Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings

Leave a comment

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.

Fest X image

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

beanie cutout


Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

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:

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.
Speaking of our award-winning amber ale, it’s now available in six packs!
3.4 shot
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.


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

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

Leave a comment

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


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.

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!


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 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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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

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.)

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.

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.