Ashland, OR - Standing Stone Brewing Company, a craft brewpub in Southern Oregon, is breaking out of the shell of restaurant norms and raising chickens to serve for their customers. In this move toward more socially and environmentally responsible food sourcing, the brewery is hatching, growing, processing and serving their own chickens, keeping the entire operation in-house.
“We feel like this is an all-around win-win,” says brewery co-owner and farm manager Alex Amarotico. “The grazing system benefits the land and animals, our employees are involved in all the steps, and we get to serve a fresh product that tastes delicious.”
The brewery raises the animals a mile from their downtown Ashland restaurant and the slaughtering is done in their own Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA)-licensed poultry processing facility, completed in January 2013. With the farm and on-site facility the brewpub is able to bypass standard factory-farmed options available to most restaurants and deliver fresh, free-range poultry to customers’ tables.
The brewery staff predicts they will need to raise over 5,000 chickens a year to supply 100 chickens weekly for the restaurant menu. The brewpub’s food offerings, including daily specials, are changing to reflect the meat that comes from the Heritage breed chickens, and the kitchen foresees cooking with more traditional methods.
“Now, our chicken recipes start in the field,” says brewpub chef, Eric Bell, “and these chickens just taste better. You’ll see more chicken cooked on-the-bone using methods our grandparents used.”
The chicks are fed organic chicken feed from the time they hatch. They then graze freely on pasture and organic supplemental feed. The entire time it takes to raise a full-grown chicken, from hatching to harvesting, takes about 13 weeks for the birds, compared with 6 weeks for conventional chickens.
The Ashland, Oregon brewery first started farming in October of 2011, raising hens, cattle and lamb for restaurant eggs and protein on a 265-acre pasture located a few minutes away from the downtown business. Last spring, they started raising poultry for meat and constructing a processing facility, knowing they wanted to grow their flock large enough to supply the restaurant’s demands.
“This whole process gives us a deeper respect for the food that goes onto our plates,” says Amarotico. “Even though it’s challenging to raise an animal and then watch it become our food, we feel it’s important to have a closer relationship with the food we place on the table.”
For more information and images, visit Standing Stone’s blog at blog.standingstonebrewing.com
About Standing Stone Brewing Company
Standing Stone Brewing Co is a family-owned, full-service brewery and restaurant in downtown Ashland, Oregon. The brewpub’s commitment to sustainable operations, handcrafted beer, local business partners and fulfilled employees has earned the business local, state and regional recognition. Standing Stone’s passions include great craft beer, delicious food, happy employees, pleased customers and a sustainable community.
Company: Standing Stone Brewing Company
Contact: Rachel Koning