesy of Noble Coffee Roasting

Hop, Hop Hooray! Harvest at Alpha Beta

Late summer is peak harvest season—one of our favorite times of the year! As a brewery, we’re especially excited that the hops harvest is underway at Alpha Beta Hops right here in Ashland, OR. Earlier this year, we paid a virtual visit to Alpha Beta to give you a taste of what hops farming entails. We thought we’d go back to give you a peek into the process of how hops get from plant to pint, too.

Alpha Beta Hops is a family operation, run by Steve and Rebecca Pierce, and their sons, Spencer and Morgan. They currently grow about 1.5 acres of organic Cascade hops, prized by craft brewers like us. The Pierces undertake each step with great care and attention to quality, and incorporate sustainable practices throughout, brewing great things for beer lovers, people and planet.

The harvest involves about a week of long days. When hops are at their peak, good producers know they need to pick, process and pack their crop quickly to maintain optimal flavor and aroma. Following farm tradition, four generations of the family pitched in, with volunteers including friends and folks from World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF).

The process begins by cutting hop bines, which grow on tall trellises. Alpha Beta uses heavyweight paper string for trellises, a renewable material they compost to feed next year’s crop. Always innovating, the Pierces built an harvesting attachment for their tractor, consisting of a platform they stand on to cut and a chute they load with hops.

The Pierces take each load of bines to a worktable where everyone carefully plucks off hops and places them in buckets. The pile shrinks quickly as workers enjoy chatting and enjoying the Rogue Valley’s beautiful views and clean air. The farm also has free-range chickens that like to check out the action, though they haven’t yet been trained to help.

The Pierce family is on the right (Photo: M. Schweisguth)

Full buckets are dumped into drying bins heated with a passive solar system. The building with the drying bins has a greenhouse on one side of its wall and the drying bin area on the other. Hot air from the greenhouse blows toward the drying bins. Workers gently rake the hops to ensure even drying.

After the hops are dry, they’re packed into bags for customers, ranging from individual homebrewers to brewing supply stores and brewpubs like Standing Stone Brewing Co. Hops are also great in herbal teas and tinctures, since they contain compounds that aid relaxation.

Volunteers from WWOOF (Photo: Steve Pierce)

Despite the long days, Rebecca finds the time and energy to whip up a delicious lunch each day. When the day’s work is done, of course folks enjoy a well-deserved IPA to celebrate their progress.

Thanks to the Pierces for doing what you do with such care for the hops, the planet and everyone involved. Making the best craft beer requires the best ingredients, and we’re grateful for farms like Alpha Beta that deliver that, always with a smile. Cheers!

By in Food, Sustainability 0

Dig Into Local Food: A Menu of Ways to Get the Goods

(Photo: M. Schweisguth)

With spring in full swing, we’re eagerly anticipating Southern Oregon’s main growing season and the fresh produce to follow. We work to use local and regional ingredients in our Ashland restaurant and brewery as much as possible, from vegetables and fruit to meat, seafood, coffee and hops.

We’re especially excited that the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market is relocating to the block right in front of Standing Stone Brewing Company. We’ll just have to walk outside our door to replenish our kitchen!

Keeping your diet close to home has lots of benefits. You’ll enjoy fresh, ripe food that’s more flavorful and nutritious. It’s lighter on the planet since food doesn’t travel thousands of miles to get to you. You can invest in your regional economy and connect directly with hardworking producers, which feels great! To maximize the goodness, choose organic and sustainably produced foods.

Ashland's Alpha-Beta hops farm

It’s easy to stock your pantry with local finds these days, as farmers markets and artisan producers are growing in number. Here are some of our favorite ways to savor fresh, local flavor.

Grow your own. If you have a yard, plant a garden with favorite vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees and vines. If not, use pots for individual plants or join a community garden plot. Sow local, organic seed to bring things full circle. This is a great all ages, educational activity, which is why we support Rogue Valley Farm to School’s efforts to connect nearby schools and farms.

Join a Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA): CSA’s are a fabulous way to get a regular supply of fresh food and support hardworking producers. Eating with the seasons also enhances your culinary creativity and appreciation for what comes, when it comes. In a CSA, you generally pay up front in exchange for weekly boxes of veggies, and perhaps other items such as meat, eggs, dairy and bread. Many CSAs hold farm days where you can meet your farmers and other CSA members, and learn more about farming methods. Find CSAs and farms at Local Harvest or THRIVE (in the Rogue Valley).

