Standing Stone Brewing Company

specialty beer & seasonal beer

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.

New Ale on Tap: I Love Oregon

Midsummer is peak harvest season, with the bounty from local farms filling stores, Farmers Markets and our restaurant menu. To celebrate and create the perfect beer-food pairing, we’ve crafted I Love Oregon, a microbrew using exclusively Oregon-grown ingredients. This will join our standard lineup, giving customers the opportunity to savor Oregon’s goodness and support our state’s farmers every day.

Like any other food or beverage, great craft beer starts at the farm and can have a local/regional pedigree, too. Oregon is the number two hop producing state in the US, the birthplace of Cascade hops, home to many fields of barley and a powerhouse for craft beer production, making it the ideal place to localize your beer.

About I Love Oregon

I Love Oregon offers a medium body with a golden color from Klamath, OR two-row barley. Cascade hops from the Willamette Valley and Rogue Valley provide fresh, floral nuances. Mild bitterness allows the distinct, Cascadian citrus character to come through with a refreshing finish. 5.9% abv

We went for a lower bitterness level to give the hops’ aroma and flavor top billing. All Cascade hops were used at the end of the boil. Cascade hops from Alpha Beta Hops in Ashland, OR, were used to dry hop.

Malt

  • Oregon Select 2-row (Copeland), Klamath Basin

Hops

  • Bittering = Nugget, Willamette Valley
  • Flavor/Aroma = Cascade, Willamette Valley
  • Dry Hops = Cascade, Alpha Beta Hops, Ashland, OR

And, as always, we proudly use pure, delicious water from our own Ashland Watershed

Beer-food pairings

I Love Oregon pairs well with menu items that match its strength and feature seasonal ingredients. Ask your server about seasonally-infused menu specials that would complement it as well. Many of these are easy to make at home and pair with a liter or growler to go.

  • Caesar Salad
  • Artichoke Chicken Wrap
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Garlic Fries
Come and enjoy with your favorite local foods to celebrate Oregon’s farms and breweries.
To inspire you, we’ll leave you with some facts about Oregon’s craft beer industry:
  • Oregonians consumed 2.7 million barrels of beer in 2010, 14% of which was made in Oregon
  • Oregon is the second largest producer of craft beer in the US.
  • Oregon has the 4th highest percentage of draft beer consumed in the US.
  • Oregon has 95 brewing companies operating 124 brewing facilities in 52 cities

Latest Specialty Beer: Midsummer Dream Ale

Though the summer solstice is still new in our minds, we’ve put Midsummer Dream, our latest specialty beer, on tap. This microbrewed ale debuted last year and received high raves, so we thought we’d bring it back.

Description

Midsummer Dream is named in honor of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, located here in Ashland, OR. This ale offers a bright yellow color matching summer’s rays and a very light body. It’s a session-style craft beer with a lower alcohol content, making it the perfect choice to sip on the season’s long afternoons.

It’s no lightweight when it comes to flavor, imparting a distinct cracker-like malt character with spicy and floral nuances from the blend of Cascade and Centennial hops. Due to fermentation at a lower temperature (62F) than our other ales, this beer has a crisp, dry finish much like a pilsner (a member of the lager family, oh how we doth love thee). 4.9% abv

Malt

  • Organic Pilsner
  • Organic Crystal 15
  • Organic Carapils
  • Ashburne Mild
  • Acidualted

Hops – from Oregon!

  • Bittering = Centennial
  • Flavor/Aroma = Centennial and Cascade

Food Pairings

The dry (lack of sweetness) nature of this brew lends itself well foods that have more of a sweet character, creating a delightful marriage of contrasts. You can pair it with dishes that are lightly flavored to match the delicate flavors of the beer.  You don’t want to overwhelm this microbrew with heavy foods. Here are some suggestions off of our menu:

  • Wood Fired Pretzel
  • Monterey Calamari
  • Sea Scallop and Spinach Salad
  • House Greens
  • Creamy Garlic Chicken Pizza
  • Artichoke Chicken Wrap
  • Sauteed Veggie Wrap
  • Tempeh Stir Fry
  • Fish Tacos

At home, you can enjoy a liter or growler to go with a farm-fresh salad, locally-made bread with mild cheeses and seasonal fruit, or strawberry shortcake.

