Standing Stone Brewing Company

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Food and Beer Pairing Ideas

heritageFor many, wine is the go-to beverage for the Thanksgiving meal. But craft-beer drinkers are discovering the variety of ales and lagers available offers a plethora of pairing possibilities. And here at Standing Stone Brewing Company, we’ve got you covered with some great ideas to bring to the table.

blue cheeseAppetizers: Try our Victory Lager to get the appetites going paired with cheeses or vegetable trays. Its lighter, toasty, flavor with a low-hop bitterness complements lighter fare, but can also stand-up to spicy dips and hummus. Or try our “I Heart Oregon Ale” with sharper or stronger cheeses like Rogue Creamery’s variety of cheddar and blues.

Bird is the word: for the main attraction, our Amber Ale is the perfect complement to turkey. Its malty, yet slightly hoppy notes bring out turkey’s caramelized herbal flavors and is the perfect complement to roasted poultry.PilotRockPale2

Stuffed? Stuffing can take on a variety of tastes depending on how it’s prepared. If yours is a sweeter style, try our Twin Plunge Double IPA. Its intense hoppy, palate cleansing style will cut through the sweetness of raisins and nuts. If you prefer a more savory stuffing, “I Heart Oregon Ale’s” crisp notes will complement oyster or bacon without overpowering it.

Cranberry: Our specialty Wildtrail Ale, made with herbs and edibles gathered locally, will echo cranberry’s citrus-like fruity taste. Plus you can awe your guests with true local flavor.

Life of Pie: For some, the best part of Thanksgiving dinner is dessert! Our chocolaty, smooth Steel-Cut Stout, and its coffee-infused cousin Noble Stout, both offer a balanced pairing to Thanksgiving classics like pumpkin or pecan pie. Or forgo the pie and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to your glass to create just desserts to top-off a meal to remember.

beer2So grab your growler and swing by the brewery to make yours a truly traditional Thanksgiving meal (the Pilgrims had beer!) See you soon and happy Thanksgiving!

By in Food 0

Thanksgiving Recipes and Beer Pairings: Two Simple, Tasty Treats

Thanksgiving can seem hectic, with food to prepare and guests to tend to. To help you out, we thought we’d share some easy and appealing appetizer recipes, with beer pairings, to keep everyone happy and well-fed.

Our  chef, Eric Bell, was recently featured on Southern Oregon news channel KDRV where he shared the Thanksgiving Day appetizer ideas we’ve posted here, along with preparation tips. They’re are easy to prepare and perfect to enjoy while your other entrées and sides are baking away for dinner.

Eric suggests pairing these spreads, which we’ve highlighted at Standing Stone on both our daily and special menus, with fresh baked bread spread with olive oil and garlic (toasted at your oven’s highest temperature – see the KDRV video for tips). We think a loaf of our baguette, which is made fresh every morning, makes for a real Standing Stone experience. You can order these to go but sure you come by and grab your a day early, as we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving Day to spend it with our families.

Photo: KDRV

We also asked our brewer, Larry Chase to give us some perfect beer pairings for each of these spreads, since offering guests with some fun, flavorful pairings is a great way to entertain a houseful. We offer our beers to go in liter and half gallon bottles, and kegs, perfect for the holidays, and any day.

Heirloom Tomato & Feta Salsa

Ingredients

2 large heirloom tomatoes, or a few roma, juice removed & diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1-2 Tablespoons fresh thyme minced
1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
½-1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
¼-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (like Rogue Brambles, available at the Growers and Crafters Market)
¼-1/3 cup Spanish sherry vinegar (12 years old- yes, you can find it!)
Pepper (coarse fresh grind) to taste
6-8 oz feta cheese
Salt (coarse sea salt is best)

Instructions

Incorporate all ingredients except salt in a large bowl. Since feta is already fairly salty, it’s good to taste first, and only salt as you need.

