Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings


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Lots Of New Stuff

Usually we stick to social media to let you know what we’ve got coming out that’s new and exciting.

But thanks to an avalanche of creativity from our brewery staff, we’ve got so many new things to tell you about that we had to mash them all together in a blog.

Without further ado:

NEW VARIETY 12-PACKS
Last year we introduced HopBox, our first-ever variety pack. You guys bought so many of them we thought we’d introduce another one. Meet the Foothills Fun Pack.

In addition to our best seller Hoppyum, this one also has our three newest core beers – Thousand Smiles Golden Ale, Tangled Vine Berry Rose, and Malt Shaker Amber Ale.
Fun_Pack_12_pack
MALT SHAKER SIX PACKS
Speaking of our award-winning amber ale, it’s now available in six packs!
3.4 shot
FOOT WORK
So we used to have a series called Foot Men. We basically told our brewers to use their imagination and brew anything they wanted. We got some great beers out of that series, stuff you’d normally never see coming out of our brewery – a smoked porter, a mango Berliner Weisse, a cranberry wheat ale . . . but then we started building Footnote next to our downtown brewpub where we brewed that series and, not wanting the beer to taste like drywall dust, we shut that brewery down until all the building got finished next door.

We’ve amended the series to now be called Foot Work – and brewer Meredith Gotz has brewed the first beer for it. It’s a hibiscus gose, made with Himalayan pink salt and fresh dried hibiscus flowers. Tart, salty and sweet, and thoroughly delicious. On tap now at all three of our locations.

gose

CRAFT HAPPINESS PROJECT
We’ve entered the third year of our IPA series that brews beer for good causes. We’re currently pouring Companion Hazy IPA, brewed to bring awareness to animal rights and rescue. A portion of very pint sold helps Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, one of the most successful no-kill shelters in western North Carolina.

CH 19 dog

Later this month we’ll be tapping Aliment IPA, brewed to bring awareness to hunger issues in our community. That beer’s proceeds will help H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem.

CH 19 hungry

CRAFTHALF HALF MARATHON & 5K
OK the race is not new but the name is – formerly called HopSwap Half, this is the race/beer fest/block party we throw the first Saturday of April to kick off NC Beer Month. And this year we will have more breweries at the finish line than we’ve ever had — 15 total, plus a cidery thrown in for good measure. Go to the race website to see all the participating breweries (and to sign up!)

2019 Craft Half Poster.jpg

Lots of new ways to enjoy your Foothills favorites! Hey, life needs beer.

extension board

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A New Brew

FHC-Final 01 (2)Almost a year ago now, we opened our latest property, Footnote. Part coffee bar, part beer bar, part event space, it has quickly assimilated itself into the downtown culture of Winston-Salem. (haven’t been yet? come check it out sometime.)

A big part of the success of Footnote has been our coffee. And we come by our love of coffee honestly. Carefully selected, responsibly sourced, and roasted right here in our brewery. It’s freakin’ delicious.

So delicious that, while we’ll always be first and foremost a craft brewery, we’ve had enough requests to sell our coffee outside Footnote that we amped up production and are now offering it (whole bean) at select locations throughout North Carolina.

coffees with mugThose locations include Total Wine & More (we’re the “& More” part of that) in Winston-Salem and Raleigh, and Lowe’s Foods in the Triad (Winston-Salem, Kernersville, and Clemmons). It’s also available at Winston-Salem bottle shops Stella Brew and City Beverage. And, of course, at all three of our locations. AND on our website.

We’re currently offering two varieties. San Martín coffee beans originate from the Andean plateau in northern Peru. This fertile region, once home to the Incan Empire, produces a bean that’s smooth and nutty with a subtle sweetness.

We also offer Cameroon Java beans, sourced from Central/West Africa and known for its rich, full body and mellow taste.

Like our beer? Then give our coffee a try. Let us know what you think!

tulip with mug sunlight


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Sexual Chocolate 2019

sexualchocolate_no-type2 (2)Sexy’s back.

Our once-a-year release of Sexual Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout happens January 25 & 26. Some big changes to the release this year so read on . . .

Sexual Chocolate Label 2016_Bottle Mockup (2) (Mobile)FRIDAY JANUARY 25
First and most importantly, we’ve always released the draft version of this beer on Friday, then released the bottle version on Saturday. While we’ll still release the draft at the traditional time of 4pm Friday, we’ve decided to not make you wait for bottles anymore. Starting this year, BOTTLES WILL BE FOR SALE FRIDAY NIGHT. But only at one location . . . Footnote, our café/event space next door to our pub. Sales will begin at 7pm; there will be no bottle limit.

We will have our Annual Bottle Share Party on Friday night 7pm as well, also at Footnote. For those of you who’ve never been, the cost of admission is a bottle (or two or three) of your favorite craft beer. We’ll leave the interpretation of ‘craft beer’ up to you; just know that our staff is still snickering about the guy who showed up with Corona a couple of years ago. We’ll have complimentary snacks there, as well as a band! And not just any band – local favorites Bad Hombres will be playing.

