Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings

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Oktoberfest turns 200 - BBC Travel

Nothing says Autumn like football, falling leaves and drinking beer. OK the drinking beer thing is every season . . . but this is indeed a special time of year for craft beer.

Few beers accentuate that better than Oktoberfest Lager, which arrives at the end of the summer and heralds the onset of the biggest beer party on the planet (when it’s not canceled by coronavirus like it was this year and last).

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany is attended annually by 6 million people who go through about 66,000 barrels of beer (it would take our brewery over a year and a half to brew that much beer). And even though it’s called Oktoberfest, it’s traditionally celebrated in September when the days are warmer — and a little longer. Germans are apparently big on day drinking.

So why are we holding a celebration in October? Because ours isn’t OKtoberfest — it’s HAWKtoberfest.

I feel your puzzled looks from here. Let me explain. You might be familiar with our Craft Happiness Project, which themes and brews beers based on needs in our community. In 2019 we created Raptorial IPA, brewed to help protect birds of prey (hawks, falcons, eagles, owls . . . even vultures). Our brilliant marketing department (full disclaimer: the ones writing this blog) came up with the bright idea of celebrating the release of the beer by releasing a rehabilitated hawk back into the wild. Fortunately North Carolina is home to one of the preeminent wild bird rehabilitation facilities on the planet, Carolina Raptor Center. They enthusiastically agreed to help us out, and the result was, well . . . majestic.

So we thought . . . well that was cool. Let’s do it again. Annually. And thus was born Hawktoberfest.

Obviously this isn’t your typical Oktoberfest celebration — no tuba bands or guys in lederhosen. What we will have is plenty of great beer (including our version of Oktoberfest Lager, and our just-brewed Stout and Frostbite Black IPA), specialty beer ‘flights’ (ha!), live music and food trucks, and a full interactive display from our friends at the Raptor Center. Then around 5pm or so, we’ll let our newly healed feathered friend fly free. It’s an amazing site – one you should be here to see.

“The Raptor Center is extremely grateful to have Foothills Brewing as a community partner,” says Jim Warren, Executive Director of Carolina Raptor Center. “Starting with Raptorial IPA in 2019 and now Hawktoberfest, the great folks at Foothills understand who we are and what it takes to help us achieve our mission. I appreciate their team’s generosity and willingness to give back. Also…we just love their beer!”

And we love your birds. Come help us set one free – at our free to attend, kid friendly Hawktoberfest – Saturday October 23rd.

Foothills Tasting Room

3800 Kimwell Drive

Winston-Salem, NC

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Anniversary 15.1

Hey remember that awesome unforgettable 15th anniversary bash we threw last March?

Yeah we don’t either. ‘Cause it never happened.

Instead we watched the world turn upside down thanks to the pandemic . . . and rather than celebrate Foothills’ decade-and-a-half in existence on March 17th, 2020, we closed our doors on the very day we opened them 15 years earlier.

Fast forward to 2021, and our planning meetings for this year’s anniversary. As we were lamenting last year’s landmark birthday celebration that never was, someone (I think it was an intern) told us that one time they were sick on their birthday so their mom and dad gave them a birthday do-over.

Nice, Intern Mom and Dad! We’re stealing your idea.

Last year’s 15th-Anniversary-That-Never-Was has become this year’s Anniversary 15.1. As it happens our birthday falls on St. Patrick’s Day (which, as it turns out, is a REALLY good day to open a pub). We’ll be celebrating all day long — with double the fun on 15th Birthday Take Two, including hourly swag/gift card giveaways and lots of food and drink specials – like $1 off Seeing Double IPA, and $2 off other select drafts at all our locations.

Chef Shane has plenty to keep him busy, and you stuffed – choose from corned beef and cabbage, our Arnold burger (Swiss, Corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island), fish and chip tacos and bangers and mash. PLUS: 20% off apps for loyalty members all day at the pub. And yes, we’ll have birthday cake

We’ve also made some new additions to our loyalty program, so it’s easier than ever to earn points you can use for anything we have – beer, food, gear, coffee . . . more beer . . . be sure and ask about the program WHEN (not if) you come see us on Wednesday March 17!

PLEASE NOTE: we still have COVID-19 protocols in place at all our locations; masks are required when not seated, and social distancing and hand washing regulations will continue to be observed. If you aren’t willing to abide by our protocols, perhaps you should save us both the hassle and skip this party.

