Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings


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Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate Release 2019

15 year banner (2)We are, believe it or not, about to enter Decade 1.5 at Foothills.

That’s right – 2020 will mark our 15th year in business. Fifteen years of riding the (enormous) craft beer wave, first from our downtown brewpub and now from three different locations — along with the six states in which our beer is available.

To give you some perspective, Foothills was the 18th craft brewery in the state when we opened in 2005. There are now 313 breweries in North Carolina.

We tell you all this as a way of prefacing our plans for our annual Bourbon Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate Release September 20 & 21. In short — we’re starting the 15th anniversary celebration a little early. And what better place to start than with a Sexual Chocolate release?

For beginners, we’ve designed a special new label (don’t worry we didn’t change the beer):
FHB_SexChoCoffeeBBA2019_0819_R2 (2)
After you’re done admiring Kyle Webster‘s awesome artwork, please note the label says ‘Coffee Infused’. We introduced this version last year, and it was so popular that we’re making it the only version we will offer bottled this year. The coffee we’re infusing the beer with is Peruvian Chanchamayo, considered Peru’s finest premium gourmet coffee.

There will be a straight bourbon barrel aged version of Sexual Chocolate with no coffee infusion available on draft – more on that in a minute.

Worth noting: we’ve been doing these releases for over a decade; normally we release the draft on Friday and the bottles on Saturday. This year, for the first time, we’ll have BASC bottles for sale ON FRIDAY at all three locations.

As a result, we’ve moved weekend events around a little in terms of locations, so this release will look different to you Chocolate veterans. Here’s a rundown on our 2-day extravaganza:

new SC (2)FRIDAY 9/20

PUB
11am: Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate will be available on draft for the first time at our downtown brewpub. Bottles available for purchase as well ($20 each).

We’ll also have our new cans on sale, including our latest Craft Happiness Project beer – Equus Hazy IPA, brewed to help protect North Carolina’s wild horses.

TASTING ROOM
2pm: Our tasting room opens (early) in preparation for the big Barrel Aged Bonfire (don’t worry we’re not lighting it at 2 o’clock). You can grab a taste of this year’s BASC (including a special randall), as well as purchase bottles. You can also avail your sweet tooth of our “Build Your Own Smores” Bar.

5pm: Food trucks arrive! Grab a bite from Cousins Maine Lobster or Inga’s Apples

7pm: Enjoy live music with Anne and the Moonlighters 

8pm: Our Annual Bottle Share Party cranks up in our main brewery (first time we’ve ever held it there!) Admission to the party is a bottle (or can) (or several) you’d like to share with your fellow craft beer enthusiasts. Always a good time, so don’t miss it.

We’ll also light the bonfire around 8pm (or whenever it’s dark enough).

SATURDAY 9/21

affogato8am: Footnote opens up, they’ll be offering a special Sexual Chocolate afegato. No idea what that is or what’s in it, but it looks awesome so go get one. There will lots of other BASC specials; for the full list check out our website.

11am: Downtown brewpub opens, with BASC on tap and for sale in bottles.

NOTE: We aged the beer this year in two different brands of bourbon barrels: Weller’s and Buffalo Trace. We kegged some of the Weller’s barrels before we infused the rest of it with our coffee, and that beer will be available on draft ONLY at the pub, starting Saturday.

barrels 2We’ll also have some 2018 Sexual Chocolate on tap.

Can’t decide? No problem – we’ll be offering a specialty flight (6 oz. each) consisting of:
– 2018 Sexual Chocolate
– 2019 Sexual Chocolate
– 2019 BBA Coffee Infused Sexual Chocolate
– 2019 Weller’s bourbon barrel aged Sexual Chocolate (no coffee infusion)

Chef Shane always has some amazing food specials for our beer releases – can you say Sexual Chocolate BBQ sauce? Check out all the specials on our website.
Additionally, we’ll have live music Saturday night with Pythagrass. Oh, and we haven’t forgotten it’s college football season – we’ll have games on the big screen all day.

12pm: Tasting room opens, plenty of BASC available on tap and in bottles. PLUS . . . Saturday night 8pm will be the final edition of our summer-long Wes Anderson Outdoor Movie Series – so bring a lawn chair, enjoy some free popcorn and come watch Grand Budapest Hotel with us.

