Foothills Brewing

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Sexual Chocolate 2018

FHB.14121.12 Sexual Chocolate 2017 label R1 MECHWhen the calendar turns over to January, we always celebrate the new year.

Shortly afterward, here at Foothills we always have another celebration —  Sexual Chocolate Release.

The Russian Imperial Stout that we make once a year comes out this year on January 26 (on draft) and January 27 (in bottles).

We will also be selling bottles of both Sexual Chocolate and Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate from vintages past on Friday evening at both the pub and tasting room.

This blog contains what we hope is every possible detail you need to come enjoy what has become one of North Carolina’s longest running beer release celebrations. Read carefully and let us know if you have additional questions.

Every year we start by releasing Sexual Chocolate on draft. We’ll do that at 4pm Friday January 26, at both our pub and tasting room.

Both locations will have special events going on Friday. The tasting room will have live music, food trucks, a make your own s’mores bar and a bonfire (details here). The pub will have, amongst other things, a funk band called The Randy Watsons, as well as hosting our traditional Bottle Share Pre-Release Party beginning at 9:00 pm-ish.

DSCN3527Here’s how that party works: we open up the back of our brewpub to anyone and everyone who brings a bottle or two (or three or four) of their favorite rare, unique or coveted craft beer. Interpretation of that description is up to you, but show up with a six-pack of certain mass-produced beers and we’re not responsible for the incessant mocking that will ensue. We’ll have Sexual Chocolate on tap at the bar, and (free) appetizers to snack on as well.

 

NEW THIS YEAR: we will be breaking into our vault and offering vintage bottles of Sexual Chocolate (and Olde Rabbit’s Foot) for sale on Friday evening at both the pub and tasting room. More details on that to come, but you won’t want to miss it – only twice in the last 5 years have we offered vintage bottles for sale.

These vintage bottles will be available Friday at both our pub (starting at 11am) and tasting room (starting at 4pm):
– ’17 Olde Rabbits Foot Imperial Stout
– ’17 Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout
– ’17 Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate
– ’16 Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout
– ’16 Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate
– ’15 Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate
– ’10 Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout
Bottles are $25 each, limit 7 per person. You can get one of each!

vintage bottles

If you wish to join the traditional campout to buy bottles at the pub, great!

DSCN3652The line starts on the sidewalk outside the pub’s front door. You’re welcome to queue up anytime after we close at 2:00 am the previous evening. (For once you don’t have to actually go home at closing time.)

City police officers will be on hand overnight. No doubt this will prove to be for cosmetic purposes only, since we all know what a well-behaved lot craft beer enthusiasts are. There’s a rumor that those nice officers will let you enjoy your own, um, refreshments until daylight. We can neither confirm nor deny . . . we will, however, refer you to the aforementioned good behavior.

There will be portable restroom facilities in the back parking lot. Please pay this small kindness forward during your use of them.DSCN3651

Around 6:30 am Saturday we will distribute numbered wristbands to denote your place in line. (Captain Obvious says make sure you have your ID with you.) We always have some little surprise for the hardy souls that line up early.

The pub will open at 8:00 am, Sexual Chocolate will be tapped and waiting (as will several other beers – viva le variété). We’ll also have breakfast available for purchase. You know, solid food. If that’s your thing.
sexual-chocolate-label-2016_bottle-mockup-2

Bottle sales start at 9:00 am. You’ll be summoned by your wristband number in groups of 50, whereafter you’ll pay for your bottles in the pub, then proceed in somewhat orderly fashion to the brewery in back, where you’ll receive your beer. IMPORTANT: once you receive your beer, we ask that you exit the rear of the building instead of heading straight back into the pub. Keeps the line from devolving into anarchy.

NO BOTTLE LIMIT AGAIN THIS YEAR. We did this for the first time last year and it was quite popular – so we’re doing it again. You’re welcome.

Bottles are $15 each. We take all forms of payment — cash, credit cards, your firstborn…

While we are emptying case boxes as we go, we don’t guarantee a box or bag to stash your bottles – doing so would expand our carbon footprint exponentially. Please bring something to safely cart away your newly purchased liquid treasures. How big you ask? About (insert number of bottles you plan to buy) bottles big.

teku glass

No growler fills of Sexual Chocolate. And no growling about no growler fills.