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Sharp Wit

That beer in your hand? It’s come a long way.

It made it to your pint glass from a keg, can, growler or bottle. Before that it sat in a fermentation tank, little yeast cells happily munching away at its sugars. And before that, it began with two simple ingredients – grain and water.

The moral of this little story? Great beer starts with great grain.

Here at Foothills, we source grain from all over. A good portion comes from Canada (ay) where wheat is the #1 crop grown. We also import grain from Germany, and get a healthy amount from right here in the U.S. as well – mostly from Breiss Malt (who incidentally also make a mean malted milk ball).

That said, we’re always committed to buying local whenever possible. Whether it’s beer packaging, beer equipment or beer merchandise, we’ve a long list of local suppliers.

Beer ingredients, however, has been another story.

North Carolina, while blessed with abundant annual crops of tobacco, corn and sweet potatoes (we’re the #1 state for producing those sweet spuds), ingredients for beer – mainly grains and hops – have traditionally been in short supply in our state.

But that’s changing . . . thanks in large part to pioneering entrepreneurs like Carolina Malt House. Nestled on 60 pastoral acres right in the middle of North Carolina’s grain belt, CMH is quickly making a name for themselves with NC breweries. Why? Well, just like wine, the soil that ingredients grow in plays a big role in the ultimate flavor profile. And North Carolina’s central region of gentle, hilly grasslands has the ideal soil and weather for growing top-quality grains. In fact all of Carolina Malt House’s grains come from a tight 30-mile radius surrounding their operation.

So why not incorporate those native North Carolina flavors into a beer brewed in North Carolina?

That’s the question our brewmaster wanted to answer when he reached out to Carolina Malt House to help with our newest seasonal, Good Ship Wit. Witbiers, as you can probably guess from the name, are heavily reliant on wheat for their flavor.  The style dates back to 14th century monasteries, where monks used a blend of herbs and spices with their fermentable grains (mostly wheat). Good Ship Wit stays close to that monastic tradition, using lime, orange, ginger, turmeric, coriander and lots of wheat – all 100% grown and malted right here in North Carolina by Carolina Malt House.

The short local supply chain allows us to use the malt at its absolute peak flavor.  Instead of traveling thousands of miles from somewhere like Germany, the wheat malt in Good Ship Wit travels less than 50 miles from field to brewery, changing hands only from farmer to maltster to brewer.

And, like Foothills, Carolina Malt House is dedicated to environmentally responsible practices. Most of their farmers employ no-till farming practices, preventing the topsoil erosion common in other grain-growing regions. Their wastewater is used for irrigation, and grains too small for malting go to feed local livestock.

Good Ship Wit is the perfect marriage of homegrown ingredients from Carolina Malt House and local craft brewing from your friends here at Foothills. Give it a try and let us know what you think! And look for more potential partnerships with local beer ingredient growers in the future from Foothills.

Good Ship Wit is available in 12-oz. bottle 6-packs and 12-oz. can 12-packs. Look for it where craft beer is sold in North Carolina.

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The Evolution of Jade

JadeCan-Mockup-DropShadow PINCHEDGo ahead. Get Jaded.

That’s what the label copy implores you to do on Jade IPA, one of Foothills’ most popular beers.

In what we feel is the formidable lineup of Foothills’ brands, Jade has more than held its own over the course of its short lifetime. Since it introduction Super Bowl weekend 2011, it’s been one of our best-selling and most talked-about beers. It has indeed come a long way — from its humble and auspicious birth amongst the sights (and scents) of the 2007 Craft Brewer’s Conference in Austin, Texas.

It was there that Jamie Bartholomaus, brewmaster of then-barely-two-years-old Foothills Brewing, and T.L. Adkisson, head brewer for Ham’s in Greenville, NC, were wandering through the Conference Expo, looking at equipment and raw materials and dreaming of bigger and better days for their respective breweries. As is usually the case, the hops growers (Hop Union, in this case) had several bales of hops broken open, to allow brewers to taste and smell their newest wares. Jamie picked up a handful of a new varietal called New Zealand Pacific Jade and took a deep whiff.