SUNDAY 9/22

While we don’t necessarily have Sexual Chocolate-specific events on Sunday, we DO have the Camel City Craft Fair Fall Festival will be held 12-6pm at the tasting room. Over a hundred vendors, five food trucks, kids’ activities, and live music from Boxcar Echoes. The best part? You can browse it all while sipping on a BA Sexual Chocolate.

September 20-22 is going to be a very special weekend. You joining us will make it even better.


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2019 CraftHalf – Breweries and Beers

nc beer month 19

OK first things first – Happy NC Beer Month!

To celebrate this momentous month every year, we throw a big race/block party/beer festival. This year’s CraftHalf Half Marathon & 5K is scheduled for this Saturday April 6th, 9am-4pm on the West 4th Street block where our pub sits.

Craft Half logo FINAL (2)This year’s race is a sellout for the first time ever! If you’re registered for the race, we can’t wait to see you – if not, you can still show up and celebrate NC Beer Month with over a dozen of North Carolina’s best breweries.

Speaking of which, here’s a list of the breweries and beers that will be there:

  • Foothills – Thousand Smiles Golden Ale 4.4%, Hoppyum IPA 6.3%, Malt Shaker Amber Ale 5.7%
  • Bold Missy – Queen of the Sea Irish Amber 5.5% Long Live the Queen (City) Pink Boots Hazy IPA 6.4%
  • Brown Truck – Grapefruit Hard Seltzer 6.7%, German Bock 6.8%
  • Bull City Cidery – Sasquash Cider 6.0% Steep South Cider 6.0%
  • Fiddlin’ Fish – That Fish Cray NE IPA 7.0%, Major Winston’s Wheat 5.0%
  • Four Saints – St. Luke Honey Ginger Pale Ale 9.1%, Founding Fathers Hemp Ale 3.8%
  • Incendiary – Bury The Hatchet Pale Ale 5.2%, American Mild Ale 6.0%
  • Joymongers – Belgo IPA 7.0%, Petit Farmouse Ale 4.7%
  • Legion – Juicy Jay 6.3%, SuperNova Sour 4.8%
  • Little Brother – Wilder Hirsch Lager 5.1%, Casual Sesh 5.5%
  • Preyer – Peelin’ Good Citrus Wheat 4.5%, What You’re Looking For Brown Ale 5.9%
  • Quest – TBA
  • Wooden Robot – DDH Mosaic IPA 6.2%, Pilmatic Pilsner 5.0%
  • Wise Man – TBA

See you Saturday!!

small pint

 


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Lots Of New Stuff

Usually we stick to social media to let you know what we’ve got coming out that’s new and exciting.

But thanks to an avalanche of creativity from our brewery staff, we’ve got so many new things to tell you about that we had to mash them all together in a blog.

Without further ado:

NEW VARIETY 12-PACKS
Last year we introduced HopBox, our first-ever variety pack. You guys bought so many of them we thought we’d introduce another one. Meet the Foothills Fun Pack.

In addition to our best seller Hoppyum, this one also has our three newest core beers – Thousand Smiles Golden Ale, Tangled Vine Berry Rose, and Malt Shaker Amber Ale.
Fun_Pack_12_pack
MALT SHAKER SIX PACKS
Speaking of our award-winning amber ale, it’s now available in six packs!
3.4 shot
FOOT WORK
So we used to have a series called Foot Men. We basically told our brewers to use their imagination and brew anything they wanted. We got some great beers out of that series, stuff you’d normally never see coming out of our brewery – a smoked porter, a mango Berliner Weisse, a cranberry wheat ale . . . but then we started building Footnote next to our downtown brewpub where we brewed that series and, not wanting the beer to taste like drywall dust, we shut that brewery down until all the building got finished next door.

We’ve amended the series to now be called Foot Work – and brewer Meredith Gotz has brewed the first beer for it. It’s a hibiscus gose, made with Himalayan pink salt and fresh dried hibiscus flowers. Tart, salty and sweet, and thoroughly delicious. On tap now at all three of our locations.

gose

CRAFT HAPPINESS PROJECT
We’ve entered the third year of our IPA series that brews beer for good causes. We’re currently pouring Companion Hazy IPA, brewed to bring awareness to animal rights and rescue. A portion of very pint sold helps Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, one of the most successful no-kill shelters in western North Carolina.

