When 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.
It’s a legacy we should have seen coming.
Our 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.
When we broke ground for the tasting room, Barley made frequent full-circuit inspections…
…and even gave the project his final and permanent seal of approval.
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.
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.
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.
Editor’s note: you can follow Barley on Instagram. He’s hilarious.
“This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.”
– Humphrey Bogart, CasablancaHello Georgia.
We’d like to ask you out on a weeklong date.
Starting Monday, January 11th, a big contingent from the Foothills mothership is headed down for a one-week celebration of our expansion into your fair state.
Following is a list of venues we’ll be visiting/drinking in while we’re there:
ATLANTA • Argosy • GA Chapter Room • Brickstore Pub • Taco Mac • North Highland Pub • Cypress Street Pint and Plate • The Porter • Hand in Hand • Tap • Hop City • Square Pub • Kaleidoscope • World of Beer • Midway Pub
MARIETTA • The Wing Cafe & Tap House
SMYRNA • Beer Market
McDONOUGH • 15th Street Pizza
ATHENS • Trappeze
KENNESAW • Taco Mac
SAVANNAH • World of Beer • The Distillery • Ordinary Pub
Also, we thought we’d have a little fun with you next week (outside of the beer drinking, merrymaking thing – this is a date right?), so we’ve created a #FollowFoothills hashtag, and most of the GA launch events on our website have a question related to our brewery on them. If you’re coming to an event, use the hashtag to let us know; then when you get there find one of us and tell us the answer. We’re bringing tons of swag – in other words, you’ll probably get lucky on our weeklong date.
A look back at some of the crap work we did this year:
JANUARY: we debuted our #FoothillsIPAdog bottles with our very own beer dog Barley. Apparently both the beer and the bottle were delicious.
By the way we donated to a dog charity in the community of each label dog in 2015 – one of our prouder accomplishments.
Also, January saw the official kickoff of The Decade Parade, our year-long celebration of our 10th Anniversary. We wound up throwing 15 separate parties across our distribution footprint. Yes it was epic.
FEBRUARY: Sexual Chocolate Release – which this year came with actual chocolates.
MARCH: Four Decade Parade parties. Or 1,230 miles on the odometer, if you prefer.
APRIL: The Tasting Room officially opened! It’s become our pub’s fun little brother.
JUNE: Our big Opening Party for the Tasting Room Opening/10th Anniversary party featured bands (including The Connells), a BBQ competition, and something that will never happen again — a 9-year vertical tapping of every year of Sexual Chocolate ever made. We threw a separate party just to showcase all that vintage beer . . . tickets sold out in 4 hours.
JULY and AUGUST: were spent recovering from previously mentioned parties. But we did find time to coax Big Bang Theory star Wil Wheaton to put his rescue pit bulls on our July IPA of the Month label. Kinda cool.
SEPTEMBER: We announced our expansion into Georgia in 2016 — something Brewmaster (and University of Georgia graduate) Jamie is pretty stoked about.
OCTOBER: Between IPA of the Month, Foot Men Series, and the random brilliance of our brew staff, we averaged one new beer release a week throughout the fall. Personal favorite? Maplewood Aged Sauvignon Blanc Jade IPA. Holy crap that beer was good.
NOVEMBER: Our first-ever bottling of our first-ever holiday beer, Moravian Porter. Bottles sold out in a little over a day.
DECEMBER: Goodbye IPA of the Month, hello Jade six packs.
It was, by any measure, a special and unique year for Foothills. We raise a glass to you, without whom none of it would have been possible, and wish you lots of fun and success in 2016. That’s our plan, anyway.
What began as a crazy idea hatched over a couple of beers, and grew to become a 2-year-long series of increasingly large scope, is going away.
That’s right — our December IPA of the Month will be our last IPA of the Month.
The concept began as the brainchild of brewmaster Jamie and head brewer T.L., who for years contemplated the idea of producing a different, seasonally aligned beer every month in Foothills most-loved style, the India Pale Ale.
We finally decided it was time to try it in 2014, and produced a series that included an ode to vintage pinup art on the bottles.
That was followed by our #FoothillsIPAdog series in 2015, which has not only been wildly popular (even with Hollywood) but has also seen us donate to dog rescue organizations in a dozen different communities nationwide.
But for those of you lamenting the demise of these highly anticipated beers — fear not. There’s a plan of succession.
In January we’ll introduce a new monthly series — one dedicated to furthering the innovative goals on which IPA of the Month has thrived.
We’re taking IPA of the Month one step further — we’re starting a Hop of the Month series.
Understand, these will not be single hop beers. That’s been done. No, these will be beers specifically formulated to accentuate the unique flavor characteristics of a single hop varietal. T.L. is currently sourcing hops from all over the world for this series and, while some of the beers will assuredly be IPAs, expect all kinds of different styles to show up in this series.
Producing an IPA (and accompanying label) every month for the last two years has been fun. And for the record, we received enough #FoothillsIPAdog entries to supply label art for the next ten years. But Hop of the Month has us all pretty excited around here. Here’s hoping your anticipation of the series is just as enthusiastic. You can let us know what you think in our comments section. And stay tuned to the blog for the December announcement of our first Hop of the Month beer!
It’s been almost twenty years since a certain young anthropology student began whiling away his free time homebrewing with friends in a dorm room at University of Georgia. Probably against school policy but whatever.
That student was Jamie Bartholomaus, who would use those humble beginnings as the genesis for a stellar career in craft beer — a career that is now coming full circle.
Our brewmaster and president is pleased to announce that Foothills will begin distribution in the state of Georgia by early 2016.
“Georgia is where it all began for me,” Jamie says, “so obviously I’m pretty excited about finally getting an opportunity to sell our beer there.”
Adds co-owner Matt Masten,”Atlanta’s the biggest market in our region, we’re looking forward to having the Foothills brand there as well as throughout the state.”
Beyond our emotional ties to the Peach State, distribution expansion to Georgia also makes practical sense. We distribute beer in every state that shares a border with North Carolina — except Georgia.
This territory expansion coincides with a planned brewery expansion, as we get set to install several new 400-barrel fermentation tanks (our largest ever) in our main brewing facility in Winston-Salem. Those tanks are scheduled to be online prior to delivering our first shipments to Georgia, and will increase Foothills capacity to around 70,000 barrels annually.
Lots more news to come on this, so stay tuned here on our blog as well as our social media pages for details as they become available – we’ll see you soon Georgia!.