Food-Beer pairing

A great way to balance the acidity of this dish is pairing it with a maltier beer, like Amber Ale. Our current specialty beer, NPK Ale, also has delicate flavors and a light mouthfeel that wouldn’t overpower the light, fresh flavors in this bruschetta.

Artichoke Spinach Dip

Ingredients

12 oz chevre goat cheese (we like Mama Terra)
8 oz cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
1 can artichoke hearts with water, coarsely cut
6-8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 c chopped fresh spinach
1-2 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructuctions

In a mixer, using the paddle, incorporate all ingredients except artichoke hearts. Mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. When smooth, add artichoke hearts and mix on low for 1 minute. Move to an oven-safe bowl and bake at high heat until the top starts browning. We suggest heating the oven as high as it will go, around 500 degrees, and toasting your bread at the same time to enjoy both servings warm.

Food-beer pairings

A great beer to go with this dip is the Oatmeal Stout. Both have a creamy mouthfeel and rich flavors. You could also try an India Pale Ale, or our Double IPA, as the hops offer an astringent property that cuts through richness, refreshing the palate after each drink.

Thanks Eric and Larry! We hope you enjoy these Thanksgiving food and beer pairing suggestions. Let us know how they go, and feel free to some creative twists and pairings of your own!

By in Food, Sustainability 0

Talking Turkey 2: Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving – Hosting & Sustainability

We hope you’re getting ready for a fabulous Thanksgiving! To follow up our post with tips for a terrific Thanksgiving meal (and drinks), here are a few more helpful ideas from our team to help you plan a stellar, stress-free, sustainable event. Feel free to post a comment to share your tips for celebrating, too!

Rachel Huntley, Event Coordinator

As the event coordinator extraordinaire, can you share a few tips for hosting a stress free, memorable Thanksgiving?

There are several ways to save stress and time without compromising the quality of your food or your experience. First, keep guests happy before the dinner with light and easy appetizers and a little activity to buy you more time to organize your thoughts and the meal without pressure. Try putting out Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese or Sharp Cheddar, wines and beer for guests to do their own tasting and pairing. Toasted artisan baguettes with garlic and butter are a good addition. They’re easy palate pleasers, and even better with local tapenades and spreads such as those from Rising Sun Farms next door in Talent, OR. Offer paper and pens to encourage note taking and discussion.

Whenever we organize an event at Standing Stone we do as much prep work ahead of time as possible, while ensuring freshness and quality. Prep vegetables, grains and legumes beforehand, store them in the fridge and finish on Thanksgiving Day. Many dishes can be prepared a day or two before, such as cranberry sauce or your favorite casserole. Make Thanksgiving a celebration week and enjoy relaxed cooking while focusing on the holiday’s joy, gratitude and togetherness.

Brandon Schilling, Sustainability Coordinator

As our sustainability coordinator, what simple tips can you share with folks to eliminate waste and have a positive environmental impact during the celebration?

Thanksgiving traditionally involves sharing a home cooked meal with family and friends, though some eat out or purchase prepared foods. There are ways to make all of these options more environmentally-friendly. Sustainable Thanksgivings ensure that we have more to come, so it’s important to do what we can.

Use reusable dinnerware for the meal (plates, utensils, beverage glasses, napkins, etc.) and storing leftovers. Reuse foil from baking dishes to cover leftovers as well.

For those celebrating at a favorite eatery, walk, bike or carpool. Pick a venue close by, too, as you’ll save fuel and might cross paths with friends. The restaurant’s practices shape its sustainability impacts so pick accordingly, such as selecting one that offers local and organic foods and uses reusable tableware. Bring your own reusable containers if you think you’ll have leftovers to-go.

If you’re staying home and hosting, invite guests through e-vites or phone. You might even try to arrange a carpools among guests or encourage them to walk or bike, which will help shake that post-meal trance and promote a good night’s sleep.