CH 19 dog

Later this month we’ll be tapping Aliment IPA, brewed to bring awareness to hunger issues in our community. That beer’s proceeds will help H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem.

CH 19 hungry

CRAFTHALF HALF MARATHON & 5K
OK the race is not new but the name is – formerly called HopSwap Half, this is the race/beer fest/block party we throw the first Saturday of April to kick off NC Beer Month. And this year we will have more breweries at the finish line than we’ve ever had — 15 total, plus a cidery thrown in for good measure. Go to the race website to see all the participating breweries (and to sign up!)

2019 Craft Half Poster.jpg

Lots of new ways to enjoy your Foothills favorites! Hey, life needs beer.

extension board


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A New Brew

FHC-Final 01 (2)Almost a year ago now, we opened our latest property, Footnote. Part coffee bar, part beer bar, part event space, it has quickly assimilated itself into the downtown culture of Winston-Salem. (haven’t been yet? come check it out sometime.)

A big part of the success of Footnote has been our coffee. And we come by our love of coffee honestly. Carefully selected, responsibly sourced, and roasted right here in our brewery. It’s freakin’ delicious.

So delicious that, while we’ll always be first and foremost a craft brewery, we’ve had enough requests to sell our coffee outside Footnote that we amped up production and are now offering it (whole bean) at select locations throughout North Carolina.

coffees with mugThose locations include Total Wine & More (we’re the “& More” part of that) in Winston-Salem and Raleigh, and Lowe’s Foods in the Triad (Winston-Salem, Kernersville, and Clemmons). It’s also available at Winston-Salem bottle shops Stella Brew and City Beverage. And, of course, at all three of our locations. AND on our website.

We’re currently offering two varieties. San Martín coffee beans originate from the Andean plateau in northern Peru. This fertile region, once home to the Incan Empire, produces a bean that’s smooth and nutty with a subtle sweetness.

We also offer Cameroon Java beans, sourced from Central/West Africa and known for its rich, full body and mellow taste.

Like our beer? Then give our coffee a try. Let us know what you think!

tulip with mug sunlight


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Sexual Chocolate 2019

sexualchocolate_no-type2 (2)Sexy’s back.

Our once-a-year release of Sexual Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout happens January 25 & 26. Some big changes to the release this year so read on . . .

Sexual Chocolate Label 2016_Bottle Mockup (2) (Mobile)FRIDAY JANUARY 25
First and most importantly, we’ve always released the draft version of this beer on Friday, then released the bottle version on Saturday. While we’ll still release the draft at the traditional time of 4pm Friday, we’ve decided to not make you wait for bottles anymore. Starting this year, BOTTLES WILL BE FOR SALE FRIDAY NIGHT. But only at one location . . . Footnote, our café/event space next door to our pub. Sales will begin at 7pm; there will be no bottle limit.

We will have our Annual Bottle Share Party on Friday night 7pm as well, also at Footnote. For those of you who’ve never been, the cost of admission is a bottle (or two or three) of your favorite craft beer. We’ll leave the interpretation of ‘craft beer’ up to you; just know that our staff is still snickering about the guy who showed up with Corona a couple of years ago. We’ll have complimentary snacks there, as well as a band! And not just any band – local favorites Bad Hombres will be playing.

SATURDAY JANUARY 26
The festivities continue Saturday. The pub usually opens at 8am to accommodate bottle sales . . . but now that we own a coffee place next door, they don’t have to! Bottles will be for sale at 8am at Footnote Coffee & Cocktails, 634 W. 4th Street — Sexual Chocolate will also be on draft. And rumor has it Joe The Head Coffee Guy will be re-creating his ultra-popular Sexual Chocolate Affogato. And Chef Shane will be on hand with his Worst Sausage Biscuits That Some Guy On BeerAdvocate Ever Had.

The pub will open usual time Saturday (11am) with plenty of bottles and draft of their own. There will also be several menu specials, to include the return of Chef Shane’s famous Hot Brown Shanewich, as well as (yum) Sexual Chocolate braised pork ribs.

AND . . . the pub will be bringing back an ‘olde’ favorite on draft – Olde Rabbit’s Foot, the collab we with Olde Hickory and Duck Rabbit that we resurrected in 2017, will be on tap.