Chef Eric Bell stocks up at the Growers Market

Frequent the Farmers Market: If you prefer to select your own foods, find your community farmers market and make it part of your weekly shopping. You can connect with producers, learn about their practices, and get their tips for selecting and preparing your fabulous finds. There’s always a festive air and lots of community, too.

Look for Local Labels: Scope out stores and ask friends to find the full bounty that’s produced in your community and region. Produce is just the beginning. Look for grains, nuts, legumes, dairy, meat, eggs, baked goods, coffee and more. If your area has an “Eat Local Challenge,” participating is a great way to learn more, keep it fun and make lasting, positive changes.

Dig into local food – a great way to nourish yourself as well as the planet, economy, and community!

Building a Better Burger: Our Local Beef

Here at Standing Stone Brewing Co., we seek out local, sustainably produced ingredients as much as possible to provide healthful quality food, support our local economy and improve our ecological impact.

This summer, we took an additional step in this direction by switching our beef purchases to Valley View Beef, a farm located just four miles from our brewery and restaurant! We use Valley View in menu favorites such as the Standing Stone Cheeseburger and our specialty beef cuts of the day.  Depending on what the kitchen has prepared, we’ve featured items from Fillet Mignon to Vietnamese Pho, which is prepared with strips of rare beef in a housemade broth.

We’re especially excited to work with Valley View Beef because they use holistic, organic and sustainable farming practices that are better for the cattle, the environment and consumers. The cattle graze freely on open pasture using a management-intensive rotational system that helps rejuvenate the grass and soil, with the herd moved from one section to another sequentially. We also keep our chickens on the same farm in a mobile coop and fencing system that we move around with the cattle, enhancing the land even more.

The land and the cattle are chemical free – no fertilizers, antibiotics or hormones are used. This means that our guests get to enjoy full-flavored grass-fed beef that’s humanely raised and free of chemicals.

Grass-fed beef is also said to have health benefits such as higher Omega 3’s and key vitamins, and lower saturated fat and cholesterol versus conventional beef, as reported in the New York Times. On the environmental side, pastured beef systems have lower carbon emissions than feedlot-raised cattle and help sequester carbon, according to TIME Magazine.

Once the cows have been purchased the cattle must be transported to Roseberg, a few hours away, for slaughtering and initial processing since that’s where the closest USDA-approved facility is located. We’re exploring ways to localize this process, too, such as supporting a mobile slaughter unit that would be come to the farm.

After the trip to Roseburg, we bring the meat back to the restaurant in halves and quarters. Our trained kitchen staff performs all the butchering in house. It takes a full day of two or three chefs working arund the clock to properly cut the beef. The burgers are fresh-ground and the steaks are specially cut.

When our  customers see the specialty steak of the day on the specials board, they can be assured that the cut is freshly prepared and the meat came straight from a sustainable, humane farm next door.

Brewing Up Organic

Our beer contains over 90% organic ingredients

We’re big fans of organic agriculture. To sum up our views, we’re sharing a thought from Ode Magazine:

“What do the terms “organic apples” and “social entrepreneurs” have in common? Both are pleonasms; they contain unnecessary repetition.”

Right on – food should be organic and business should be responsible, by default. Our operating philosophy is grounded in a commitment to have a positive environmental and social impact while succeeding in business. Of course, this is an ongoing journey and we’re in it for the long haul.

As part of this commitment, we seek to offer delicious, high-quality, sustainable produced food, beer and other beverages. We use over 90% Certified Organic ingredients in our beers, including locally-grown organic hops, and source locally-produced and organic foods for our menu as much as possible.

In case you’re curious how the certified organic process works, there are a several organic certifiers, which must all be approved by the United States Department of Agriculture, otherwise know as the USDA. The UDSA oversees the National Organic Program, including the USDA Organic labeling program. One certifier approved by this program, located in our home state, is Oregon Tilth. This ensures integrity across the system, delivering the best for you, farmers and the planet.

Organic purchasing is just aspect of our broader mission toward sustainability. In everything we do, we work to be mindful about our impact and do better. It’s an ongoing process and we always welcome your ideas!