Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings


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Wil Wheaton and #FoothillsIPAdog

EDITOR’S NOTE: what follows is a full transcript from our interview with Wil Wheaton about featuring his pit bull rescues, Seamus and Marlowe, on our July IPA of the Month label.

Foothills: How did Seamus and Marlowe come into your life?
Wil: A few years ago, our dog, Ferris, died suddenly and unexpectedly from cancer. It was a crushing loss to our family, and while we grieved, we decided to walk in the Pasadena Humane Society’s Wiggle Waggle Walk, which is an annual fundraiser for them. I wrote a memorial for Ferris on my blog, and linked it to our fundraising page. We were hoping to raise $7000, because she was with us for seven years. The Internet got very generous, and in less than a week we had raised around $13,000 for Team Ferris.

Seamus and Wil

Someone from PHS contacted us and said, “Um … who are you people and how in the world did you do this?!” We told her our story, and she asked us if we would be willing to walk a shelter dog in the walk, as a way of raising adoption awareness. We thought that would be awesome, so we said yes.

On the morning of the walk, Kevin, an adoption coordinator at PHS, brought this happy, dopey, incredibly affectionate puppy over to us. That dog was Seamus (though at the time we just called him “DOG”, a nod to Half Life 2). My wife Anne and I were not interested in getting a new dog, and the timing was all wrong for a bunch of reasons, but it took us about a mile of the three-mile walk to completely fall in love with him. I quietly slipped off his “ADOPT ME” bandana, and by the end of the walk, we had put ourselves on a list to adopt him. A few days later, he came to live with us.

MarloweAfter we’d had Seamus for a few years, we stopped by PHS (where Anne has become a board member) to drop off some paperwork. While we were visiting with Kevin and some other staff, and telling them how much we loved Seamus, one of their employees brought in a tiny puppy who had the happiest face you’ve ever seen. She looked like a little Staffordshire terrier, and I remember saying, “The thing about these dogs is that …” then I saw her, and continued, “they are just so dopey and happy and lovable!” As I said that, I crouched down to pet her, and she somersaulted into my lap. I fell in love before I drew my next breath. But we really couldn’t have another dog. Seamus was three, and our other dog, Riley, was ten, in no mood to have a puppy in the house. The next day, Anne and I were walking along the beach, and I said, “Just to be clear: there is no way in the world we can adopt that puppy, right?” I can’t recall what happened immediately after that, but I know the conversation ended with her calling PHS and asking to be put on the list to adopt her, if nobody claimed her. About a week later, Marlowe joined our family.

We lost Riley about two months ago, and we all miss her terribly, but Seamus and Marlowe are closer than ever, and without the old lady in the house, are able to play as loudly and enthusiastically as they want.

Foothills:
How did you became aware of the #FoothillsIPAdog project, and what made you want to get involved?
Wil: About eighteen months ago, my friend, Charlotte, informed me about the existence of Sexual Chocolate. Through the magic of Twitter, I was able to get a bottle for myself, and I became a fan of Foothills before the bottle was empty. Since then, we’ve had a bunch of Foothills beers, including the #FoothillsIPAdog releases. I thought it would be awesome to have my dogs on a label because I love them, I love IPAs, and I love letting the world see how wonderful pit bulls are, contrary to some of the pernicious myths surrounding the breed.

OLDEHIC WT124180CF

Foothills: Describe your reaction to seeing Seamus and Marlowe’s label for the first time.
Wil: I thought it was amazing! I loved that they were exploring a planet that looked very similar to all those planets we saw in 1950s B movies, and I thought they wore their space suits very, very well. That rocket ship is cooler than any of the spaceships I’ve gotten to ride in, too.

Foothills: There seems to be a lot of traffic at the intersection of ‘dog people’ and ‘craft beer people’; why do you suppose that is?
Wil: We love the good things in life, obviously.