SATURDAY JANUARY 26
The festivities continue Saturday. The pub usually opens at 8am to accommodate bottle sales . . . but now that we own a coffee place next door, they don’t have to! Bottles will be for sale at 8am at Footnote Coffee & Cocktails, 634 W. 4th Street — Sexual Chocolate will also be on draft. And rumor has it Joe The Head Coffee Guy will be re-creating his ultra-popular Sexual Chocolate Affogato. And Chef Shane will be on hand with his Worst Sausage Biscuits That Some Guy On BeerAdvocate Ever Had.

The pub will open usual time Saturday (11am) with plenty of bottles and draft of their own. There will also be several menu specials, to include the return of Chef Shane’s famous Hot Brown Shanewich, as well as (yum) Sexual Chocolate braised pork ribs.

AND . . . the pub will be bringing back an ‘olde’ favorite on draft – Olde Rabbit’s Foot, the collab we with Olde Hickory and Duck Rabbit that we resurrected in 2017, will be on tap.

(we’ll also have the first of our Craft Happiness Project beers on tap – Possible IPA)

bonfire1The tasting room will open regular hours as well (12pm), and also have draft and bottles available. The weekend culminates Saturday at the tasting room with our Sexual Chocolate Bonfire Celebration, which will include food trucks, a make-your-own-s’mores bar, a special Sexual Chocolate randall, and live music with Boxcar Echoes.

A great weekend planned, to celebrate a great beer. Join us!


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Good Beer That Does Good

Back in 2017, we had an idea. What if, instead of servicing our favorite charitable causes with the usual events and donations, we used craft beer as a platform to actually try and make a real difference in the needs of our community? Use our brews to actually try and make the world, or at least our little corner of it, a better place?

Thus was born Craft Happiness Project, a series of monthly-ish IPAs that, quite literally, puts our money where our mouth is. Since January 2017, we have offered up beers that were named for needs in our community, partnered with non-profits to spread the word about that need, and subsequently donated a share of the beer’s proceeds to those non-profits.

Our first-ever offering was called Domicile, brewed to bring attention to the problem of homelessness in our community. After that came Haven, highlighting the plight of rescue animals. From kids’ education to beach restoration, first responders to natural wonders, Craft Happiness has brought attention to over two dozen ongoing needs in our region — and donated over $12,000 to organizations that service those needs.

This year we’ve given the project a new look:

ch 2019 hi res

And rolled out a new ad campaign:

ch 19 hand

And are pleased to be brewing the following beers for you in 2019, and supporting the corresponding needs in our community:

POSSIBLE IPA
Possible IPA will kick off 2019 – brewed to help us imagine what’s possible if we all try and make a difference in our community.

Proceeds from sales will help Operation USA, a group that’s 100% privately funded and works to alleviate the effects of disasters, disease, and endemic poverty throughout the world by providing relief, reconstruction, and development aid.

black dogCOMPANION IPA
Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Companion IPA will be brewed to support animal rights and rescue.

Proceeds will benefit Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, NC. In their decade-plus of  they’ve helped dramatically reduce the number of pets killed in their animal shelters by 91 percent. They also have a sanctuary that houses approximately 1,600 dogs, cats, horses, mules, birds, rabbits, goats, pigs and more.

homelessALIMENT IPA
“Aliment” means food; from the Latin word alimentum, ‘to feed’.  This IPA will help bring awareness to the issue of hunger in our country – where despite our high standard of living, one in five U.S. children goes to bed hungry.

Sales funds will help Feeding America, which here in Winston-Salem is affiliated with affiliated with Second Harvest Food Bank. Over 46 million people in this country turn to Feeding America for help with food for their families.

earthBIOME IPA       
A biome is a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat. This IPA will help protect and preserve wildlife and plant life in our state.

Sales proceeds will help The Nature Conservancy (North Carolina chapter). In all 50 states and more than 30 countries, they’ve been responsible for the protection of more than 117 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of river around the world.

ACREAGE IPA
Subsistence agriculture is the dominant economic activity among the global poor. This IPA will provide support for small-scale farms and their place in helping to alleviate hunger.

Proceeds will help Farmer Foodshare (based in Durham NC), which supports small local farmers and connects them to local hunger needs.

oceanNAUTICAL IPA
An IPA to help with preserving and protecting ocean environments.

Sales will help Ocean Conservancy, a group developing innovative solutions to save our oceans from threats such as ocean trash, overfishing and ocean acidification.

ENCOURAGE IPA
This is an IPA to ‘encourage’ adults to foster and encourage children’s intellectual and emotional growth.

