Ashland brewpub wants into the livestock business
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Standing Stone Brewing Company is ready to get into the chicken farming business.
Standing Stone Brewing Company has done what it can to improve its sustainability.
The Ashland-based restaurant and brewery composts its own food scraps, sources as locally as possible and installed a solar array on its rooftop.
But, if a deal worked out with the city of Ashland gets a rubber stamp from the city council next month, Standing Stone will take its sustainability efforts a step further by running its own humane livestock operation.
Standing Stone will lease 265 acres of unused agricultural land from the city of Ashland and start raising and processing its own chickens on the site. The company also plans to move the 70 chickens it currently uses for egg production to the parcel, which is about a mile from the restaurant, and then start looking into adding cows, pigs and sheep.
"(Meat production) would all fall under our control," said Alex Amarotico, co-owner of Standing Stone. "We have employees who are really excited about all of these things. We'd be shepherding our own herds."
Amarotico said the company plans to start with chickens for two simple reasons. First, the restaurant can process up to 20,000 chickens per year and be exempt from certain USDA regulations. Second, the chicken on the brewpub menu is the item he's least proud of.
"We haven't been able to figure out how to make it work, buying a (chicken) product that we're happy with how it's raised," Amarotico said.
He said Standing Stone pays about a $1 per pound for chicken now, but to get locally sourced, humanely raised chicken would cost about $3.50 per pound. If all goes to plan with the agricultural parcel lease, Standing Stone will be able to raise and process its own chickens for about $2 per pound.
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