A Beer Year in Review: Our Top 10 Highlights of 2012

Every December at Standing Stone Brewing Co we like to grab a pint, relax, and look back on all the events, beers and happenings that we feel characterized our year. We’re thrilled with our batch of news and brews for 2012, and we’re sharing our Top 10 with our beloved News on Tap blog readers. Thanks for staying in touch with us year-round, and we’re excited to keep you updated with beer news and highlights in 2013.

1. We brewed brand-new specialty beersgalaxy hops

Our brewer has a blast experimenting with new beer recipes and ideas, and this year we tasted some of our new favorites here at the brewpub. The list of never-before-brewed specialty beers includes: Pacific Crest Ale, Backyard Brew, Pints for a Purpose Ale, Galaxy Session, Wildcraft and 2012 Barley Wine. Which was your favorite? Let us know which specialty you’d love to taste from our menu again!

2. We were chosen the #3 Best Green Business to Work For in Oregon

Oregon Business Magazine bestows annual awards to the top 10 Green Businesses to Work For in Oregon, and this year we were one of the top three for the third year in a row! We’re honored that our employees voted to place us so high on the list – we think maybe it has something to do with the beer.

3. We rolled on more commuter bikes for our employee bike programnew bikes

We started our RPM bike program in 2009, getting brand new commuter bikes into the hands of our employees to cycle to and from work every day. Two and a half years later we’ve purchased 50 bikes total and the program continues to be a favorite benefit among our staff. Cheers to two-wheeling in 2013!

4. We started beekeeping

With our lush farmland down the road teeming with blackberries, we thought we’d better get some honeybees out there feeding on and pollinating the good stuff. We have four colorful bee boxes buzzing with honey-makers and we harvested our first batch (5 liters) of honey in October. We’ll debut our harvest in the first course of this year’s beer dinner, alongside local goat cheese and fig butter. We’re thrilled to see what year two of beekeeping brings!

5. Twenty four employees competed in the Siskiyou Challenge Relay Raceteam 1

In September 2012 we had a record number of Standing Stone athletes participate in our favorite relay race of the year, the Siskiyou Challenge! Participants biked, kayaked and ran all around Ashland in the six-leg, multi-sport course, and ended with food and beer from Standing Stone by Lithia Park. We also threw our own costume contest for the occasion, with team “Let’s Get Physical” winning growlers of beer for all their racers.

6. Our brewer, Larry Chase, was elected to the Brewer’s Association Board of Directors

We are ecstatic that our very own Standing Stone brewer has been chosen to serve on the board for the largest organization of craft brewers in the U.S.! Larry has been an active member of the BA for some time, serving on various committees and hosting seminars for the annual Craft Brewer’s Conference. Congratulations Larry!

7. Joel Salatin came to our farmjoel and melza

The owner of Polyface Farms and an agriculturalist featured in book The Omnivore’s Dillema, Joel Salatin is the front-runner of a national movement toward sustainable and traditional agriculture. In fact, he helped inspire our own multi-species rotational-grazing system on our farm, and he came to Ashland last March to visit in person! We shared a great day on our pasture and Valley View Beef’s pasture with Joel and 30 other farming enthusiasts from around the valley. We’re more excited than ever about farming in Ashland and look forward to bringing even more produce from our farm to the brewpub tables.

8. We got a Brammo electric motorcycle

We’re fortunate to have the internationally-known electric vehicle company, Brammo, just down the road in Ashland. In April, we purchased our very own Enertia bike from their warehouse to make quick trips to and from the farm and brewpub. We like that we can get 40 miles on a 4-hour charge (in our regular restaurant outlet), which is plenty to meet our brewery and farm needs. And, it’s really quiet so we can sneak up on people easily.

9. We paired delicious food and beer at our Annual Winter Beer Dinner

Every year we put our collective beer and food loving heads together and create a mouth-watering, multi-course pairing extravaganza. melza tractorOur annual beer dinner is always a festive gathering of like-minded culinary enthusiasts, and last January’s dinner was a hit! Six-courses featuring local fare and Standing Stone beer brought about three hours of fun, and this year’s dinner promises to be no different. With local farms and products taking center stage, how can we not love what’s brewing and cooking?

10. We won a tractor

Through the creativity and efforts of one of our employees, Standing Stone won a free five-year lease on a New Holland tractor to use on our farmland. The agriculture equipment company hosted a video contest last year asking entrants to describe how they would use a Boomer 30 model tractor, and our own Melza Quinn submitted a video on Standing Stone’s behalf. Now, we turn compost, move chicken housing and build trail on the farm with ease, and we’re so grateful for the helpful hand (or tractor claw).

We hope your 2012 was as monumental and enjoyable as ours was at Standing Stone! We wish you a great 2013 and may your season be flavorful and bright.

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~ by R. Koning on 12/28/2012.

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