Foothills: So being able to combine those two passions in your own lives with this project has been gratifying?
Wil: I’m just really happy and grateful that our dogs get to be part of this project. I’ve loved all the other dogs and their stories, and it’s really cool that Seamus and Marlowe get to be in such great company.

Foothills: We’re often told one of the coolest parts of this project has been our donating a portion of the beer’s proceeds to a rescue organization in the community where that month’s dog lives; tell us about Pasadena Humane Society, where Seamus and Marlowe’s donation is headed.
Wil: Animal rescues and humane societies do important and compassionate work for their communities. Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA does so much for the nine communities they service. The provide low-cost vaccinations, spay and neutering services (for free to Chihuahua and Pit Bull owners, because those breeds are so populous in their serviced communities), obedience and agility training classes, day care and boarding for dogs, and many other community outreach programs. Without PHS, I wouldn’t have Seamus and Marlowe in my life, so I’m honored and privileged to give something back with this month’s IPA.

July 2 reduced

July IPA of the Month will be available beginning July 3rd at our pub and tasting room, as well as bars and bottle shops all across the great state of North Carolina. For shipments outside North Carolina, please contact Bruisin’ Ales.

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Where There’s A Wil . . .

In 2014 we said ‘hey let’s make an IPA every month this year’. Or something to that effect. We have so many meetings I don’t recall exactly. Anyway the result was 12 tasty beers, complete with 12 lovely label ladies.

IPA 14

This year we shifted our IPA of the Month label focus to the canine companions of our Foothills faithful. Our crowd-sourced social media #FoothillsIPAdog contest netted close to 1500 entries.

While there were hundreds of adorable dogs, one particular hashtag user caught our eye:

wil tweet

Backstory: yes, Wil Wheaton is a movie star. And a TV star. And an internet star. And an avid consumer of craft beer. Even ours.

wil tweet 2

He is also, along with his lovely wife Anne, a passionate advocate for animal welfare, in particular pit bull rescues. The Wheatons work tirelessly to improve the lives of this misunderstood breed. They make videos. They make calendars. They hold fundraisers. And they have two rescue pit bulls of their own – Seamus and Marlowe.

Seamus Marlowe

In short, the Wheatons are truly fine dog people. So we are honored to have Seamus and Marlowe join the corp of #BarleysBuddies as our July Foothills IPA dogs – complete with label copy from Mr. Wheaton himself.

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July’s IPA was brewed with Citra, Chinook and Sorachi Ace hops, with a unique addition of kiwi and lime during dry hopping.

So how did we meet a Hollywood star and put his dogs on our label? Thank Sexual Chocolate for that. Wil became aware of our magic chocolate elixir through his Raleigh friend (and ours) Charlotte Moore, and, as he tells it, “I became a fan of Foothills before the bottle was empty.” That led to a few fun Twitter exchanges . . .

ash wil tweet

. . . and more Foothills beer being enjoyed at ‘Castle Wheaton’ — including this year’s IPA of the Month Series.

wil murphy

Wil’s reasoning for reaching out to us about #FoothillsIPAdog is simple: “I thought it would be awesome to have my dogs on a label because I love them, I love IPAs, and I love letting the world see how wonderful pit bulls are, contrary to some of the pernicious myths surrounding the breed.”

His reaction to seeing Seamus and Marlowe’s label for the first time? “I thought it was amazing! I loved that they were exploring a planet that looked very similar to all those planets we saw in 1950s B movies, and I thought they wore their space suits very, very well. That rocket ship is cooler than any of the spaceships I’ve gotten to ride in, too.”

Quite a statement — especially from a Star Trek: Next Generation alum. Kudos to our artist Kyle.

As we do every month, we’ll donate a portion of the beer’s sales to a rescue organization in the community where our ‘label dogs’ live; in this case, the Pasadena Humane Society (where Anne is a board member).

Bottom line, we are immensely proud to have the Wheatons join the Foothills Family.

Fortunately the feeling’s mutual.