We will have plenty of Sexual Chocolate gear for sale, including t-shirts and Rastal Teku glasses .

 

Want to stay up to date on all the latest leading up to this event? Then follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Also check back to this blog, we’ll update it frequently with new info. In fact I just now added that sentence.Curious about the history of Sexual Chocolate? Read all about it here. Or watch an incredibly hip video about it here.

WEATHER: Current forecast calls for overnight low of 40 degrees. High of 61 on Saturday.

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COOPETITION

Image result for north carolina brewers conference[EDITOR’S NOTE: Craft brewers are known for their collaborations. At the recently completed North Carolina Craft Brewer’s Conference, we suggested the brewers and professionals of the #NCbeer family help us put together a collaborative blog – ironically, about collaboration. Or as we call it in craft beer, ‘coopetition’. Here, in partnership with RadCraft in Colorado, is the world’s first crowd-sourced beer blog. As you can see, there are almost as many interpretations of coopetiton as there are North Carolina beers.]

Image result for craft beer

courtesy craftbeer.com

A quote:
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
-Isaac Newton

A haiku:
Coopetition
Aiding your adversary
Change your perception.

Coming together through coopetition helps everyone succeed. Coopetition lets us achieve things we could not on our own.

Coopetition is the perfect name for our experience as a fledgling brewery! Big and small brewers have willingly mentored and shepherded us as we start our journey.

Image result for craft beer

courtesy craftbeer.com

As a new player in the brewery industry, I have been overwhelmed by the idea and spirit behind ‘coopetition’. Having been in other industries for over 15 years and having to sign countless non-disclosures and non-competes, I am amazed at the open arms shown between competing breweries and their employees. Even as a Virginia brewer at a North Carolina Craft Brewers’ conference, I feel extremely welcome by those who would otherwise be seen as competition. Craft brewers are always willing to talk shop, answer any questions, and wish you the best success on the road ahead. The sense of togetherness is really something specifically amazing about the craft brewery business. Through this teamwork and collaboration, we can all make a better product and therefore have a stronger industry.

Coopetition is about surrounding yourself with other successful folks; folks with like values, motivations, and ambitions. This is at the core of “co-opetition” to me. This hybrid of competition and collaboration still centers our Western American ideals of capitalism which put profits over people. Howard Thurman has often been quoted saying “Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Brewing and being a part of a collective of like-minded business owners, with a passion for justice, makes me come alive.

Related imageAs a North Carolina alcoholic beverage lawyer, I enjoy the opportunity to work collaboratively with other lawyers representing all three tiers of the alcohol industry so that our clients can all sell more beer!

Beer builds. It builds relationships. It builds bonds. It builds businesses. How has beer helped you build a better life?

Competition is about tearing down your competitors in order for the individual to survive, but coopetition is about building up each other in order for the community to thrive. That is what makes the craft beer culture so beautiful.

Coopetition among breweries is like yard wars in the neighborhood. Each neighbor wants to have the perfect yard.  But each neighbor also wants to have the best neighbors and the most rewarding friendships. Every “gardener” wants to share the fruits of their labor with people who appreciate the craft. The diversity of people and styles makes a neighborhood sought after and secure. And having backyard cookouts with our neighbors brings us together.

The craft beer neighborhood represents the essence of a life well lived. And another beer well appreciated…

The brewing industry is unlike any other profession. We encourage each other to be better than we were yesterday. We challenge each other to be creative, push the envelope and experiment with ideas. Cooperative competition is vital for the progression of the industry and gives the consumer a never-ending opportunity to challenge their palate.

Image result for craft beerCoopetition (noun): A rare occurrence where competitors actively and willingly help their competition. It is currently only found in the brewing industry.

Similar rarities include but are not limited to: leftover bacon, shooting stars and Loch Ness Monster sightings.

Coopetition is so important especially in towns with a growing beer scene. Every new brewery that opens draws in more beer tourism, which is great for all breweries in the area. I love being able to recommend our neighboring breweries to tasting room visitors that might be looking for a style we don’t currently offer, and they do the same for us.

