Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings


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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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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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Bourbon Barrel Sexual Chocolate 2017

Sexys Back 9-9-17“Sultry”. “Decadent”. Unforgettable”.

Just a few of the superlatives used over the years to describe our Bourbon Barrel Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout, which we will release on September 8th (draft) and 9th (bottles).

FHBBLAgedSexualChocolate22ozBottle1Following are frequently asked questions we get every year. If you’ve been with us before for this most special of days, then these details will no doubt be familiar to you. Read them anyway. If this is your first time, then congrats on scratching this particular shindig off your Craft Beer Bucket List. You too must read on carefully.

  • So what exactly is the big deal about this beer?

We brew our Russian Imperial Stout, Sexual Chocolate, just once a year. A small portion of the yield goes into bourbon barrels (Buffalo Trace, in this case) , where it’s aged for several months. Then we put it in bottles and on tap. Then we drink it.
The beer has a 100 rating on RateBeer, a 96 rating on Beeradvocate, and is often called one of the most sought after and coveted beers in America.
We traditionally tap our first keg Friday afternoon at 4pm, then have bottle sales on Saturday.

  • I hear there’s a party the night before the release?

Image may contain: 5 peopleYou are correct. Foothills will host its traditional Bottle Share Pre-Release Party on Friday night September 8th beginning around 7:00 pm, in the brewery portion of our pub at 638 West 4th Street in Winston-Salem. Here’s how it works: we open up the party 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 any ol’ suds and we’re not responsible for the incessant mocking which will inevitably ensue. Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate will be on tap at the bar, and we’ll have appetizers to snack on if you’re famished.

  • What are the rules for getting in line for bottle purchase?

The line to buy BA Sexual Chocolate bombers (22-oz. bottles) will begin 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. (For once you don’t have to actually go home at closing time.) NOTE: do not, repeat, DO NOT, start lining up before we close. Please and thank you.

Image may contain: one or more people, tree, crowd and outdoor

  • Any rules while I’m in line?

Only the Golden Rule. Treat your line mates as you would like to be treated.
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. #winkwinknudgenudge

  • Can I pitch a tent in line?

As long as it’s not one of those 10-person monstrosities, yes you can bring a tent. The 2-man type works best. We’ve seen everything in line from sleeping bags to lounge chairs to blow-up mattresses. Let your comfort be your guide. That and the weather – overnight lows are usually in the high 50s – low 60s.

  • Any restroom facilities available overnight?

There will be portable restroom facilities in the back parking lot. We’re thoughtful like that. Please pay that thoughtfulness forward during your use of them.

  • How is the bottle purchase organized?

00E3478AAround 6:30 am we will rouse you for a brisk round of calisthenics. Just kidding.  We will, though, distribute numbered wristbands at that time to denote your place in line. (Captain Obvious says make sure you have your ID with you.) We’ll also have some schwag to pass out as a ‘thank you’ to those brave souls who spent the night on (or near) the ground.

  • What’s the best time for me to get in line and be assured a bottle?

Ah, that most frequently asked of the frequently asked questions.
Here’s what we can tell you: bottles tend to get snapped up quickly. That will probably continue to be the case this year. We politely suggest that, if you want to partake in this beer, please plan accordingly (“wow they put that in bold italics they must be serious”). If you show up at 4:00 in the afternoon 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.

  • How about if I ask on social media what the best time to line up is?

Another way to create bad karma. Trying to take the easy way out and asking us on Facebook/Twitter the best time to get in line/show up is not in tune with the spirit of this event. Please believe us when we say WE DON’T KNOW. Every year is different. So suck it up and come stand in line. Hang out. Make friends. Be one with us.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, crowd and indoor

  • When does the pub open on Saturday?

The pub will open at 8:00 am. Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate will be tapped and waiting (as will 14 other beers – viva le variété). We’ll also have breakfast available for purchase. You know, solid food. If that’s your thing.
Bottle sales will commence 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 kindly ask that you exit the rear of the building instead of heading straight back into the pub. Keeps the line from devolving into anarchy.