“I’m just really happy and grateful that our dogs get to be part of this project,” says Wil. “I’ve loved all the other dogs and their stories, and it’s really cool that Seamus and Marlowe get to be in such great company.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE: you can follow Wil’s award-winning blog (which we highly recommend) here.


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Opening Party Details

Can’t wait to see all of you on June 20 for our 10th Anniversary/Tasting Room Opening Party. IT WILL BE FUN. There is, however, a certain amount of protocol we need to follow in order to accommodate the number of people we’re expecting. So here’s a LOT of helpful info. Grab a beer, sit back and read carefully.

LOCATION: 3800 Kimwell Drive  in Winston-Salem. NOT the downtown pub on 4th Street. Although I hear there’s a kickass afterparty being planned there. And we’ll be running shuttles from that location (details below).

TIME: Noon – 10pm

CAMPING OUT: unlike our Sexual Chocolate releases, camping out for this event will not be allowed. Simply because we have no space for it. Correction – we have no flat space for it. We have a berm in front of the brewery you could pitch a tent on but you’d keep rolling out of your sleeping bag.

ADMISSION PRICE: there is no cost to attend. That’s right. Admission is free. You’re welcome.

BANDS:
2pm     Hump Day Funk Day Players
4pm    Big Daddy Love
6pm     Emma Gibbs (reunion show!)
8pm     The Connells

BEERS: you will, however, have to pony up for beer. More specifics on pricing in a second. We’ll have 28 beers on tap, including the now-legendary 9-year Sexual Chocolate draft vertical. We’ll also have last year’s Bourbon Barrel version of Sexual Chocolate on tap. Here’s the rest of the lineup:

HIGH GRAVITY
Gruffmeister Maibock
Oak-Aged Maibock
Blendiculous Imperial Brown
Seeing Double IPA
YRK Series Doppelbock
10th Anniversary Imperial Pilsner
(NOTE: this is a brand new beer brewed on our actual birthday, March 17, especially for this party — first time we’ve ever served it!)

IPAs
Hoppyum IPA
Jade IPA
HopJob Session IPA
June IPA of the Month (Wally)

Not IPAs
Stout
Bourbon Barrel Stout
Torch Pilsner
People’s Porter
Carolina Blonde
Carolina Strawberry
Footmen Series American Wheat
YRK Series India Pale Lager

SEXUAL CHOCOLATE: so here’s the deal: obviously we have a finite amount from each year. If you’re intent on getting to try all 9 years, and didn’t buy a ticket to our Friday night VIP event to ensure that would happen, please plan accordingly (i.e. get here early). When it’s gone it’s gone. If you show up at 6pm and complain bitterly that every single year is no longer available, you’ll instantly be put on mandatory bounce house safety guard duty for the rest of the evening. ALSO: to let as many people as possible take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we’ve instituted a couple of guidelines for Sexual Chocolate: 1) we’re only doing 6 oz. pours, and 2) a maximum of five pours allowed with each trip to the bar. Yes, that means if you want all 9 years, you’ll have to get in line twice. Yes that’s a little extra work. But logistically it’s the safest, most crowd-friendly way to maximize service and the amount of beer we have. And face it you can’t carry nine glasses at once anyway. Suggestion: take a cue from scuba divers, use the buddy system.