Cheers to summer! Celebrate it with us by enjoying Midsummer Dream soon. Like all of our specialty brews, and summer itself, it’s on tap for a limited time and will be gone before you know it.

Hefeweizen is On Tap: Savor a Pint of Summer!

(Photo: M. Schweisguth)

With the summer solstice just around the corner and the sun gracing Ashland, OR fully, we thought it was time to bring back Hefeweizen!

This summer seasonal is always a hit, and customers have been clamoring for its return.

It’s received even more notoriety since it garnered a gold award in the Lallemand Brain of Brewers contest in 2010. Of course, we promise this batch is just as good, if not better!

About our Hefeweizen

Translated literally as “yeast wheat,” Hefeweizen is a traditional Bavarian wheat beer that’s customarily top fermented. It’s unfiltered, resulting in a hazy gold color matching summer’s late afternoon rays. This craft beer offers aromas and flavors of clove and banana. It’s highly carbonated for a refreshing mouthfeel. 6.0% abv

Malt

  • Organic Wheat
  • Organic Pilsner
  • Acidulated

Hops

  • Organic Magnum for bittering
  • Organic Saaz for flavor/aroma

Food and beer pairings

Hefeweizen is a lighter flavored, refreshing summer beer, so it goes well with lighter foods, following the concept that you should pair food and beer intensities. Think of refreshing menu items that are lighter on the palate. Several of our menu items and specials have goat cheese as an ingredient, as well as strawberries in season, which pair wonderfully with hefeweizen. Here are some other menu items we really enjoy with a pint of Hefeweizen:

  • Sea Scallop and Spinach Salad
  • Artichoke Chicken Wrap
  • Sauteed Veggie Wrap
  • Fish & Chips
  • Fish Tacos
  • Strawberries Roulade (specialty dessert)

We encourage you to pick up a liter or growler to go and try it with favorite foods at home, too.

I really enjoy it with chevre and a leaf or two of lemon basil on a water cracker. The water cracker provides a flavor-neutral medium to hold the chevre and lemon basil. Many people like to put a slice of lemon in their hefeweizen and the lemon basil offers the same citrus flavor in a different format. The creaminess of the chevre and its slight tartness create a new flavor sensation when mixed with the banana and clove character of the beer.

Pair it with local, seasonal foods for a complete summer experience that’s full of flavor and supports growers in your community. Strawberries and greens are at their peak, making a crisp salad a perfect pairing. Try it with a strawberry shortcake for dessert, too.

We’ll keep Hefeweizen on tap through the summer. Please come in and enjoy this microbrew while it lasts. Feel free to take some to go, too, to savor the flavor of summer at home and share it with friends.

By in Brewery & Beer, Events 0

American Craft Beer Week 2011: A Record-Setting Celebration!

American Craft Beer Week, the “Mother of All Beer Weeks,” has come to an end, alas. From May 16-22, beer makers and enthusiasts around the country celebrated in ways that were as creative and diverse as the beers we all enjoy.

All of us at Standing Stone Brewing Co enjoyed a full seven days of revelry, and we hope you did, too. Here are some highlights from the national happenings and our own local fiesta.

From a specialty beer tapping to a mayoral decree, from brewery tours to a pedal-powered hop farm tour, and from guest beer tappings to food and beer pairings, we packed in lots of beer-loving activities and invited the community to join us for our favorite pastime- enjoying beer! It was great to share so many great times, excellent beers and good food with friends and neighbors near and far.

We were also excited to be part of such a brewing movement. According to the Brewer’s Association, the 2011 ACBW was celebrated in all 50 states by over 1,500 small and independent craft breweries and retailers. Tens of thousands of fans signed the Declaration of Beer Independence, posted in microbreweries all over the country. It has been by far the largest celebration of ACBW since it began in 2006! We’re proud to be a part of this thriving community. Our kickoff event even made the USA Today Travel Blog, helping put Oregon and Ashland on the map for craft beer!

We tapped our newest specialty beer, Milk and Honey Ale

Bikers gather in front of SSBC to ride together to Alpha Beta Hop Farm

We proudly displayed the banner in our brewery

Of course, we took plenty of pictures to remember the week. We’re sharing some of our favorites from Standing Stone’s festivities.

