Foothills Brewing

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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.

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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.”

 

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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.

 

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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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Springtime Sexy

Foothills Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout BBA Bourbon Barrel Sexual Chocolate time is here – earlier in the year than ever before.

This year, for the first time, we’re releasing this NC Beer rarity in the spring, on Saturday May 21. We received a fresh batch of bourbon barrels late last year and, not wanting to wait to fill them, brewed a special batch of Sexual Chocolate just for barrel aging. And they’re ready.

It’s created sort of a perfect storm for this most sought-after of beers; since we weren’t pulling a percentage of the overall yield for barrel aging, like we normally do, there’s a little more available this year than there has ever been – so much so we are upping the bottle limit for this year.

So if you’ve ever thought about coming to Sexual Chocolate Release, this is the year to do it. The release of this beer is one of the biggest parties on the NC craft beer scene. For those who’ve never come, and as a refresher for you veterans, here’s a few guidelines to having the best, um, Sexual experience:

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– We always throw a Bottle Share Pre-Release Party on the Friday night before the Saturday event. On May 20th beginning at 7:00 pm-ish, we’ll open up the brewery in back of our brewpub at 638 West 4th Street in Winston-Salem for anyone who wants to come and hang out. Chef Shane puts out a terrific (complimentary) spread of appetizers. Price of admission is a bottle or two (or three or four) of something rare, unique or coveted in the craft beer world. Interpretation of that description is up to you; but show up with a 6-pack of Shock Top and mocking is sure to ensue.

??????????– The line to buy bombers (22-oz. bottles) starts on the sidewalk outside the front door of the pub. You’re welcome to queue up any time after we close at 2:00 am the previous evening. Hey, for once you don’t have to actually go home at closing time.

– City police officers will be on hand overnight. This will no doubt prove unnecessary, since we all know what a well-behaved and chill crowd craft beer drinkers are. #lookingatyou

– There’s a rumor that those nice officers will let you enjoy your own 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. You’re welcome.

BBASC1– Around 7:00 am our way-too-cheerful-for-this-early-on-a-Saturday  staff will begin distributing numbered wristbands that denote your place in line. (Captain Obvious says make sure you have your ID with you.)

– The pub opens at 8:00 am. BBA Sexual Chocolate will be tapped and waiting. We’ll also have breakfast available for purchase. Actual food, not beer. Not judging,  just saying.

BBASC5– Bottle sales commence at 9:00 am. You’ll be summoned by your wristband number in groups of 50. Bottles are $20 each, limit 12 per personAny questions about that? Then the answer is 20 and 12. And yes, that is a one-time increase on the bottle limit, thanks to our terrific yield this year. We take all forms of payment — cash, credit cards, first born . . .

IMPORTANT: Bottles and draft both tend to move quickly. Please plan accordingly. If you show up and complain bitterly that there’s none left, you will only create bad karma for yourself. That and the staff will be doing impressions of you until next year’s release. Also, please do not ask us on Facebook or Twitter what time you should get there to get bottles. WE DON’T KNOW. Every year is different.

ALSO IMPORTANT: if you’re getting your limit, then we’ll have a box for your beer. If not, we will not have a lot of extra boxes or bags  – that would uncomfortably expand our carbon footprint. Please bring something to safely cart away your newly purchased liquid treasures. How big? About (insert number you’re buying) bottles big.

– In the history of mankind, there have never been growler fills of BBA Sexual Chocolate. That trend will continue.

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– We’ll have some nifty Sexual Chocolate Teku glasses for sale, $15 each. No limit. Buy a case if you want.

Stay up to date on all the latest leading up to the event by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Also check back to this blog, we’ll update it frequently with new info. In fact I just added this sentence.

Hope to see you there!


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#HopSwap – Round 1

We’re celebrating #NCBeerMonth and supporting North Carolina’s small independent breweries by swapping beer with some of them.
Our first round of travel is complete, we’ve exchanged our Hop of the Month beer with Brown Truck Brewery in High Point and Wooden Robot Brewery in Charlotte.
We asked them a few questions while we were there:

Ian

Foothills Brewmaster TL Adkisson & Brown Truck Head Brewer Ian Burnett

 BROWN TRUCK HEAD BREWER/CO-FOUNDER IAN BURNETT (former Foothills brewer!)
Where’d your brewery’s name come from: one of the other owners, Britt Lytle, has a furniture design company, and when he was opening that they were trying to think of a name, and they couldn’t think of anything – he owned this old brown truck, and his young son said, ‘Daddy how about Brown Truck?’ So when the name for this place was being thrown around, we decided it’d be a great name for the brewery as well.