FOOD: We’ve lured four top-notch meat masters out here for a barbecue competition — and you get to choose the winners. Doc Brownstone’s, Bib’s Downtown, Smoky Daze and Saponi Smokers will be working all night barbecuing up some dreamy pulled pork and ribs for y’all. The main food tents will be set up at the front of the building, the competition works like this: for $15 (1/2 lb. pulled pork plate), $18 (1/2 lb. ribs plate) or $30 (1 lb. combo plate), you’ll receive color-coded portions and tickets, along with jalapeno cornbread and choice of two sides (baked beans, collards or black bean corn salad). After you’ve tasted all portions, simply take your colored ticket and drop it in the jar at the front of the barbecue stand you think did the tastiest job. IMPORTANT: competition wraps late afternoon; barbecue will not be available for the entire evening. We will, however, have Jersey’s Best Hot Dogs out later in the afternoon for your noshing pleasure. Still working on a couple of other food options as well.
Also, if barbecue’s not your thing, we’ll have plenty of snack vendors around as well, including:
Buck O’Hairen’s Legendary Sunshine
Rosa’s Straws
Gone Jerky
Brown Bear Nut Mix
Chad’s Carolina Corn
Steve’s Exquisite Boiled Peanuts
Roots Hummus
Gigi’s Cupcakes
The Ice Queen

PAYMENT INFO: once you’ve been carded and wristbanded at the entrance, there’ll be separate booths for beer ticket purchase and food ticket purchase. Both will be clearly marked, and there will be several intern-type helpers in Foothills t-shirts to help you find your way. Beer tickets will be $5 each. One ticket will get you a pint of any beer, with the exception of Sexual Chocolate and the high gravity beers listed above. The high gravities will be two tickets for a full pour; the Sexual Chocolate will be one ticket for a 6 oz. pour of any vintage of you’d like – we’re not pricing them based on vintage or rarity. You’re welcome again. If you’re tempted to complain about pricing, please ponder that while you’re watching all these fantastic bands for free. You can get a maximum of 5 beers on any single trip to the bar, and only two of those can be full pours. We’ll also have satellite beer stations set up outside with some of our core brands.

TRANSPORTATION: we have a really big parking lot out here – unfortunately this friggin’ party is taking up the whole thing. So the only thing we can offer you is roadside parking. HOWEVER . . . we will be running a shuttle (approximately every 15 minutes) between our downtown pub (638 West 4th Street) and the party (3800 Kimwell Drive). Last shuttle will leave Kimwell brewery at 10pm.

TASTING ROOM OPERATIONS: normal stuff like brewery tours will be suspended for the day. Tours will resume on Sunday if you’re still in town and want to see the brewery.

THINGS YOU CAN’T BRING: Pets (sorry – they can have the run of the place every other day but this one). Coolers. Glass containers. Skateboards. Bullhorns. Weapons. Confetti. Bad attitudes.

OK you can bring confetti.

THINGS YOU CAN BRING: Kids (we’ll have a bounce house). Containers of water. Your dancing shoes.

Comment on this post with any questions and we’ll be happy to provide answers. Or get answers.


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Chocolate VIP

same as it ever was

Once in a lifetime.

A term you hear often. Not to mention a damn good Talking Heads song. But I digress.

It’s a term not always applicable to the situation for which it’s used. It is, however, completely appropo in the case of our impending Choco-palooza next month.

SC for FacebookMost of you are aware of our big Tasting Room Opening Party plans, including the world’s first (and only – ever) 9-year draft vertical of Sexual Chocolate. Seeing your bright shiny faces that day to help celebrate an epic move forward for our brewery is something we’ve been looking forward to for months.

We also, like many of you, have been looking forward to tasting 9 years of an iconic beer we all adore. And frankly that part of the event has been dominating conversations here, specifically the logistics of delivering such a rare and unique treasure to all who wish to partake.

With over 500 having RSVP’ed to the Facebook event page, there’s plenty of interest – and that brings plenty of challenges. The time it takes to pour and serve nine sampler glasses is substantial in comparison with a plain ol’ pint – hence longer potential wait times. And I’m sure the talents of our guests are as numerous as they are diverse — but no one can easily carry nine glasses around.

Knowing there’s a lot of Chocolate aficionados out there, who will want to partake in this OIAL event, we’ve been working diligently to come up with a way to ensure those who don’t want to miss this – won’t. And we think we’ve got it.

Jamie

Jamie

The night before the Opening Party, we’re holding a Chocolate VIP event, hosted by the men who invented and perfected Sexual Chocolate – Foothills brewmaster and president Jamie Bartholomaus, and Foothills head brewer T.L. Adkisson.