  • How many bottles can I buy and how much are they?

Bottle limit this year is 12 (double last year’s limit!). Bottles are $20 each. We take all forms of payment — cash, credit cards, your firstborn…

  •  Will you give me something to carry my beer in?

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, just to be safe. How big you ask? About (insert number of bottles you plan to buy) bottles big.

  • teku glassCan I get growler fills of Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate?

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

  • Will you have any other cool stuff for sale?

Why yes, we’ll have plenty of Sexual Chocolate Rastal Teku glasses for sale ($15). They’re very cool. Somehow the beer seems to taste better in them. We’ll also have an assortment of merchandise, including Sexual Chocolate long and short sleeve t-shirts.

Our Tasting Room will also be getting in on the fun with their Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate Draft Release Party. They’ll tap their kegs on Friday afternoon September 8th at 4pm when they open. La Vie En Rose food truck will be there, with a special “breakfast for dinner” menu, and there will be live music from Triad favorites Bad Hombres (with members from Big Daddy Love) 7-10pm.

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 this sentence.

Curious about the history of Sexual Chocolate? Read all about it here. Or watch an incredibly hip video about it here.

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Liquid Passion

craft-happiness-tap-stickerThe response to our Craft Happiness IPA Project has made us, well, happy.

It was a simple idea: have a beer, and make a difference. we theme an IPA with a charitable need, and give proceeds and awareness to a different need every month.

Since January that idea has been embraced by communities all over North Carolina. Just this past weekend, to support this month’s Craft Happiness theme of clean natural water resources (and our Clean IPA), Triangle residents got together for a #CraftHappiness Cleanup at Lake Johnson in Raleigh.

lake2 lake1 lake3

Clean thumbnailNow obviously, clean natural water resources are kind of a big deal to craft brewers. More than 90% of the product we make is water. Here in the Triad, the responsibility for our lakes and rivers is in the hands of Yadkin Riverkeeper. Their efforts to protect and improve the Yadkin Pee Dee River Basin culminate every year with a summer-long paddle tour down the entire Yadkin River.

As we wrap up this month of bringing awareness to our rivers. lakes and streams, we sat down with YRK’s Will Scott to get the pulse of what’s going on with their organization.

What’s keeping Yadkin Riverkeeper busy these days?
Yadkin Riverkeeper is focused on reducing the amount of mud and fertilizer in the river.  Last year, the Yadkin was #1 in North Carolina for levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment (also known as mud).  You don’t get a trophy for that.

YRK 2The two main culprits here are our agricultural sector and our cities.

On the agricultural side, EPA ranked North Carolina #1 in the country in amount of manure per acre of farmland. The Yadkin has one of the biggest concentrations of poultry facilities in the state, enough to house around fifty million chickens at any time -and that’s just in the upper part of the watershed.  While most people have heard about hog farms, poultry in North Carolina actually generates three times as much nitrogen and six times as much phosphorus as hogs.  That’s a lot of poop.

YRK 4It’s so much that our corn, hay and soy crops can’t absorb all of it and these powerful fertilizers ends up in the river, growing algae in lakes like High Rock.  That can cause fish kills and be dangerous to swimmers, particularly kids.

Our cities are the other main source of nutrient overload – while cities in other parts of the state like the Triangle have put controls on how much fertilizer they pump into local rivers, most towns and cities on the Yadkin still just let them run into the river.  We’ll be working with the cities and agricultural organizations to find the most efficient way to reduce pollution from both sectors and clean the river up.

Image result for yadkin riverkeeper tour logoWhat details can you share about the upcoming Yadkin River Tour?
We have Yadkin River Tour paddles coming up August 19th in Elkin and September 24th to Carolina Heritage Vineyards in Surry County.  You can bring your own boat or rent one from us.  We run shuttles, so all you have to do is show up, paddle and join us for a bite or a drink after!