Pacific Jade Hops: The Citrusy Dual-Purpose Hop from New ZealandTurning to T.L. he said, “Man I could make a pillow out of this stuff.”

T.L. was equally enamored. As he remembers, “It was definitely unique. Instead of having the citrusy qualities of Pacific Northwest hops, I smelled mango, guava — Jade had all these tropical fruit notes going on.”

Back home, both Jamie and T.L. followed up with Hop Union, trying to get their hands on some Jade hops. Both were told the same thing . . . what they’d seen (and smelled) in Austin were only samples — the initial big harvest wasn’t due for another few years.

Fast forward to 2010 . . . T.L. had become head brewer at Foothills, and one day his brewmaster (Jamie) walked up to him and said, “Guess what? Remember those hops we fell in love with in Austin? I just bought 440 pounds of ’em.” He paused, then added “I’m just not sure what we’re gonna do with ’em.”

T.L. smiled and replied simply, “I know what we’re gonna do with ’em.”

Within an hour he had written out a recipe for Jade IPA — the same recipe that, with a few minor tweaks, we’re still using today.

More than a third of that first batch disappeared that Super Bowl weekend, and the love affair was kindled. North Carolina craft beer drinkers spent the next three years downing pint after pint, longing for the day they could take this magic elixir home with them.

So toward the end of December 2013, on a whim, our marketing department posted on Facebook that, if we could get to 15,000 likes by the end of January 2014, we’d bottle Jade. (At the time we had a little over 10,000 likes).

It took less than a month.

jade-CMYK_NEW_no-type (2)So we got busy. Our artist Kyle Webster came up with the iconic brand logo; his vision was so spot-on that almost no changes were made to the original drawing (we did add the little logo hair lock).

Further, instead of trumpeting the coming arrival of Jade bombers, we kept it a secret from everybody but employees and distributors, not releasing the info until
the day bottles were actually on shelves

The result? Demand for Jade skyrocketed, and we spent most of 2014 trying to keep up. In fact, after the initial two bottling runs, demand for draft remained so high we didn’t bottle it again for 10 months.

Since then we’ve installed four massive 300 BBL fermenters, so keeping up with the insatiable thirst for Jade has become a lot more manageable – to the point we introduced 6-packs in 2016.

In 2019 we decided to start canning some of our beers, beginning with our flagship Hoppyum IPA. Those cans had barely hit the shelves when the social media clamorings began — ‘when are you gonna can Jade?” it took us awhile to get a plan in place for that, but this week Jade cans are hitting shelves all over North Carolina. Try our to track them down? Try our handy dandy Find Foothills Beer Finder on our website — it’ll help you find Jade cans as they roll out in the marketplace.

And by all means — feel free to get Jaded.


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Re-Opening . . . Safely

FH_NewLogo_4-19_RGBBefore we give you any details about what will transpire this week, let’s get one thing out of the way.

We’ve missed you.

We miss you at our pub, our tasting room, our cafe, our events . . . we miss talking with you about beer, food, the weather, your kids, our kids . . . the reason we do what we do is largely because of you, our customers. And not being able to see you every day, especially during the year of our 15th anniversary . . . well, it’s just part of the reason life hasn’t been the same.

It’s also part of the reason we’re happy to announce that our downtown brewpub will take part in the phased re-opening of North Carolina restaurants this week; on Friday May 22 at 5pm, limited dining and service operations will resume at the pub AND our tasting room. (Footnote will remain temporarily closed.) The pub’s current hours will be Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. (We will continue to offer curbside pickup from the pub as well.)

Unfortunately resuming business is not as simple as flipping the switch on our OPEN sign. As an industry craft beer wants to set the example for how to operate and keep our customers and employees safe. We’ve adapted your service model to safeguard customer and employee health, and have implemented practices designed to mitigate potential exposure. These measures, taken together and taken seriously, will help keep everyone safe.

pub social distancing

our socially distanced dining room

Here’s what we’ll be doing for you, and asking of you:

COVID 19 pledge

We’ll also be asking you to observe ‘the three W’s’, as outlined by the North Carolina Brewer’s Guild:


Yes, these are new rules, restrictions, and “inconveniences”.  Nevertheless we’re asking for diligent adherence to the protocols outlined above (including encouraging use of face coverings until you are seated). There are good reasons behind these protocols, ALL of them having to do with the safety and wellbeing of ALL our customers and employees.