Imagine flight with the Wright Brothers. Karoake with Rogers and Hammerstein. Surfing the internet with Al Gore. Jamie and TL have plenty of stories and anecdotes about the origins of this beer and its place in the North Carolina craft beer narrative.

It’ll be like drinking sour mash with Jack Daniels.

Each attendee gets:
– Ten 3-oz. beer samples — every year of Sexual Chocolate ever made (2007-2015), plus 2014 Bourbon Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate
– Hors d’oeuvres buffet by Chef Shane (including Sexual Chocolate cake for dessert)
– Limited edition Sexual Chocolate Teku glass

sexual-chocolate-tulip-glassWe’ll also have all vintages on tap, for those who find one they especially like and wish to partake of further. Cost is $95/person.

So let’s do the math: you can come Saturday, stand in line, buy each of these samples for $5 each (that’s assuming we have all vintages left when you get to the bar). After leaving a 20% tip (because why wouldn’t you) you’re out $60. Add in a Sexual Chocolate glass, now you’re at $75. For an extra $20, you can sit down and be served this rare and delectable collection of beer (and be guaranteed the entire vertical), hear stories and tasting notes about each vintage from the men who created it, and chow down on Chef Shane’s ridiculously talented cooking to your heart’s content. And leave with a cool glass.

Here’s the kicker: every attendee gets one more OIAL opportunity. Jamie has agreed to open the doors to our cellar, for this party only, and allow everyone the option to buy two bottles from our stash of vintage Sexual Chocolate (2010 to 2015) or BBA Sexual Chocolate (2011 to 2014). Something that’s never been done for the general public. Ever.

And you may ask yourself . . . how do I get here? (sorry last Talking Heads reference) Go to our EventBrite page to buy tickets – max of 4 per person. We’re cutting off ticket sales at a certain point so be expeditious.

Once in a lifetime. Don’t miss it.


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Let’s Party

Saturday June 20. You’ll want to remember that date. Here’s why.

FHB (4)Foothills Brewing turned ten years old this year. If you frequent this space you probably already knew that.

We also just opened a brand new Tasting Room. Guessing you knew that too.

Stay with me. It’s about to get interesting.

wayback pile

The Wayback Pile

When I first started working here, on my initial tour of the brewery, I pointed to a neatly stacked row of kegs in the corner of our hops cooler and asked innocently, “what’s all that?”

Our brewmaster gave me a vague Yoda-esque response about knowing the brewery and all its secrets in time.

Having since achieved Foothills Jedi status, I’ve discovered those kegs represent the equivalent of a pile of treasure not seen in North Carolina since Blackbeard’s day. That cooler is a strongbox for all the rare and exclusive beers we’ve brewed and saved over the years.

Including all nine years of Sexual Chocolate.

Yep. At least one 1/6 barrel of every vintage ever made of our iconic Russian Imperial Stout. Wish I could see the mass Pavlovian response going on right now.

SC for FacebookHave you figured out where we’re going with this yet? I’ll spell it out for you —  On Saturday June 20, we’re throwing a Happy Birthday To Us/Happy Tasting Room Opening party out here at the brewery. And Jamie has decided to crack open the treasure chest. On that day we will offer the world’s first, last and only 9-year draft vertical of Sexual Chocolate. Every vintage from 2007 to 2015 will be available. We’re even throwing in a Bourbon Barrel Sexual Chocolate from last year just for good measure — as well as a few other rare beers from the Wayback Pile.

Connells

The Connells

 

EG

Emma Gibbs

 

Big-Daddy-Love_2 (1)

Big Daddy Love

 

 

 

 

Not enough incentive to entice you to come celebrate with us? OK we’ll throw in a few bands. How about Big Daddy Love? A special reunion show for Emma Gibbs with all original members together for the first time in 15 years? And oh yeah . . . our headliners The Connells. We’ll also have our friends from Rock 92 broadcasting live.