When did you open? February 2016

What’s your favorite beer that you make? I like the saison – it’s very drinkable, and as a brewer you can do so much with it.

What’s your favorite beer that Foothills makes? Everyone says Jade or Sexual Chocolate, but I like the go-to’s, Hoppyum and Torch Pilsner – both very drinkable, awesome in all weather, and they never change – always delicious.

What’s your favorite part of #HopSwap? The camaraderie it represents and nurtures – getting good friends together, swapping good beers, at the end of the day it’s all about the beer and keeping good relationships with all the other brewers – and having fun doing it.

Dan

Foothills Brewmaster TL Adkisson & Wooden Robot Head Brewer Dan Wade

WOODEN ROBOT HEAD BREWER/CO-FOUNDER DAN WADE
Where’d your brewery’s name come from: it’s symbolic – it represents a Belgian farmhouse tradition, really artisanal local beer, and we’re applying our own American innovation to it. So the wooden represents that old school, creative artisanal way, and the robot represents our new school, scientific way of doing things.

When did you open? July 11, 2015

What’s your favorite beer that you make? whatever’s freshest and hoppiest

What’s your favorite beer that Foothills makes? Jade

What’s your favorite part of #HopSwap? it’s really just a lot of fun, and it’s really pretty cool to be able to work with a brewery that we’ve admired and looked up to.

 
THIS WEEK: we’re headed to Crank Arm Brewing in Raleigh and Koi Pond Brewing in Rocky Mount

follow our adventures on Twitter and Instagram


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NC Beer Month #HopSwap

Slide1 (2)By now hopefully you’ve heard about our #NCBeerMonthChallenge, urging all NC breweries and craft beer drinkers to help out their local waterways and riverkeepers during NC Beer Month.

That was not the only idea that came out of our beer-sipping brainstorming meeting.

Craft beer is, by any measure, big business. And, like any big business, competition is fierce. But unlike most businesses, there exists a “coopetition” atmosphere within our sudsy realm. Despite reports of its possible demise, we like to think that atmosphere will continue to be part of the foundation of this wonderful industry of ours.

We wanted to find a way to tangibly express that sentiment.

Our brewmaster’s solution? “Grab your car keys.”

HopSwap (2)What better way to support small breweries than by serving their beer? So that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

For the first time in its 11-year history, Foothills will be pouring NC craft beer other than its own. We’ve selected about a half dozen breweries in North Carolina that brew less than 5,000 barrels a year (us last year: 37,746). Once a week, we’re gonna load a keg of our Hop of the Month Series beer into the back of our car and drive it to one of those breweries, exchanging it (don’t worry we’re paying) for one of that brewery’s signature beers. They’ll serve our beer at their tap room, we’ll serve theirs at ours. We’re calling it our NC Beer Month #HopSwap.

It’s proving to be a popular idea; already two of the breweries we’re trading with have arranged their own #HopSwap with others.

We’ll reveal our #HopSwap partners each week; there’s some beers we’re very excited to pour. And, consequently, some great breweries we feel honored and privileged to support.


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The NC Beer Month Challenge

Slide1 (2)Last month, we were brainstorming event ideas for NC Beer Month 2016. OK technically we were sitting around drinking beer but that passes for brainstorming here. Anyway the conversation turned to the truly remarkable growth of NC Beer.

Foothills first opened its doors in 2005. Since then:
•  Pop The Cap was signed into law, raising the ABV limit on NC-made beer from 6% to 15% (otherwise no Sexual Chocolate. Can you imagine?)
•  Asheville captured and held the title of Beer City USA for three years running
•  Industry titans Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium thought enough of the craft beer scene in North Carolina to build their east coast breweries here, collectively raising the barrel capacity of our state (previously around 200,000) by over a million and a half barrels
•  North Carolina breweries have won 38 Great American Beer Festival medals and 21 World Beer Cup medals

It’s been quite a decade. And we’re just getting started.

By the end of April (NC Beer Month), eleven years after Foothills became the 18th craft beer maker in this state, North Carolina will have 157 operating craft breweries – with another 45 in planning. Let those numbers sink in a minute. That’s more breweries than South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi — combined.