We’re grateful for your overwhelming support as we have navigated the last couple of months. Your patience with our changing operations and your concern for our staff have been both humbling and incredibly welcome. So please be patient with us. Respect our staff and support our efforts. Managers will be on hand should you desire immediate resolution to any matter or would like to offer feedback. Our staff is here to serve you to the very best of their ability given the rules by which we must all abide.

Some good news: our menu will have new items on it when you return! Chef Shane has added some really cool dishes, including Crab Cakes, Buffaloaf (buffalo meatloaf), RanchHouse Chicken Sandwich, Vegetarian Stir Fry, Roasted Shallot and White Bean Hummus, Southern Caesar Salad, and Mediterranean Pasta Salad.

Thank you for your loyalty to Foothills, for your understanding and for your patience as we navigate a safe, thoughtful and respectful path forward.

15 year banner (2)

For the complete guide to the NCDHHS requirements and recommendations for re-opening restaurants, go here

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A Thank You Letter

thank you sign (2)

Dear Foothills Family,

What a March it’s been. The month we had planned to spend celebrating our 15th anniversary has instead featured closed businesses, canceled events, people in isolation and life brought to a near standstill.

Through it all, like most of you, we have first and foremost been concerned for the health and safety of our families, our co-workers, our community, our state and our planet. But we also, like most small businesses, have had to rapidly deploy drastically different business models, a process that would have been unthinkable even a couple of months ago.

Closing our doors and re-working how we continue to serve you, our customers, became the next top priority. We reacted by instituting curbside pickup for food, beer, wine and coffee at our pub and tasting room; and re-working our brewery schedule to keep the beer flowing to store shelves.

And you? You reacted by pulling together and supporting the businesses in your community, including us, to a degree that is both amazing and humbling. That outpouring of love and support has kept us going over the last couple of weeks and will continue to help us find our way in this new normal. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t seem like nearly enough to say . . . but thank you.

Here’s an update on the latest at Foothills:

Fest X 19.2BREWERY – Our brewery continues to brew and package beer. We are keeping areas like our lab off limits to all but essential personnel, keeping the brewers a healthy distance apart every day, and maintaining our usually stringent sanitation and sterilizing procedures. Some good news to report — last week we did our first canning run with our new Juicy IPA, Festival Express, in 19.2-oz. stovepipe cans! Those should be hitting store shelves this week and next, so keep an eye out for them. That beer will now be available in 12 oz. can 6-packs and 15-packs, in addition to the stovepipe single serves.

Torch 12 oz canAnd we’ve switched Torch Pilsner to cans! Our award-winning Bohemian Pilsner is now available in 12 oz. can 6-packs.

Also, just a heads up, if you plan on purchasing our HopBox variety pack anytime soon, you’ll find a different mix of beers in it than we normally have (Hoppyum IPA, Jade IPASeeing Double IPA and a seasonal selection). new HopBoxSince we don’t currently have a seasonal to put in there (though HopJob Session IPA will soon be making its appearance in those), we’re putting one extra of each of those core beers in it instead. Which works out well for you — Jade and Seeing Double are two of our high-end beers, and you’re getting an extra one of each in this HopBox!

ch 2019 hi resWe’ve also made the tough decision to put our Craft Happiness IPA Project on hold for now. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s our monthly IPA we brew to help support needs in our community. Our first release of 2020, U B U Juicy IPA, is still on shelves — it was brewed to encourage individuality and acceptance in our culture. A portion of proceeds from sales of that beer will benefit United Way. We’ll eventually crank this project back up again — but since these beers are 90% draft sales, we’ve decided to suspend production for now.

PUB – The pub, where it all started for us 15 years ago, has become a curbside pickup and delivery machine. The kitchen staff is turning out the same great food they always have, and our managers have been handling the logistics of pickup and delivery for the menu as well as packaged beer and growlers, wine and whole bean coffee. Pickup/delivery hours are 11:30am-8pm every day. Chef Shane has put together some family package specials for you, and you can also order from our regular menu (though there are a few htings we’re out of; those are noted on the online menu). And all of our wine bottles are half price! Just give the pub a call – 336.777.3348.