Thanks to everyone who joined us in the fun! We hope these photos bring back good memories and get you excited for 2012! If you have photos of your own, feel free to post them on our Facebook page.

Mayor John Stromberg toasts ACBW with a pint after reading Ashland's Proclamation supporting ACBW

Though American Craft Beer Week has come and gone, of course there are many opportunities to enjoy fantastic craft beer. We’re already working on our next specialty beer and getting ready for more events that are just around the corner.

If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to SAVOR in Washington DC on June 3-4, you can find us pouring our Milk & Honey Ale and Pilot Rock Pale Ale there.

Medford Beer Week comes next, from June 12-18, and includes a fabulous slate of events featuring brewers from across the valley. It leads to a grand finale, the Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival, on June 18, bringing together a dozen of the region’s best craft brewers. We’ll be there pouring your favorite Ashland microbrews!

Keep an eye on our events page to find out about these and other beer and food events we’re participating in, in the Rogue Valley and beyond.

Wherever you find yourself, we encourage you to visit independent microbreweries near you and raise a glass to beer culture in the U.S. And, mark your calendars for American Craft Beer Week 2012, May 14-20! We’re already musing about another lineup of delicious, fun ways to honor the occasion with you.

Latest Specialty Beer: Hop Night (Cascadian Dark Ale)

(Photo: Larry Chase)

As a Northwest-based brewpub, we try to honor our roots. In that spirit, our latest specialty beer is Hop Night, a Cascadian Dark Ale.

Also called Black IPA and India Black Ale, this beer style originated in the Pacific Northwest and features the region’s signature Cascade hop varietal. We chose a name for this microbrew that harkens its dark color and pronounced hoppiness. You can get more details on the style from CraftBeer.com and Lisa Morrison at Hop Press.

About Hop Night

This microbrew is as dark as night with a light tan head of foam. Before your imbibe, take in its spicy aroma to prime your palate. You’ll enjoy a big, full mouthfeel, and a roasted malt flavor with subtle nuances of mint. A lingering finish of hop bitterness tops off the experience. 7.2% abv

Malt

  • Two-Row
  • Carafa
  • Munich
  • Chocolate
  • Crystal 60
  • Acidualted
  • Oat Flakes
  • Wheat Flakes

Hops

  • Bittering = Apollo
  • Aroma/Flavor = Cascade, Goldings, Liberty
  • First Dry Hop = Golding
  • Second Dry Hop = Cascade (from Alpha Beta Hops Farm in Ashland, OR)

Food Pairings

To pair beer and food, one tried and true method is to match intensities. For example, a microbrew that offers a less intense flavor is the ideal pairing for food with a delicate disposition. Hop Night has a big, robust, strong character. Here are some menu items that can stand up to it and complement its qualities for an enhanced dining experience:

  • Black Bean Nachos

    (Photo: Larry Chase)

  • Black and Blue Burger (made with Rogue Creamery cheese)
  • Grilled Reuben
  • Daily Beef Primal Cut
  • Tempeh Stir Fry

Stop by to enjoy a pint of Hop Night any time. It’s a great way to savor and celebrate the Northwest’s passion around beer, and its influence on innovation and quality in the broader craft beer movement.

Enjoy a Pint for a Purpose: Indie Pilsner Sales Benefit AIFF 3/30-4/20

As excitement builds for the 10th Annual Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF), we wanted to sweeten the wait and let you know that AIFF will be the next beneficiary in our ‘Pints for a Purpose’ program.

Through this program, we dedicate a batch of specialty beer to a nonprofit that aligns with our mission to support the environment, local food, education and community, and make a donation for every pint sold.

AIFF focuses on presenting and growing independent film through an annual film festival, cultural and educational events held throughout the year, a student film competition and other venues.

(Photo: AIFF)

AIFF’s annual film festival is a much anticipated tradition that unites over 16,000 film lovers to enjoy more than 80 independent movies, from short to long, from features to documentaries. It brings numerous film industry luminaries to Ashland, OR, and several movies selected for AIFF have gone on to garner Academy Award nominations. Environmental and social issues are the focus of many offerings. This year’s festival is being held from April 7-11, and the full schedule is online.