(we’ll also have the first of our Craft Happiness Project beers on tap – Possible IPA)

bonfire1The tasting room will open regular hours as well (12pm), and also have draft and bottles available. The weekend culminates Saturday at the tasting room with our Sexual Chocolate Bonfire Celebration, which will include food trucks, a make-your-own-s’mores bar, a special Sexual Chocolate randall, and live music with Boxcar Echoes.

A great weekend planned, to celebrate a great beer. Join us!


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Good Beer That Does Good

Back in 2017, we had an idea. What if, instead of servicing our favorite charitable causes with the usual events and donations, we used craft beer as a platform to actually try and make a real difference in the needs of our community? Use our brews to actually try and make the world, or at least our little corner of it, a better place?

Thus was born Craft Happiness Project, a series of monthly-ish IPAs that, quite literally, puts our money where our mouth is. Since January 2017, we have offered up beers that were named for needs in our community, partnered with non-profits to spread the word about that need, and subsequently donated a share of the beer’s proceeds to those non-profits.

Our first-ever offering was called Domicile, brewed to bring attention to the problem of homelessness in our community. After that came Haven, highlighting the plight of rescue animals. From kids’ education to beach restoration, first responders to natural wonders, Craft Happiness has brought attention to over two dozen ongoing needs in our region — and donated over $12,000 to organizations that service those needs.

This year we’ve given the project a new look:

ch 2019 hi res

And rolled out a new ad campaign:

ch 19 hand

And are pleased to be brewing the following beers for you in 2019, and supporting the corresponding needs in our community:

POSSIBLE IPA
Possible IPA will kick off 2019 – brewed to help us imagine what’s possible if we all try and make a difference in our community.

Proceeds from sales will help Operation USA, a group that’s 100% privately funded and works to alleviate the effects of disasters, disease, and endemic poverty throughout the world by providing relief, reconstruction, and development aid.

black dogCOMPANION IPA
Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Companion IPA will be brewed to support animal rights and rescue.

Proceeds will benefit Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, NC. In their decade-plus of  they’ve helped dramatically reduce the number of pets killed in their animal shelters by 91 percent. They also have a sanctuary that houses approximately 1,600 dogs, cats, horses, mules, birds, rabbits, goats, pigs and more.

homelessALIMENT IPA
“Aliment” means food; from the Latin word alimentum, ‘to feed’.  This IPA will help bring awareness to the issue of hunger in our country – where despite our high standard of living, one in five U.S. children goes to bed hungry.

Sales funds will help Feeding America, which here in Winston-Salem is affiliated with affiliated with Second Harvest Food Bank. Over 46 million people in this country turn to Feeding America for help with food for their families.

earthBIOME IPA       
A biome is a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat. This IPA will help protect and preserve wildlife and plant life in our state.

Sales proceeds will help The Nature Conservancy (North Carolina chapter). In all 50 states and more than 30 countries, they’ve been responsible for the protection of more than 117 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of river around the world.

ACREAGE IPA
Subsistence agriculture is the dominant economic activity among the global poor. This IPA will provide support for small-scale farms and their place in helping to alleviate hunger.

Proceeds will help Farmer Foodshare (based in Durham NC), which supports small local farmers and connects them to local hunger needs.

oceanNAUTICAL IPA
An IPA to help with preserving and protecting ocean environments.

Sales will help Plastic Ocean Project, a group taking on the challenge of removing plastics from our oceans while creating sustainable businesses in the process.

ENCOURAGE IPA
This is an IPA to ‘encourage’ adults to foster and encourage children’s intellectual and emotional growth.

Sales proceeds will help More4Kids, an online community that brings parents, families, and teachers together in order to share ideas and information to improve children’s lives.

eagleRAPTORIAL IPA
Among the top apex predators in our ecosystem, birds of prey suffer from habitat loss, poisoning, car strikes, pollution, and shooting. This IPA is all about preserving and protecting raptors.

Proceeds will help Carolina Raptor Center, headquartered in Huntersville, NC. Home to 97 permanent resident birds, the Center’s goals include environmental education, rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors, and environmental stewardship. (they also have the first bald eagles in captivity to hatch and release chicks in North Carolina – pretty cool.)

EQUUS IPA
Brewed to bring awareness to care and conservation of North Carolina’s wild horses.
(here’s a great Southern Living article on their history)
Sales will benefit Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

image courtesy VisitNC

DISTANCE IPA
One visit to our Foot Soldier Run Club will show you that runners are good people. Many of them, in fact, compete in distance events specifically to raise money for charities. This IPA is dedicated to those runners.