TASTING ROOM – The tasting room is open 11:30am-6pm every day, and also has packaged beer, growlers, wine (also half price) and whole bean coffee available for curbside pickup (sorry no delivery). Like the pub the tasting room has been offering growler fills, with the growler glass being free when you get it filled so we don’t have to sanitize brought-in growlers. But so many people have been taking advantage of that special . . . that we’re running out of our big (64 oz) growlers! We still have plenty of 32 4 pack 19.2oz. growlers, and we have more big ones arriving next week; so this week only we’re allowing customers to bring their growlers in (to the tasting room only, not the pub) and have their growler sanitized and filled.

They also have 4-packs of our 19.2 oz. cans – choose from Hoppyum IPA, Thousand Smiles Golden Ale, or Festival Express Juicy IPA ($10.99) or Craft Happiness Project IPA ($12.99).

SC can (2)PRO TIP: the tasting room has a pretty healthy stash of Sexual Chocolate left, in both 22-oz. bombers and 4-packs of 12 oz. cans. AND . . . we are allowing growler fills of Sexual Chocolate, for the first time ever. Might wanna get in on that. Call the tasting room at 336.997.9484.

There’s a word we use all the time in craft beer  — coopetition. OK not a real word we made it up. But we think it sums up the craft beer life pretty succinctly — because no matter how much breweries compete, we know that at the end of the day we’re all in this together. So we always help each other. It’s a fitting word to use when referring to how we’re gonna get through this pandemic – by realizing we’re all in this together. We’re working to do our part . . . and we’re incredibly grateful to you for continuing to allow us to do that.

Stay Safe and Healthy,

Jamie signature (2)

Jamie Bartholomaus
President & CEO


Foothills Community and COVID-19 Coronavirus


To friends of Foothills everywhere,

It’s been a tough few weeks. The alarming advance of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in our cities, state and country has upended our everyday lives. I wanted to reach out to you personally about what we’re doing here at Foothills to support our community and practice safe gathering during these uncertain times.

Like so many businesses, the safety and health of our fellow employees, our brewery and event guests, and our community is our top priority. We are closely monitoring advisories from federal and state government and health officials and implementing their recommendations. Our already-diligent cleaning and food and beverage service protocols have been scrutinized and adjusted as we continue to meet the current need for heightened awareness in these areas. Here’s an update on the precautionary and preventive steps we’re taking:

  • Much of our focus is on areas in which we are already diligent. Attention to use of clean glassware and silverware, keeping fingers off the rims of glasses and serving areas of plates, wiping down high-contact surfaces (tables, bar and chairs) between seatings, not allowing tap spigots to touch beer as it’s poured . . . all are health and safety regulations we’ve always enforced to employees, and will continue to do so rigorously.
  • In an effort to limit possible germ transmission surfaces, we have removed sugar packets and salt and pepper shakers from all tables (still available on request), and will be using disposable paper menus for the foreseeable future.
  • We’ve increased the frequency with which we sanitize common areas (door knobs, bathrooms etc.) and will increase the timing of those based on the number of visitors we have.
  • If you come in for a growler fill, be prepared to wait a couple of extra minutes, as we are sanitizing all growlers prior to filling. (pro tip: sit at our ultra-clean bar and have a beer while you wait.)
  • We’ve canceled all brewery tours for now. We also have also made the painful (but appropriate) decision to canceled next month’s CraftHalf Half Marathon, 5K and Block Party. We’ve also postponed our St. Patrick’s Day celebration slated for Saturday March 14th – but please don’t let that stop you from coming by. We’ll still be open, and still be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day – in fact we have a brand new Red Irish Ale that just went on tap to help celebrate.

In short? We’re practicing more vigilance in general, above and beyond what we normally practice as a responsible food and beverage provider. We’re taking full responsibility for keeping our environment safe and clean. Similarly, we ask all of our patrons to be extra responsible as well. If you are even slightly ill or worried about being in contact with someone who is then please exercise the same caution. And if you need some of Chef Shane’s cooking (who doesn’t) in the meantime? Door Dash and TakeOut Central are still delivering. Additionally, we will be implementing curbside pickup of food orders from the pub. Just call the pub (336-777-3348) and order (here’s our online menu), then pull up right in front of our place at 638 W. 4th Street – we’ll bring it out to you.

