Standing Stone Brewing Company has the enviable position of being one of Ashland‘s (and Southern Oregon’s) only breweries, and is conveniently located in downtown Ashland, right in the heart of the shopping and theater district. The brewpub (and restaurant) is open 7 days a week, offers a full menu, and has 7 different beers on tap.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to do a full review of the brewery, as we visited between a winery tour and dinner, but I was able to get some pictures and try the sampler of their beers.
Standing Stone has a nice-looking establishment, with an atmosphere that (for me) is a cross between the modern brewpub and industrial brewery; the "public" part of the brewpub is on the main floor and immediately above, on girder scaffolding and catwalks, are the brewing tanks. Just inside the door is the mash tun and operational controls:
(This view was from our table, looking down the hall and toward the back where there’s more seating. You can see the walkway and brewing tanks above.)
They also have a nice-looking, full-service bar that presents itself as you enter:
You can see it’s kind of a "modern industrial" look they’re going for.
Since we didn’t eat, I’ll go straight to the beer sampler, and present my notes.
As you can see, in this case I worked my way from right to left, starting with the lightest beers.
Lager: Pale straw color. Very light body with a crisp, hoppy flavor. Otherwise, standard light lager profile…
Hefeweizen: Cloudy yellow hefe… a bit of clove in the nose. Light and spicy—definite cloves there. A tad sour. Nice. No real banana/fruit—emphasis is on spice here.
Amber: Nice look—the brown side of amber-red. Hoppy more than malty—definitely hop-focused… kind of a spicy hop…?
Almond Nut Brown (Seasonal): Looks really good—clear and brown. Taste—malt and surprisingly, a hint of fruit. My wife says, "bitter." Light-bodied. The light and fruity aspect detracts from what a nut brown should be.
IPA: Yellow-orange. Hoppy! Good sign. Hops are the central character of this beer… malt is a bit on the light side and a little sweet, but takes a back seat to the hops. Body is a bit light—I’d like it more medium-bodied.
Double IPA: Caramel colored. Definitely hoppier than the IPA—bitter and woody. Body is firmer, too—I suspect I would choose this over the standard IPA when looking for the style. Hops still overpower the malt, though… but the malt is richer with more caramel.
Stout: (Site says Oatmeal Stout) Black. Dark and roasted, black patent there for sure. Light in the body—that’s the trend I’m noticing here. Burnt grain and charcoal notes… dry.
I guess I shouldn’t say we had nothing to eat—we did get complimentary bread, with a garlic butter and a marinara sauce for it, akin to chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant. It was tasty.
A couple more pictures…
Overall, I like the location and I like the general setup of the brewpub. I would definitely like to have a meal or two there to get a feel for the restaurant portion of the place. I suspect the food is pretty good, actually.
As to the beers, they’re fair, but nothing stellar (to borrow a comment from a previous post). I’d be curious to know what their best-selling brew is.
Worth a visit, if you find yourself down in Ashland.
Standing Stone Brewing Company
101 Oak Street
Ashland, OR 97520