What’s one thing you want people to know about their natural water resources?
The Yadkin’s headwaters start at Blowing Rock and run along the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way into Virginia.  When you drink water in Winston-Salem, that’s where it comes from.  We have some of the cleanest, most protected headwaters of any river in the state – all we have to do is make sure that it stays clean once it comes off the mountains!

YRK 1

 


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Footnote-worthy

cheersThe more you share… the more you have.

That single premise permeates the entire craft beer industry, and is in part responsible for its explosive growth.

It’s true for us here at Foothills too – in big initiatives like our Craft Happiness IPA Project, but in little ways as well – the simple joy we’ve gotten from sharing our beer with our family, friends and community ever since our pub opened in 2005.

The space we bought for our pub back then at 638 W. 4th Street had sat vacant for awhile. It had originally been a car dealership, then an auto parts store, even a sketchy night club or two (remember Club Lava?) before we rolled in the brewing tanks.

foothillsbrewing.jpg

We shared a wall with an automotive repair shop that was in business for over two decades. When they closed up shop early last year, we started daydreaming about what we maybe could do with that big empty space next door.

Add more brewing space? Well we already have a 48,000-square-foot brewery with a 75,000 barrel capacity. So, no.

Add more restaurant space? Winston-Salem loves a good restaurant. Not sure we need one that’s 10,000 square feet.

So, as we looked at what we might do with part of that space, we discovered that our resident literary non-profit group, Bookmarks, had their eyes on part of that space as well for a bookstore-slash-coffee shop. That gave our co-owner Matt Masten an idea – what if we shared the space?

Our other (enterprising) co-owner Jamie Bartholomaus added a suggestion –  “hey you want a coffee roaster for your new coffee shop?” Side note – yes we actually own a coffee roaster. Or at least Jamie does. He bought it a couple of years ago (prompting many an eye roll from his staff).

BookmarksThat conversation led to many others with Matt and Jamie. Long story short? We decided to do what we do best (besides make beer) – share.

So while Bookmarks has already opened their bookstore on their side of the building, we’re in the early stages of building out our own little footnote to our pub next door.

In fact, that’s what we’ve decided to call it – Footnote.

Footnote picIt’s a natural extension of our pub next door (and our brand), and will be an all-day kinda place – open early for coffee (roasted with, yes, Jamie’s roaster) and breakfast pastries, then later in the day/evening it’ll function a basic high-end bar – complete with single malt scotches, single barrel bourbons, craft spirits, and a curated wine and cocktail list from our wildly talented bar staff. And, of course, plenty of Foothills beer (since it’s brewed right on the other side of the wall).

Food? Yep we’ll have food. Charcuterie, tapas, cold appetizers – perfect fare for the relaxed vibe we’re planning at Footnote.

We’re going for an elevated comfort level as well – overstuffed chairs and couches inside, outside seating space (on both sides of the building) with tables to enjoy the (almost always) beautiful North Carolina weather.

Best part? We’re hoping the space will become one of the preeminent private function facilities in downtown Winston-Salem. It will have three rooms of varying sizes, plus the main bar area, which altogether will offer 4,500 square feet of event space, with room for 250 people. By comparison, right now our pub can handle 40 in its private dining room and 75 in the mezzanine. So anything from a small business meeting (we’ll have complete A/V functions) to family and class reunions, anniversaries, Christmas parties, rehearsal dinners – the space will be a great venue for you to consider. We’re even creating a special catering menu exclusively for Footnote.

By now you’re saying “Sounds cool! Can’t wait to go! When’s it open?” (subliminal suggestion). Two things on that:

  • We have every intention of having it open by mid-fall, in time to plan your holiday parties there if you so desire (but don’t call just yet, we’re not taking reservations).
  • Part of the challenge, quite frankly, will be finding it. There will be a breezeway (with signage) on 4th Street just east of the pub that leads there. There will also be a parking lot behind the pub off of Holly Avenue with access.