Stop, collaborate, and listen…which is truly what coopetition is all about.
STOP separating ourselves from each other, but embrace our industry as a whole.
COLLABORATE with each other to build the market together.
LISTEN to Vanilla Ice while you do it!

Coopetition is being here at the Guild and soaking in all the amazing people supporting each other from newbies to “seasoned” brewers, owners and just about all the people in the industry.  Coopetition is not being afraid to be the new kid in the block and knowing we’ll be the big elephant in our community, being afraid and excited at the same time and yet having a plethora of resources at our fingertips because we have people like you on our side.  Yes, I just created a business goal for us….maybe in 2019, we’ll be hop swapping beers with Foothills in our taproom.  Coopetition at it’s greatest and finest.

Image result for craft beerWe love to get together with a nearby brewery and make something new. It is a chance to get creative and use new ingredients. Working with local ingredients with our beer friends is one of the highlights of what we get to do.

Our mission is to lift our community through kindness to all through advocacy and amazing craft beer! We encourage all to participate by drinking local, and living global!

(we even had one of our four-legged friends weigh in)
Doc at Oden Brewing loves coopetition almost as much as old tennis balls and is glad that top NC  breweries help the new guys thrive and become solid members of the craft beer community.

PARTICIPATING BREWERIES:

Angry Troll Brewing
Black Star Line Brewing
Bombshell Beer
Dragon Run Brewing
Fourth Creek Brewing Company
Foothills Brewing
Gizmo Brew Works
Joymongers Brewing Company
Lazy Hiker Brewing Company
Leicester Brew Lab
Lost Province Brewing
Mystery Brewing Company
Nauti Dog Brewing
New River Brewing
Oden Brewing
Preyer Brewing Company
Sanctuary Brewing
Southern Appalachian Brewery
Thirsty Monk Pub
Waterman’s Brewing
Wrightsville Beach Brewery

OTHER PARTICIPANTS:

RadCraft
Williams Mullen
Elizabeth City Downtown Inc.


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It’s Always Pumpkin Spice Time

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We occasionally turn our blog space over to our friends in the beer (or in this case food) business. Today we’re very fortunate to have professional foodie-slash-writer-slash-TV host-slash-craft beer fan Daina Falk, Founder of Hungry Fan®, sharing her thoughts on a surprisingly polarizing subject this time of year — the proliferation of pumpkin spice.]

pumpkin spice mashable

Fall is perhaps my favorite time of the year. With its arrival comes the beautiful changing colors of the leaves as summer’s steamy heat gives way to cooler temperatures.

Daina 2But more importantly, for this sports fan, fall also signals the start of football season, the World Series and plenty of ACC basketball [preseason] smack-talking. (I fear you Tar Heel basketball fans might stop reading right now if I told you where I went to school. And for the record, I’m enough removed from my college days to be way more open-minded now. In fact, during the tourney I always cheer for the ACC as a whole and all our schools who made it. But I suppose no college basketball conversation is complete without a ‘Go Duke!’ Now please keep reading).

For the foodie in me, the hands-down best thing that happens when autumn arrives is pumpkin spice—and most namely, pumpkin spice beer.

Like most pumpkin spice lovers, my curiosity was piqued in 2003 when Starbucks launched the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Man oh man, I bought in hook, line and sinker. I loved me some PSLs. But after I graduated from college in 2005, I worked diligently to lose 60 pounds, which meant changing my entire way of eating and cutting out a lot of needless sugar. Bye-bye went the pumpkin spice latte, my nearly daily cup of liquid sugar that actually contained zero pumpkin whatsoever.

Despite its dubious nutritional profile and absence of any actual pumpkin, the PSL started something.

Ah yes, the Pumpkin Spice Craze.

You’re nodding because you know exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve now got everything from pumpkin spice oatmeal to lattes to Cheerios to protein powder…and even dog treats. (Not sure if comedian John Oliver is popular amongst North Carolina beer fans, but he really killed this).

NYT

Despite the innumerable jokes at the expense of pumpkin spice and the collective PSL fatigue we feel as the holidays near—nothing can overshadow the adoration I have for pumpkin spice beer.