Proceeds will help two organizations; our very own Foothills Bike MS team, and Team in Training, a distance run training organization that raises funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. LLS’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
(this one also hits close to home for us – our marketing director has run 7 marathons for Team in Training.)

DREAM IPA
We’re brewing Dream IPA for one simple reason — to recognize the power of kids’ dreams and aspirations.

Proceeds will go to Junior Achievement USA, an organization that empowers young people to own their economic success through programs that give students knowledge & skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.

WISH IPA
We all like fulfilling kids’ wishes at Christmas. That’s what this IPA is for.
Sales proceeds will help Marine Toys For Tots – because every kid deserves a little Christmas.

Have a beer. Make a difference. It’s that simple. As a craft beer drinker, it’s never been easier to help your community — simply by ordering a Craft Happiness IPA (where available), you’ll be helping us help your community and make a real difference for people, animals and environments in need.

Need help finding Craft Happiness Project beers where you live? Check out our Foothills Beer Finder.


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A Passion For Porter

cherry porter no logoLike malt and hops, innovation is practically considered a raw material in craft beer. The industry has defined itself in part by its incessant drive to go bigger and badder (and lately, hazier).

While we’re all for that here at Foothills, there’s a distinct comfort in working with a beer style that’s been around almost 300 years. Porter has, to use the beer vernacular, aged well. Considered ‘dark beer zero’, it’s the forefather of all manner of dark, brewed incarnations. That creamy headed Guinness Stout enjoyed the world over? It’s original name was Extra Superior Porter.

Our relationship with the beer named for its popularity with London’s street and river baggage porters has been long and, as of this Friday, fruitful. People’s Porter was first introduced the year we opened (2005) as a winter seasonal, and has been a favorite since then. It also happens to be a terrific example of a Robust Porter – it has numerous awards to its name, including a gold medal from the ‘Oscars’ of beer, the World Beer Cup. (side note: our Baltic Porter has two Great American Beer Festival medals as well).

The beauty of porter goes beyond its rich ruby hue and multiple tantalizing flavors. Those flavors are complementary to myriad others, making variations of this beer as tasty as they are plentiful.  “It’s like chocolate,” says our Brewmaster TL.  “You know how when you get chocolate fondue they bring out all those fruits to go with it? That’s because all those flavors go great together.”

Fruit flavors are something we’ve not added to our porter – until now. Here’s a brief rundown of all the Porter variations we’ve had over the years, culminating with our latest offering – People’s Cherry Porter.

Foothills Peoples Porter BBABourbon Barrel Aged Porter: this was the first of our barrel aged beers. The rich chocolate and toffee notes of our porter blend well with the bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors picked up from barrel aging. We try and barrel age some porter whenever we can acquire fresh bourbon barrels.

Optimized-Peoples Coffee PorterCoffee Porter: Our co-owners Jamie and Sarah have always had a passion for coffee roasting. So it was natural fit to take some of their home-roasted beans and add them to a batch of People’s Porter. While this version of porter has only been available on draft and has  yet to be bottled, that might change now that we have our own coffee place.

peoplesMoravianPorter_CMYK[1]Moravian Porter: This variation was the result of our marketing director begging us to make a holiday beer. Brewmaster TL went to Old Salem to do some research and found an old Moravian cookie recipe. Parceling out the spices in the recipe in the same relative proportions to a batch of People’s Porter, the result was a tasty holiday ale that practically sold out overnight the first year we made it. We now partner with Dewey’s Bakery to make gift boxes every Christmas that contain a bottle of Moravian Porter, a bag of Dewey’s Moravian spice cookies, a bag of Footnote coffee, a limited edition pint glass, and a Moravian star Christmas ornament.

Pepper Porter: Next we decided to add a few organic hot peppers from Jamie’s organic farm to a batch of Porter. The result was a tasty melange of sweet and heat from the six different pepper varietals we used.

Cherry Porter: Our love for all things Porter continues with our newest version, which debuts on Friday November 9th at our pub, tasting room and Footnote – both on tap and in bottles. It’s been aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, with several pounds of tart red cherries from the Pacific Northwest added to add both sweet and sour notes to the beer.

Hey, anything that’s been around three centuries is worth trying. Come give our new Cherry Porter a taste!

CP