Great beer. great music. Hmm, what’s missing? Of course . . . great food.

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Chef Shane

 

Chef Shane has been doing his own stockpiling of treasure . . . he’s convinced a few of the best BBQ barons in the Triad (including Bib’s Downtown, Doc Brownstone’s, Smokey Daze and Saponi Smokers) to have a barbecue competition out here — and you guys get to vote with your forks.

That’s still not all . . . some of our favorite local vendors are coming out to help us celebrate . . . Ice Queen Ice Cream, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Gone Jerky, Roots Hummus to name just a few. We’ll even have a bounce house for the kids — and a few games for grownups as well.

More details to come. For now, just remember — Saturday June 20, 12-10pm, 3800 Kimwell Drive in Winston-Salem. It’s gonna be epic. And completely free to get in.

5/21 UPDATE: the Winston-Salem Marriott is offering a special rate for the nights of June 19 & 20

6/3 UPDATE: beer list for the party:
HIGH GRAVITY BEERS
2007 – 2015 Sexual Chocolate
2014 BBA Sexual Chocolate
Blendiculous Imperial Brown
Seeing Double IPA
Gruffmeister Maibock
Oak-Aged Maibock
Doppelbock Lager
Imperial Pilsner

IPAs
Hoppyum
Jade
HopJob
June IPA of the Month

OTHERS
American Wheat
India Pale Lager
2015 BBA Stout
Carolina Blonde
Carolina Strawberry
Torch Pilsner
People’s Porter
Stout

bolded selections are new beers we’re introducing this month

6/9 UPDATE: band times

2:45pm    Hump Day Funk Day Players
4:00pm    Big Daddy Love
6:15pm     Emma Gibbs (reunion show with all original members)
8:00pm    The Connells


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Celebrating NC Craft Beer

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a part of our continuing series for NC Beer Month, asking guest bloggers to tell us what’s collectively great about our beer and our state. This week we welcome Dave Tollefson and Glenn Cutler – better known as the NCBeerGuys – to our blogspace.

NC Beer Guys Dave Tollefson (left) and Glenn Cutler

April is NC Beer Month, and it also just happens to be our third anniversary working as the NCBeerGuys.  Understatement alert: a lot has changed on the beer scene in North Carolina since we first started promoting NC craft beer. The growth in the number of breweries has been explosive, doubling in those three short years. Apparently there’s no sign of that slowing down, as the number of breweries in planning stages will attest.

Breweries are popping up all over the state, introducing craft beer to locations that have been relatively craft beer-free. Our coast especially has seen a jump in breweries in the past year; for twenty years it was only Front Street Brewery, now seven breweries call the Wilmington area home — with still more to come! Rural areas are becoming craft beer destinations and we all know enthusiasts will make the drive for great local beer.

NC Beer Month 2015Even with all the growth in craft beer, NC Beer Month is still the time to encourage those who haven’t experienced craft beer to give it a try – and those folks are out there! Remember, as much as people think craft beer is huge, it is still just a small percentage of beer produced and consumed when compared to the big national-brand beers. The challenge for us in the promotion business is to break drinking habits and patterns that have been ingrained and to encourage people to ‘free their palate’. It’s an epiphany when people realize that craft beer is creative and diverse, with an unlimited flavor range. That first sip of a beer that’s not mega-produced is enlightenment to the non-craft drinker.

There are a plethora of events this month to help promote breweries and their craft beer creations. Breweries are holding their own events and there are festivals every week. All these events showcase the amazing creativity of the brewers, and will hopefully lure more and more people to NC craft beer. Part of the luxury of having a whole month to promote NC craft beer is that it lets all NC breweries take advantage of statewide momentum, sharing in marketing and promotion to rally around a central theme — celebrating craft beer produced in North Carolina!