I have a slight beef with the beer industry. They seem to piggyback on Starbucks’ marketing strategy of retiring the pumpkin spice pre-Thanksgiving. (John Oliver’s got it wrong, by the way. Those PSL syrup jars don’t sit on the counter all year. They’re gonzo when the limited supply of pumpkin spice syrup is consumed, not to be seen again until autumn next year). Why must the beer people and Starbucks take away my pumpkin spice? No, but seriously, why?

I’m not crazy. It’s not like I want pumpkin spice beer all the time. But on game day—most particularly when I’m tailgating in the parking lot—I enjoy the warm and fuzzy, fall feeling I get from a pumpkin spice beer.

A few years back, I tried hoarding cases of pumpkin spice beer so it could live on beyond the artificially-imposed time restraints of pumpkin spice season. I live in New York City now, which automatically means I don’t have a great deal of space. So I stored my beer outside on my patio thinking that the colder fall temperatures would help it last. Alas, I hoarded too much and didn’t really account for variations in weather and temperature. Needless to say, it didn’t end well. It was a sad, sad day when I discovered my precious bounty of pumpkin spice beer had gone a little skunky.

FHCottonwoodPumkin12ozBottle (2)I recently had the opportunity to taste Foothills Brewing’s Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale. I found it to be delicious. And the best part? It’s brewed with real pumpkin! Incidentally, I find it keeps best when stored in an actual refrigerator. And according to BeerAdvocate.com, that’s what you should do. Storing beer at 50-55 degrees F is ideal. (According to the site, higher temperatures threaten to shorten the lifespan of your beer; and temperatures lower than 50 degrees F induce a chill haze, making the beer cloudy). Furthermore, Beer Advocate states the best way to store a bottle of beer is upright, ensuring that the yeast in the beer will compact to the bottom of the bottle, which, in turn, decreases the amount of beer exposed and slows the oxidation process.

So what’s a pumpkin-spice-loving-girl to do when there’s no pumpkin spice beer to be found during three quarters of the year?

Three words: make your own.

But I’m not a brewer. I don’t own a brewery. Where do I even buy hops? How does one make beer? I mean, I barely have a normal-sized bathtub (remember, New York City). So, I put my cook’s hat on and decided I would try combining pumpkin spice seasoning with regular beer.

I surveyed the spice shelves of every grocery store near me. I went online. I looked and looked and looked. What I found was that most of the spice blends on the market that you’re familiar with are irradiated. And without getting into a lot of dull science stuff, just know that according to some really smart people and grocers such as Whole Foods, irradiated food is pretty gnarly.

To top things off, none of the pumpkin spice seasonings I found contained actual pumpkin. Zero.

Daina spiceI was therefore left with one option: make my own pumpkin spice.

I packed in some dehydrated, organic pumpkin and a slew of yummy, non-irradiated spices to make one heck of a blend.

What’s the first thing I did when my first shipment of the blend arrived?

I dissolved it into some beer, of course.

For every pint of beer, I dissolve about a teaspoon of my pumpkin spice blend. I wait until the head goes down, then I sprinkle it in and either let it dissolve on its own (about 60 seconds) or I give it a very gentle stir so as not to cause the beer to foam again. (You can use your finger or even a proper cocktail stirrer if you’d like. It’s up to you).

For the best taste and results, I prefer to use an ale (similar to the base of the Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale). My second favorite is a pilsner, like Foothill’s 2017 GABF Award-winning Torch Pilsner. Lagers work well too.

And yes, because my blend is made up of dried pumpkin and spices, you can expect to see some spice remains on the inside of your glass. If that bothers your friends, who are less passionate about pumpkin spice than you are, use a colored plastic cup.

But that little bit of residue—those are flavor crystals that will change your beer-drinking life forever.

I’m finally getting to indulge my love for pumpkin spice year-round. No one can stop me. As long as beer is around, I’ll have pumpkin spice beer whenever I want.

If PSLs are still your thing, be sure to try my pumpkin spice blend in your latte and read how my pumpkin spice blend stacks up against Starbucks.

You can pick up your own pouch of my organic pumpkin spice blend both on my website, HungryFan.com or on Amazon.