Rogue Valley Brambles Farm in Talent, OR

Your meal choices have a big impact. If you’re planning on serving turkey, choose one that’s local and organic, or at least antibiotic- and hormone-free. Grass-fed heritage turkeys are an especially tasty and smart choice. Your quest to find the freshest, local bird may bring you to a local farm, perhaps harvesting a turkey yourself, quite a memorable experience!  Stock up on local produce to enjoy what’s fresh and in season, such as sunchokes, squash, brassicas, root vegetables and more. Look for regionally-grown grains, legumes and dairy products as well. Try challenging yourself to stick to what our predecessors would have eaten for the first Thanksgivings.

Shop as locally as possible and look for items with minimal or no packaging, or packaging that can be recycled. Buy baking supplies, nuts and grains and in bulk. Gently remind guests not to waste food and drink by taking only what they’ll finish. Compost kitchen trimmings and any food left on guests’ plates.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to give thanks for the plants and animals that are our sustenance, and for our food security!

Talking Turkey: Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving Feast

At Standing Stone Brewing Company, we’re all about welcoming our community for a delicious cuisine and beer in an enjoyable atmosphere. We hope our guests feel a little of the spirit of Thanksgiving on each visit, enjoying a great meal in the relaxed company of family and friends.

Our team is savvy about fabulous food and drinks, and how to prepare and present them in sustainable style. We thought we’d share our two cents to help you celebrate a terrific Thanksgiving full of savory seasonal fare and, of course, excellent craft beer. We’d love you to share your ideas, too, so please post a comment!

Jeff Hunt, Line Cook

What’s your favorite, foolproof way to cook a turkey?

To keep moisture around the turkey and add great flavor, try using a mirepiox in the bottom of the pan. The combination of celery, onions and carrots is the flavor base for lots of favorite soups and stocks, and the additional aroma is sure to offer guests a treat with the fragrance of the baking bird. Don’t forget salt and pepper either. These basic additions can make a world of difference.

Have you ever tried a “beer can chicken” recipe with turkey?

Beer can turkey unfortunately doesn’t turn out as well as its counterpart “beer can chicken.” Often a turkey is too big and takes too long to cook for this method. However, if you really want to give it a whirl, use a smaller turkey. Often, organic and heritage turkeys tend to be a bit smaller, so go for the smart choice.

What side dishes do you suggest, using seasonal, local ingredients?

Thanksgiving’s traditional dishes are inherently in season since the holiday is founded on appreciating the harvest. I suggest sticking with these traditions while adding a creative and new spin. Try sweet potato au gratin instead of the usual sweet casserole with marshmallows. We make a savory bread pudding at the restaurant and like to add all the seasonal vegetables we can get our hands on, like chanterelle mushrooms, onions, spinach, and garlic. This would be a nice twist on traditional stuffing. Sunflower seeds are in season now. Try adding some to your pie crust for an extra crunch and pleasant flavor. We especially love doing this for pumpkin cheesecake crust.

Larry Chase, Brewmaster

Which Standing Stone beers pair best with the Thanksgiving meal?

With turkey and stuffing try the Pilot Rock Pale Ale. We offer this and all of our beers to go in liters, half-gallon growlers and kegs. Its spicy nuances will match the spices traditional spices in stuffing, its palate cleansing hops will prepare you for the next bite and its upfront citrus flavor will add a new dimension to the turkey and stuffing.

Which Standing Stone beers go well with pumpkin pie and ice cream for a unique desert experience?

Try our Milk & Honey Ale, which has  sweetness to match the cinnamon and nutmeg of pumpkin pie. Our Oatmeal Stout stands on its own as a great after dinner beer with many dessert-like qualities, including nuances of roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

CraftBeer.com has lots of food & beer pairing tips for more ideas.

That’s all for now. Check out part two of this post pairing for ideas on hosting an unforgettable and stress-free Thanksgiving, and doing it in sustainable style.