Once you find it, however, you’ll be glad you did. Hopefully as glad as we are to be opening a new space – and sharing it.

 


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Hello Olde Friend

Foothills_Pint_GlassSeems like not so long ago that craft beer was overwhelmingly driven by a unique and singular concept we refer to internally as ‘coopetition’. As craft beer grew, the convivial repast of sharing a good beer together (an idea that, incidentally, got a lot of craft brewers started in the first place) remained central to, if not stated in, brewery business plans. The rising tide of craft beer’s popularity would float all our boats, was the unwritten understanding. So while we are all trying to make the best beer (and yes, sell the most of it), we’d not let those goals deter us from the higher collective calling we all feel, both to each other and the craft beer loving community as a whole.

If you are at all a follower of the craft beer industry, you’re no doubt aware that the landscape of our burgeoning world has been changing dramatically. Competition, from both outside forces and sheer internal brewery numbers has torn at the fabric of camaraderie that’s been so purposely woven by our little band of craft beer misfits.

ORF bottle (2)So a few of North Carolina craft beer’s ‘old guard’ have decided to resurrect a piece of #NCbeer history – and brew a reminder of why ‘coopetition’ remains essential to the continued growth of craft beer.

Quick history lesson: back in 2009 a lot of the concepts we now accept as mainstream in craft beer were still in their infancy. Like collaborations, for instance. One day that year, after a festival, three North Carolina brewery owners were discussing (over a beer, naturally) some of the brewing collaborations they’d seen popping up around the country.

(by the way, those three owners represented, at the time, 10% of all North Carolina breweries. Today that meeting would represent less then 1 1/2% of all NC breweries.)

At the time, all three breweries — Olde Hickory, Duck Rabbit and Foothills – were barrel aging beers (another concept in its infancy in craft beer at the time), and decided to blend their three respective barrel aged stouts into one amazing collaborative brew.

Thus was born Olde Rabbit’s Foot -the first-ever collaboration beer brewed in North Carolina.

Understand, the challenges of pulling this off were myriad – but crazy as it seemed, take on those challenges they did. The beers – Olde Hickory Event Horizon and Duck Rabbit’s imperial stout called Rabid Duck – were sent here to Foothills, where they were blended with our Sexual Chocolate, then aged in 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle’s bourbon barrels.

The resulting product had craft beer fans lined up outside our doors for the years (2009 through 2012) that the beer was made. It also paved the way for many, many collabs to come statewide and nationwide.

The Olde Rabbit’s Foot project eventually got sidelined as the industry grew, and each brewery got busier and more successful. But every time Steve Lyerly (Olde Hickory), Paul Philippon (Duck Rabbit) and Jamie Bartholomaus (Foothills) would see each other, the same conversation would surface: “That was fun! It’d be cool to do it again.”

duckrabbitolde hickorySo this week, Steven and Paul will travel to Winston-Salem to brew their respective imperial stouts at our downtown brewpub, alongside Foothills brewmaster TL Adkisson. We’ll blend them right here, in house, and barrel-age the beer in Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve barrels for the next few months.

Given the current climate in craft beer, a healthy dose of the selfless fellowship that helped get us to this point seems in order. Why? Says Paul: “Even in the midst of competition, celebrating the success of your competitors and the industry as a whole can be very uplifting.” Steven adds, “In an ever changing marketplace, this shows the spirit of collaboration is still alive. It’s more important than ever that people see the cooperative heart of NC beer.” And Jamie says simply, “These guys are our friends. We’ve been peers a long time. This provides a little continuity to the past of North Carolina beer.”

Expect to see release info for Olde Rabbit’s Foot 2017 sometime this fall.

And prepare to welcome back an old friend.

ORF

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.