 

DainaDaina Falk is the Founder & CEO of Hungry Fan®, a sports lifestyle brand that curates the sports fan’s game day experience. She is a nationally recognized Fangating™ expert, author of The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook, and host of CBS Sports Network’s “Toughest Tailgate.”
Follow Daina and Hungry Fan® on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

 

 


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More Moravian

Moravian with cookieMust be the holidays – ’cause Moravian Porter is back!

Winston-Salem’s favorite holiday beer will once again be available on Friday November 24 exclusively at our pub and tasting room.

Last year we had the bright idea to partner with our neighbors down the road, Dewey’s Bakery, and offer gift boxes with beer and cookies. They sold out in a few hours. So we made more! While there’s still a limited quantity, we expect them to last at least through the day on Friday. (but hurry over just in case)

We’ve also upped our gift box game this year – in addition to a 22-oz. bottle of Moravian Porter and an 8.25-oz. bag of Ginger Spice Moravian Cookies, we’re also offering a limited edition Moravian Porter pint glass (that’s only available in the gift box), a Moravian star ornament and a Foothills signature keychain bottle opener. All for $24.99.

gift box 1

Individual bottles of Moravian Porter will also be available for $7.99.

Pub opens 11am on November 24. Tasting room will have special extended hours as well, open noon to 10pm. they’ll both will have plenty of complimentary Moravian cookies on hand – so stop by for a beer and some cookies and some holiday cheer!

Want to know more about Moravian Porter? Read this and watch this.


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The Athens Connection

Related imageImage result for winston salem nc

At first glance, there’s seemingly little to connect Athens, Georgia with Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

They’re in different (though neighboring) states. One’s older (Winston-Salem). One’s smaller (Athens).

Even our respective schools are strangers. Wake Forest and Georgia have only played football three times – and not since 1979 (for the record Wake won that one 22-21).

But look closer, and there’s some commonality.

Clarke County, where Athens is located, is named for North Carolina native Elijah Clarke.

Like Winston-Salem, Athens was once known by a two-word moniker (Cedar Shoals).

Best part? Both cities are located in the foothills of mountain ranges (Athens – Blue Ridge Mountains, Winston-Salem – Appalachian Mountains).

JamieWhich is incredibly appropriate since both cities have a distinct craft beer connection, in the form of Foothills owner – and University of Georgia graduate – Jamie Bartholomaus.

It was at UGA Jamie first developed an interest in home brewing. (no truth the rumors he homebrewed in his dorm room – ’cause that would, ya know, be against university policy). He would go on to work at a local brewery in Athens before moving to North Carolina and eventually opening Foothills.

Image result for trappeze pubSo when the award-winning Trappeze Pub (which just happens to be located in Athens) reached out to us about helping them make a beer for their upcoming 10th anniversary, it was hard for Jamie to say no.

But what to make?

“We don’t have to do something crazy”, Trappeze bar manager Luke Fields remembers telling Jamie and our brewmaster T.L. Adkisson at the time. “We could just do a simple tweak to one of your existing recipes. Then, he added prophetically, “I just threw it out there, something like a dry-hopped Torch Pilsner.”

 

collab4

Luke from Trappeze (l) with Foothills brewmaster TL Adkisson

Just so happens that’s an idea Jamie and TL have been batting around for awhile, and have been eager to make. Besides, according to Luke, tweaking an existing recipe is infinitely more appealing than dreaming up some crazy new concoction.

 

“I’ve seen the strawberry marshmallow stouts and key lime pie rhubarb goses and all that kind of crazy sh*t” he says, tongue-in-cheek. “But most people just want a really good beer. And you guys make a really solid pilsner. It seemed like a really good opportunity to have an award-winning beer on tap at our place, with a really cool twist to it that we helped add.”

So Luke, general manager Aaron Wallace and assistant bar manager Markus Trujillo made the trek up to Winston-Salem in mid-October and spent the day brewing at our place. And loved it.

 

collab2

Jamie (l) with Aaron from Trappeze

But then, they’ve spent a decade working closely with local craft breweries. “We wouldn’t be open for 10 years without brewery support,” says Aaron. “And for us being able to collaborate with some of our heroes, you can’t beat that. It’s great to brew a like Torch beer that we all love – and this will introduce Foothills to some people who might not know it.”