Country star Thomas Rhett has a song out right now called “Ain’t Nothing That a Beer Can’t Fix”. Sadly, that’s not literally true. But sometimes, at least for us, having a beer does help make things better. So rest assured, if and when you decide to visit us for that beer, you’ll be able to do so in a safe and clean environment. Let’s get through this together.

Stay safe and healthy,
Jamie signature (2)
Jamie Bartholomaus
President & CEO
Foothills Brewing

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization
NC Department of Health & Human Services

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Craft Happiness Project 2020

ch 2019 hi resGood beer that does good.

That’s been the mantra for our Craft Happiness IPA Project, the only project of its kind in the entire American craft beer industry. Now entering its 4th year, CHP uses some special Foothills beers we brew as a foundation for bringing awareness to community needs, and helping fund research and relief for those needs.

The Project has brought awareness, education and insight to dozens of needs. From common problems like feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and rescuing pets; to environmental problems such as cleaning up our oceans and conserving public lands; to protection of all manner of wildlife, including North Carolina’s indigenous birds of prey and wild horses. To date Craft Happiness Project has donated over $18,000 to non-profit organizations throughout the world that help all these causes and more.

Along the way we’ve had memorable moments — fire trucks (to honor first responders) and a K9 unit (to honor service animals) have visited our tasting room; we’ve held animal adoption and food and clothing collection events; heck we even released a red-tailed hawk back into the wild from our parking lot. And, oh by the way, our brewers have created some sensational IPAs for us to enjoy while we’re trying to make our world a better place.

We’re proud to continue this tradition in 2020; so here are our beers/awareness topics and nonprofit partners for Craft Happiness IPA Project 2020:

U B U canU B U  (you be you) release date 2/21/20
Our first Craft Happiness beer of the year is brewed to embrace individuality and acceptance in our culture. Proceeds from sales will benefit United Way of Forsyth County, whose mission is to improve lives in our community by mobilizing the caring power and spirit of our citizens.

Around 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States simply because they do not have homes. Snip is brewed to promote spaying and neutering of pets. Proceeds will benefit Humane Solution, an organization that provides funds for pet owners to spay/neuter their pets.

Only 37 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. Digs is brewed to support the need for more affordable housing. Proceeds will benefit Habitat For Humanity.

1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water. This IPA is brewed to promote clean drinking water worldwide. Proceeds will benefit Yadkin Riverkeeper and Drink Local Think Global, a group that provides clean safe drinking water to people in developing countries through the craft beer industry.

Brewed to promote girls’ and womens’ empowerment. Proceeds will benefit Pink Boots Society, which supports women working in the brewing profession; and Junior League of Winston-Salem, whose mission is promoting voluntarism and developing the potential of women.

it’s been estimated that 5 trillion pieces of plastic exist in our ocean environments. That plastic kills approximately 100 million marine animals during the course of each year. Ocean IPA is brewed to help clean up those ocean environments. For this one we will be purchasing bracelets made from ocean-recovered plastic by 4Ocean and giving them away in an online contest.

4.5 million Americans will a need blood transfusion this year. Ticker IPA is brewed to promote the importance of blood donation. Proceeds will benefit OneBlood, a group that organizes blood drives at craft breweries.

Brewed in support of the arts (artium is the Latin word for arts). Proceeds will benefit Shakori Hills Community Arts Center, which supports the local music and arts community through cultural events and outreach to local schools, while teaching environmental awareness and sustainable living practices.

This is our first-ever repeat CH IPA. Once again we will brew it to help protect birds of prey, and will be the foundation of a new event we’re planning celebrate Hawktoberfest, which will include releasing a rehabilitated raptor in partnership with Carolina Raptor Center.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life”. An estimated 1 in 9 Americans are food insecure, equating to over 37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children. Bite IPA is brewed to help people at high risk for hunger & food insecurity. Proceeds will benefit Meals On Wheels and Clemmons Food Pantry.

Brewed to celebrate the spirit of giving at Christmas. Proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation.

We hope you’ll join us this year as we try to help our neighbors, our communities and our planet.  It’s really as simple as having a beer . . . and making a difference.


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Sexual Chocolate Release 2020

First, a little Sexual Chocolate #ThrowbackThursday moment for you . . .

