Standing Stone Brewing Company

sustainability

Skip the straw at Standing Stone

You may have seen the viral video on You Tube showing a single-use, plastic drinking straw being removed from the nose of a Costa Rican Sea Turtle. If not, you can go to www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org to check it out. The video is painful to watch because the afflicted creature is clearly suffering and the cause is so obviously generated by wasteful human habits.

According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. That is a huge number of straws; enough to fill 125 school busses! Once found mostly in Soda fountains of the 1930’s, straws have come to be expected with every beverage served. And while there are some legitimate reasons that some people need single-use straws, for the most part, they are unnecessary.

Because of their size and light-weight, straws do not usually make it into plastic recycling streams. They go into landfill where they take centuries to break down and emit toxic pollutants into the earth and ground-water. Or they go into the oceans where they become dangerous to marine life.

Plastic straws are just the tip of the plastic iceberg. And the issue of plastic straws has been taken up by environmental activists as a “gateway” to raising awareness about the monumental, global problem of single-use plastics in general. Choosing not to use plastic straws is a first step that we all can take in the direction of curbing the use of single-use plastics.

At Standing Stone Brewing Company we have a commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. Long ago we gave up on petroleum-based, plastic drinking straws in favor of biodegradable, corn-based straws. However, the biodegradable straws still require an inordinate amount of time to break down in landfill and are still at risk of being washed into the ocean.

Now we are going a step further. Standing Stone Brewing Company has joined with the City of Ashland and Recology in participating in the “Straws on Demand” program.  This pilot program will be kicked off on May 14. Participating restaurants will make straws available on request. The pilot will run from May 14 to August 14, 2018.  Participating businesses are requested to take notes of the reduction of number of straws, on customers’ reactions, and to staff reactions.

We recognize that as food-servers we have an opportunity to help educate people about the dangers of single-use plastics. So, while we will continue to give straws to guests who prefer to use them, we will not be bringing a straw with every beverage. We welcome our patrons and guests to join with us in reducing unnecessary, single-use plastic waste.

For more information about the “Straws on Demand” pilot program, visit www.Recology.com/Recology-Ashland.

 

 

Our One Mile Farm – As Local As It Gets!

Farm Entry

 

At Standing Stone, we are all proud of our commitment to local, organically grown and raised foods.  We especially appreciate the hard work of all the local farmers who provide the raw ingredients for much of our fare. Whether it’s hops from Alpha Beta Hop Farm  going into our handmade ales, or veggies from Fry Family Farms finding their way into one of Chef Javier’s awesome specials, we nurture relationships with like-minded food producers throughout the Rogue Valley.

When Standing Stone moved to make sourcing even more local by raising our own beef, we were especially excited and proud to work with Dave Westerberg of Valley View Farms . For years, Dave has used holistic, organic and sustainable farming practices raising cattle here in Ashland.  These practices are better for the cattle, the environment and consumers, and Dave’s farm presented the model we wanted to follow raising our own beef

Dave has brought his expertise and care to our One Mile Farm, 265 acres of pasture just down the street, where Standing Stone produces ALL of the beef products served in our restaurant, along with almost all of our lamb as well (Not to mention our buzzing bees producing honey used in our ales and sauces). The 50 or so cattle and 30 plus ewes we’re raising graze freely on open pasture using a management-intensive rotational system that helps rejuvenate the grass and soil, with the herds moved from one section to another sequentially.

One Mile Cow

The land and the cattle are chemical free – no fertilizers, antibiotics or hormones are used. This means that we only serve a very full-flavored grass-fed beef that’s humanely raised and free of chemicals. Not only does our grass-fed beef have health benefits such as higher Omega 3’s and key vitamins, it also contains lower saturated fat and cholesterol versus conventional beef.  On the environmental side, pastured beef systems have lower carbon emissions than feedlot-raised cattle, and help sequester carbon.

When it is time to take the cattle to slaughter, 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 around the clock to properly cut the beef. The burgers are fresh-ground and the steaks are specially cut.

So the next time you come down to the Standing Stone for a refreshing ale and dinner, and see the specialty steak of the day on the specials board, you can dine assured that the cut is freshly prepared and the meat came straight from a sustainable, humane farm right next door.

 

 

Pints for a Purpose benefits Bee Girl Dec. 1st

We want to say a big “Thank You!” to everyone who turned out for our first Pints for a Purpose event. You all drank 213 pints of beer raising over $426 for our friends at Sanctuary One. What a huge success and great way to kick off the Pints for a Purpose program!

Now for round two… Join us December 1st as we benefit Bee Girl. From 5-10PM, $2 of every pint sold will be donated to their non-profit organization. 54d775_d6c21cf14378499282c390782008d18e

Bee Girl inspires communities to conserve bees and their habitat. They offer community beekeeping classes, public lectures on honey bee conservation, work with children through their Kids and Bees program and much more. Founder Sarah Red-Laird has built a dedicated team who are inspiring people all around the world to make a difference.

Why should you love honey bees? Because 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat is pollinated by a honey bee. Without bees, we have no food; and without bees, we hate to even say it, but we have no beer! These little guys are working hard to keep food on our tables and beer in our bellies. It’s the least we can do to give them a hand.

Here are 3 easy ways you can help, from the Bee Girl herself:

  1. BeePlant Flowers- Choose flowers that bees love like Lavender, Sunflowers, and Poppies. Avoid chemicals and adjust your mower to leave the clovers and dandelions on your lawn.
  2. Vote with Your Fork– Choose local, sustainably raised and farmed food choices. Not only will you support your local farmer and economy, you’re also helping to keep your local honey bee colonies thriving and healthy
  3. Create a Space in Your Heart for Bees– The more we care about honey bees, the more we can do to make choices that benefit them. Whether you’re keeping bees, or planting a garden bed full of flowers, every little bit helps.

We would love to hear ways you are helping to conserve our honey bees! Have a hive or garden at home? Feel free to share your pictures!

We hope to see you December 1st from 5-10PM. Remember, those pints add up fast! So bring your friends and family and come hang out with us and the Bee Girl team. Let’s enjoy a pint or two for a good cause!

Bee1

Our Bees at the One Mile Farm

Another Great Turnout for Pumpkins and Pints

This year’s Pumpkins and Pints was a smashing success down on One-Mile Farm! Hundreds of pumpkin-carving, music-loving friends and family came out to make this one of the best years ever. And thanks to the Turner Moore Band for providing the tunes to help make this, our 5th annual event, so much fun.

We are also happy to get a chance to share the Standing Stone Brewing Co. Farm Project with the community. This is where we source all our eggs, beef and poultry for the brewpub, keeping the food loop as close to home as we can. We also compost the all restaurant’s food waste there, keeping it out of landfills.

Thanks again to all for coming out! Here’s a look at some of the fun!

(*All photos by Marina Pecoraro)

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