Our specialty beer that will benefit AIFF is appropriately named the Indie Pilsner. We’ll share more details on this microbrew soon. True to the Pilsner beer style, you’ll enjoy a deep golden color with a spicy-herbal hop aroma and a finishing medium bitterness.

Here’s how Pints for a Purpose works: from 3/30 through 4/20, we’ll contribute 25 cents to AIFF for every pint of Indie Pilsner sold. Every time you lift a pint of this specialty beer, you’ll be toasting AIFF with a donation from Standing Stone Brewing Company.

Even better, we’re having a special kick-off fundraising party at our restaurant and brewery on March 30th from 5 to 9 pm. At this event, we’ll donate 50 cents per pint if we sell up to 50 pints of Indie Pilsner. If we sell at least 51 pints, we’ll double our contribution and donate $1 per pint. Please join us!

After the kickoff, through 4/20, we’ll contribute 25 cents for every pint of Indie Pilsner sold. We encourage you, your friends and family to savor a pint, or a pitcher, responsibly, and take in the big screen delights at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

(photos by Rory Finney, courtesy of AIFF’s website)

Latest Specialty Beer: Jefferson Common

photo by Larry Chase

Our 2011 specialty beer series continues with Jefferson Common. Of course, it’s anything but a common beer! We crafted this microbrew since we felt the State of Jefferson, the home region of our Ashland, OR brewery, deserved its own version of a steam beer (aka California Common).

A little history…

Steam beer is an American original that was  born in the West. In the early to mid-1800’s, brewers in California were using the lager yeast that German brewers brought to the United States, a yeast generally used to ferment at lower temperatures (45-52 F). In those days, before mechanical refrigeration existed, California brewers didn’t have access to ice or colder weather to keep the beer chilled. Thus, fermented their beer at ale temperatures and yielded a hybrid style that has flavor characteristics of ales (fruit-like attributes) and lagers (crisp and dry).

Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco was the originator of modern steam beer and trademarked the name steam beer in 1981. The modern style name is California Common.

About our Jefferson Common

This beer is deep gold in color and light to medium body. It offers a spicy aroma,, bready maltiness and a soft lingering bitterness. 4.2% abv

Malt

  • Organic Two-Row
  • Organic Crystal 15
  • Acidulated

Hops

  • Bittering = Centennial
  • Flavor/Aroma = Oregon grown Liberty

Yeast

  • Bavarian Lager

Come by Standing Stone Brewing Co to enjoy our Jefferson Common – and celebrate one of the great traditions in American beer!

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.

Malt

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

Hops

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

Cacao

  • 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.

Pints for a Purpose: Lift a Pint and Give a Kid a Lift!

It’s not often that you can enjoy a microbrew in the name of supporting a favorite cause. So, we’re excited to let you know that we’re kicking off our specialty beer donation program for 2011 with our latest limited edition Benefit Bock.

In our “Pints for a Purpose” program, as we call it, we dedicate a batch of specialty beer to a nonprofit that aligns with our mission to enhance environmental sustainability, local food, education and community. The nonprofit gets 25 cents for every pint of that beer we sell at our brewpub for about three weeks. We repeat this through the year, helping out several worthy causes.

Benefit Bock will support the Mt. Ashland Association’s “Give a Kid a Lift” Fund, which seeks to help all kids learn how to ski or snowboard regardless of economic or physical challenges. To this end, funding goes toward an after school Ski & Ride program, Youth Summer Service Environmental camps, Special Olympics and the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation.

On 2/21 from 6-9 pm, we’re hosting a special kick-off party at our brewery to dial up the donations. Please join us to help the “Give a Kid a Lift” Fund get the most bucks for our bock, and learn about the program from Mt. Ashland representatives. During the event, we’ll up the ante and donate 50 cents per pint if we sell up to 50 pints of Benefit Bock. However, if we sell at least 50 pints, we’ll double that and donate $1 per pint. For the remainder of the program, through 3/12, we’ll contribute 25 cents per pint sold.

We hope you’ll come to Standing Stone Brewing Company regularly to lift a pint of Benefit Bock and give a kid a lift! Of course, we ask that you enjoy this and all of our alcoholic drinks responsibly—know your limit, balance it with some food at our restaurant and don’t drink and drive. Enjoy a Pint for a Purpose!

(All images courtesy of the Mt. Ashland Association)