Dave Tollefsen and Glenn Cutler are regular guys living in central North Carolina with their families who share a love for craft beer and homebrewing. They work together as the NCBeerGuys. They can be found online promoting North Carolina craft beer, providing information about the folks who produce local beer and writing about beer adventures, activities and events across North Carolina.

 

 


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Ten Years After

March 17, 2005. The UNC Tar Heels were on their way to winning Roy Williams his first NCAA title. Some website called YouTube was a month old. And Twitter was still a year away from existence.

And down in Winston-Salem, NC, a little craft brewery threw open its doors to the public for the first time, on St. Patrick’s Day. Today, ten years later, it’s one of the largest and most decorated craft breweries in the southeast United States. We asked those that were there that day to look back and share some memories with us:

Jamie

Jamie

Jamie Bartholomaus, president and brewmaster
“I had already spent a lot of time in this building, I designed and built the brewery, so I was pretty calm for my part, I was just worried if anyone was gonna come in. The weather was terrible. But when we opened at 4pm there was a line down Poplar Street to get in. That line never went away the whole night. The kitchen got crushed. We ran out of everything. Back then our menu was more varied, we learned quickly to streamline that part of the business. We served about 1,700 pints of beer that day. I stayed until 3am – exhausted, but exhilarated.”

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Sarah

Sarah Bartholomaus, COO
I had to be there at 5:30am to meet the health inspector – thank goodness we passed! We could see the line forming as the afternoon went on –  it was kinda the calm before the storm, knowing it was getting ready to hit. When we opened the doors it was all hands on deck – all the waitstaff, all the bartenders, everyone was overwhelmed, none of us had anticipated what the response was going to be to Winston-Salem finally having a brewpub. But you know what? Even though people were waiting outside in the cold, and waiting for drinks, and waiting for food, there was an incredible vibe throughout the place — almost like everyone was all caught up in this great big thing that was happening. I realized when I got home that night that I had been at the pub for almost 24 straight hours. But I was so excited I still couldn’t fall asleep right away.

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Matt (with wife Meredith)

Matt Masten, co-owner
We were all full of pent up energy – we’d been trying to open for several weeks but something always delayed us. We finally got everything set, health department signed off on us, and we opened. People kept lining up! At one point the fire marshall came by and said we technically didn’t have an occupancy permit — uh oh. Fortunately part of the opening day crowd included the mayor and several city council members, who convinced the fire department let us stay open — as long as we started doing a one-in-one out head count at the door. So there I was, no jacket, khakis, standing outside in the freezing cold as doorman for 4 1/2 hours. It was kinda chaotic – people everywhere, lots of great responses to the pub. After we closed we kinda had a big group exhale, we realized we had created a monster that no one expected. Oh by the way, we had about 300 credit card tabs had accidentally been closed out as cash by our new waitstaff — so we were fixing that little mistake ’til about at 4am. It was a zoo. But a fun zoo.

Diana2

Diana

Diana Robson, waitress (now pub manager)

This place was a complete madhouse! We hadn’t planned on opening on St. Patrick’s Day, but all the delays gave us no choice. We had a huge staff on — 10 bartenders, 20 servers, all in 2-table sections. I remember serving a lot of shots. I also remember there was a whole lot of ‘swimming’ through people,they were elbow to elbow in the bar, just getting to kitchen was an adventure. We had 6 beers on draft – Pilot Mountain Pale Ale, Salem Gold, Total Eclipse Stout, German Alt, Kind IPA (now Hoppyum) and Rainbow Trout ESB. Three of those we don’t even make anymore — though Jamie needs to bring that Alt back, that beer was delicious.

??????????

Tim

 

Tim Harris, part-time brewer (now full time)
I was only working part-time when the pub opened, so I was there more as a customer. But it was an exciting time, because Winston-Salem needed a brewpub. It was incredibly crowded and packed; in fact it was hard to even get a beer. It was crazy – but that was a good sign. I was excited.