2014-nc-beer-monthWhich brings us to the NC Beer Month Challenge. The communal spirit of craft beer is well-documented, and manages to remain a brother(and sister)hood, even in the face of increasing commerce and competition. So we wanted to come up with something we could all do, big breweries and small, regardless of location or size. An important experience we could collectively share during NC Beer Month, with potential to raise awareness of our collective efforts and send a message to craft beer lovers nationwide.

Fortunately, as it turns out, there’s something very important we already share. Water.

It makes up roughly 93% of every bottle, every pint, every growler of craft beer. It’s the single most important natural resource to our industry. It deserves our gratitude, our respect, and our attention.

This month, at least from us, it’s going to get plenty of those.
We are challenging every North Carolina brewery, in fact every craft beer enthusiast statewide, to do something, anything, for their natural water resources this month, and post it online with the hashtag #NCBeerMonthChallenge.
Organize a creek cleanup. Meet with your local riverkeeper. Raise awareness with your customers and friends. Heck, we don’t care if you pick up a plastic water bottle out of a creek bed you happen to be walking by. Take a picture, hashtag it, and post it. You’ll have successfully accepted the #NCBeerMonthChallenge.
YadkinTo lead the way, Foothills is diving in (pun intended) with the following plans:
•  our staff will participate in a waterborne creek cleanup with Yadkin Riverkeeper on Saturday April 9th
•  we’ll also help with the Great American Cleanup that same day
•  we’ll also present a check to Yadkin Riverkeeper, from proceeds of our Riverkeeper Lager Series last year
•  we’ll have special trivia rounds at our pub dedicated to water trivia (yes that’s a thing), with prizes furnished by Forsyth Creek Week

We have another big yet-to-be-announced initiative for NC Beer Month, which will involve us traveling to every region of the state during April. We’ll be taking The Challenge with us, spreading the clean water gospel as we go.

Join us. Accept the Challenge. For our water, for NC Beer, and for your favorite NC brewery. Who knows? It could very well lead to a day when you tell someone there are 157 breweries in North Carolina . . . and they say “I know”.

Editor’s note: special thanks to Margo Knight Metzger, Executive Director of the North Carolina Brewers Guild, for her research and editing assistance. We owe you a pint Margo.

 


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A Dog Blog

tasting room dogWhen we opened our tasting room last year, we naturally assumed it would become a haven for those seeking to relax, slake their thirst, and mingle with like-minded souls.

Turns out we were right – in more ways than one.

Our little tap dispensary, set to turn a year old in April, has become a defacto dog den. Thanks to the fact that A) we don’t have a kitchen, and B) we love dogs, our four-legged Foothills friends have helped make us the coolest indoor dog run in the Triad.

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It’s a legacy we should have seen coming.

BarleyOur devotion of a year’s worth of bottle labels (and accompanying monthly donations to rescue organizations) bears witness to our canine compassion. So too, the presence of our de facto brewery dog Barley, who, while technically the property of our owners Matt and Meredith Masten, is such a daily fixture at the brewery that he seems to consider all of us his humans. We don’t argue with him.

Barley’s been a fixture at the brewery since he was a puppy – in fact, his timely interruption of a creative meeting was the inspiration for the 2015 IPA of the Month labels – on which he was the first to be featured.

Barley Hop Beer-Thumbnails-IPAOTMJanuary15

When we broke ground for the tasting room, Barley made frequent full-circuit inspections…

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…and even gave the project his final and permanent seal of approval.

Barley paw

Given the great dog karma that now fills this space, we think that, in hindsight, he might have been some kind of doggie shinto priest, shaking haraigushi pom-poms and blessing the place for all who were to come . . . two-legged and four.

Those dog-featuring IPA of the Month labels corresponded with the opening of the tap room – as a result we had several visits from our label models.

FEB Charlie MAY Bentley NOV Maddie

Even the Gaelic football club we sponsor contributes to our dog-friendliness  — the Winston-Salem Wolfhounds. Last year when they had a post-tournament party here, some canine namesakes accompanied them. Our version of the Clydesdales.

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One of our IPA of the Month labels featured dogs belonging to Big Bang Theory star Wil Wheaton; in an interview we asked him why he thought craft beer people tended to also be dog people. His answer? “Obviously, We love the good things in life.”

You and your best friend feel free to come enjoy the good things in life at our tasting room.

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Editor’s note: you can follow Barley on Instagram. He’s hilarious.