 

He’s probably right. This is Foothills’ first collaboration with anyone outside the state of North Carolina. Fitting that it’s with a great pub, from a place where Foothills was, at least theoretically, born.

collab 5 (2)The Trappeze version of Torch should be ready sometime during the holidays, and will be available on draft at the pub and tasting room locally, and at Trappeze Pub for their 10th Anniversary celebration.

 

 


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What’s Next

Been a busy Fall – we released Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate, won five medals (one at Great American Beer Festival and four at NC Brewer’s Cup), and released Craft Happiness IPA Project beers that are raising awareness (and funding) for the causes of literacy, service animals, and hunger.

Time for a break right?

Frostbite Black IPA.jpg

Hardly.

 

Here’s an update on what we have coming up:

Frostbite: Our seasonal black IPA is hitting shelves as we speak – we call it the official beer of Jack Frost, blending barley and roasted wheat malts with a big blast of flavor and aroma from Pacific Northwest hops. As refreshingly bracing as a cold winter day.

ORF (4)Olde Rabbit’s Foot: North Carolina’s original collaboration beer has been resurrected after a 5-year hiatus! The beer is a blend of imperial stouts from all three breweries (yes, we used Sexual Chocolate for our part) and has been aging in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels.

RELEASE DETAILS:

  • ORF will go on tap simultaneously at our pub and tasting room, as well as the tap rooms for  Olde Hickory Brewery and The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, on Friday November 10th at 4pm.
  • Bottle sales will begin Saturday November 11th, when both our pub and tasting room doors open at 11am. Same times for tap and bottle sales locations at Olde Hickory and Duck-Rabbit.
  • Price is $20/bottle, there will be no bottle limit on purchases. Since we’re not sure how many people will be showing up, we don’t have a lot of details on lines and wristbanding. If we do wind up with a long line prior to opening our doors, we will wristband everyone to denote your place in line.

peoplesMoravianPorter_CMYK[1]Moravian Porter: your favorite Triad holiday beer is back on its traditional release day, Black Friday (November 24), when both draft and bottles will be available. As we did last year, we’re partnering with Dewey’s Bakery to create gift boxes that’ll have a bomber, a box of Moravian cookies, a limited edition pint glass, and some other goodies in it. We ran out of these pretty quickly last year; we’ve made more this year but they’ll still get snapped up pretty quickly, so make sure your Black Friday plans include a stop at Foothills.

Sustenance (Custom)Craft Happiness IPA Project: today marks the release of Sustenance, brewed to bring awareness to hunger issues in our community. Did you know 1 in 4 kids in North Carolina is food insecure? 1 IN 4. so every pint and bottle of Sustenance you buy will go to alleviating that need. Our friends from Second Harvest Food Bank will have donation boxes set up at the pub and tasting room – be sure and bring something to drop in those boxes when you stop by.

CherishDecember’s Craft Happiness IPA is Cherish, brewed to highlight the needs of kids who could use a helping hand to have a Merry Christmas. We’ll be having a toy and gift drive all month – we can use your help with that one too!

Footnote Café: Our owners, architects and contractors are hard at work (as you can see from the picture below), and work continues, slowly but surely, on our latest venture – while we don’t think it will be ready for the holiday season, we’re working to get it open as soon as we can. Stay tuned.

footnote construct


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Foothills Job Fair

Footnote picWanna be part of our Foothills Family?

By now hopefully you’ve heard – we’re opening up another location called Footnote. Which is going to need cheerful, smiling faces. Like maybe yours.

So we’re holding a job fair at our downtown pub on Thursday October 5th from 2-4pm.

We’re looking to fill the following positions:

  • Wait staff
  • Host staff
  • Kitchen staff
  • Footnote catering staff
  • Brewery packaging staff
  • Sous Chef
  • PM Kitchen Manager
  • Footnote Assistant Manager

Come down and apply with us! Bring your resume, and we’ll need to run a background check if we’re interested in hiring you.

Questions before then? direct them to hr@foothillsbrewing.com.