SC throwback

FHB_15thAnniversary_Logo_COLORRemember those days? Yes, that’s hundreds of people lined up in the January chill for our annual release of Sexual Chocolate. Used to happen every year, when we made a very limited amount and there weren’t a lot of other places to find it. See how good you kids have it today? Of course now there’s a big Courtyard Marriott going up where the back of this line is standing, so lining up would be way more complicated anyway. Fortunately you don’t have to! ‘Now we can make enough that everyone can enjoy it. And Sexual Chocolate Release is still always a lot of fun. Here’s plans for this year’s release, as we celebrate our 15th anniversary:


Sex Choc 2020 bottle

FOOTNOTE — Footnote will be the first place you can try this year’s version of Sexual Chocolate when they open at 8am. And you didn’t think we’d forget the coffee specials did you? Footnote will have:

  • Frozen Sexual Chocolate Cold Brew  – our frozen Cold Brew Coffee Blended with Sexual Chocolate topped with chocolate bourbon whipped cream
  • 50/50 Sexual Chocolate and Cold Brew Nitro Coffee

PUB — Sexual Chocolate will be available for purchase on tap and in bottles ($9.99 + tax) (no limit) at 11am when the pub opens. As usual Chef Shane has whipped up some delectable specials to commemorate the occasion:

  • Sexual Chocolate bourbon barrel smoked beef burger with Cheddar cheese, Sexual Chocolate bbq sauce, and fried onion straws
  • Coffee braised pulled pork tacos with spinach, smoked pineapple and chipotle lime sour cream
  • Wings smoked on Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate barrel staves
  • Foothills Coffee Crusted Beef Tenderloin and blackened shrimp with Sexual Chocolate demi, whipped Potatoes, and asparagus

We’ll also have Fruit Smoothie Trio playing from 8pm-12am. AND . . . our annual Bottle Share Party starts at 8 as well. For those of you who don’t know, bottle shares are a mainstay of the craft beer community. It’s a tradition we like to rekindle every year at these releases. It’s simple . . . you bring a bottle (or two) (or three) of your favorite craft beer and share it with everyone, and they do the same. It’s a great way to not only taste some interesting and hard-to-find beers, but also meet like-minded people who share a love of craft beer. The party this year will be held in the private dining room at the front of the pub.

TASTING ROOM — open at 4pm with Sexual Chocolate draft and bottles available. Cydney will also have a special spicy & sweet Sexual Chocolate randall at the bar, running our Russian Imperial Stout through vanilla beans, cinnamon and jalapeño peppers.


SC can (2)FOOTNOTE — open 8am, bottles and draft available

PUB — so here’s our big surprise for the year . . . we’ve canned Sexual Chocolate for the first time, and will be selling it at the pub in 4-packs for $12.99 (+ tax). THE PUB IS THE ONLY PLACE CANS WILL BE ON SALE SATURDAY MORNING. You’ll also be able to do a side-by-side comparison of the last few vintages of Sexual Chocolate, as Nicole at the bar will have a special vertical flight featuring Sexual Chocolate from 2018, 2019, and 2020. We’ll even throw in a sample of Olde Rabbit’s Foot from 2017, our collaboration brew with Duck Rabbit and Olde Hickory. We’ll also have Chef Shane’s yummy specials all day, and music from Chasing Daylight Saturday night 10pm-1am.

TASTING ROOM — Bonfire time! The tasting room opens at noon, draft and bottles will be available. Plenty of food options available as well — in addition to Big Mouff Cheesesteaks and Food Freaks of NC food trucks, we’ll have a Make Your Own S’mores bar! SEXUAL CHOCOLATE CANS WILL AVAILABLE STARTING AT 4PM. Then, once it’s dark (6pm-ish), we will light the annual Sexual Chocolate bonfire, with music from Bad Hombres 8-11pm.

NOTE: if you’re looking for gear/glassware with the old Sexual chocolate logo, this weekend is the time to buy. We won’t be making anymore, so get your shirts and glasses while you can.

For over a decade now this has been one of the best annual releases in craft beer — mostly because of you fun people. Come help celebrate another great release this year!

BY THE WAY . . . while you’re celebrating, check out our new Juicy IPA, Festival Express. Brewed with 5 different hops and malted red wheat grown right here in North Carolina.

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ONE MORE THING: We got new beanies in. Grab yourself one. #coldbeerwarmhead

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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

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.

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).


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.


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.