Sales proceeds will help More4Kids, an online community that brings parents, families, and teachers together in order to share ideas and information to improve children’s lives.

eagleRAPTORIAL IPA
Among the apex predators in our ecosystem, birds of prey suffer from habitat loss, poisoning, pollution, and shooting. This IPA is all about preserving and protecting birds of prey.

Proceeds will help Carolina Raptor Center, headquartered in Huntersville, NC. Home to 97 permanent resident birds, the Center’s goals include environmental education, rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors, and environmental stewardship. (they also have the first bald eagles in captivity to hatch and release chicks in North Carolina – pretty cool.)

DISTANCE IPA
One visit to our Foot Soldier Run Club will show you that runners are good people. Many of them, in fact, compete in distance events specifically to raise money for charities. This IPA is dedicated to those runners.

Proceeds will help two organizations; our very own Foothills Bike MS team, and Team in Training, a distance run training organization that raises funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. LLS’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
(this one also hits close to home for us – our marketing director has run 7 marathons for Team in Training.)

DREAM IPA
We’re brewing Dream IPA for one simple reason — to recognize the power of kids’ dreams and aspirations.

Proceeds will go to Junior Achievement USA, an organization that empowers young people to own their economic success through programs that give students knowledge & skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.

 

WISH IPA
We all like fulfilling kids’ wishes at Christmas. That’s what this IPA is for.
Sales proceeds will help Marine Toys For Tots – because every kid deserves a little Christmas.

Have a beer. Make a difference. It’s that simple. As a craft beer drinker, it’s never been easier to help your community — simply by ordering a Craft Happiness IPA (where available), you’ll be helping us help your community and make a real difference for people, animals and environments in need.

Need help finding Craft Happiness beers where you live? Check out our Foothills Beer Finder.


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A Passion For Porter

cherry porter no logoLike malt and hops, innovation is practically considered a raw material in craft beer. The industry has defined itself in part by its incessant drive to go bigger and badder (and lately, hazier).

While we’re all for that here at Foothills, there’s a distinct comfort in working with a beer style that’s been around almost 300 years. Porter has, to use the beer vernacular, aged well. Considered ‘dark beer zero’, it’s the forefather of all manner of dark, brewed incarnations. That creamy headed Guinness Stout enjoyed the world over? It’s original name was Extra Superior Porter.

Our relationship with the beer named for its popularity with London’s street and river baggage porters has been long and, as of this Friday, fruitful. People’s Porter was first introduced the year we opened (2005) as a winter seasonal, and has been a favorite since then. It also happens to be a terrific example of a Robust Porter – it has numerous awards to its name, including a gold medal from the ‘Oscars’ of beer, the World Beer Cup. (side note: our Baltic Porter has two Great American Beer Festival medals as well).

The beauty of porter goes beyond its rich ruby hue and multiple tantalizing flavors. Those flavors are complementary to myriad others, making variations of this beer as tasty as they are plentiful.  “It’s like chocolate,” says our Brewmaster TL.  “You know how when you get chocolate fondue they bring out all those fruits to go with it? That’s because all those flavors go great together.”

Fruit flavors are something we’ve not added to our porter – until now. Here’s a brief rundown of all the Porter variations we’ve had over the years, culminating with our latest offering – People’s Cherry Porter.

Foothills Peoples Porter BBABourbon Barrel Aged Porter: this was the first of our barrel aged beers. The rich chocolate and toffee notes of our porter blend well with the bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors picked up from barrel aging. We try and barrel age some porter whenever we can acquire fresh bourbon barrels.

Optimized-Peoples Coffee PorterCoffee Porter: Our co-owners Jamie and Sarah have always had a passion for coffee roasting. So it was natural fit to take some of their home-roasted beans and add them to a batch of People’s Porter. While this version of porter has only been available on draft and has  yet to be bottled, that might change now that we have our own coffee place.

peoplesMoravianPorter_CMYK[1]Moravian Porter: This variation was the result of our marketing director begging us to make a holiday beer. Brewmaster TL went to Old Salem to do some research and found an old Moravian cookie recipe. Parceling out the spices in the recipe in the same relative proportions to a batch of People’s Porter, the result was a tasty holiday ale that practically sold out overnight the first year we made it. We now partner with Dewey’s Bakery to make gift boxes every Christmas that contain a bottle of Moravian Porter, a bag of Dewey’s Moravian spice cookies, a bag of Footnote coffee, a limited edition pint glass, and a Moravian star Christmas ornament.

Pepper Porter: Next we decided to add a few organic hot peppers from Jamie’s organic farm to a batch of Porter. The result was a tasty melange of sweet and heat from the six different pepper varietals we used.

Cherry Porter: Our love for all things Porter continues with our newest version, which debuts on Friday November 9th at our pub, tasting room and Footnote – both on tap and in bottles. It’s been aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, with several pounds of tart red cherries from the Pacific Northwest added to add both sweet and sour notes to the beer.

Hey, anything that’s been around three centuries is worth trying. Come give our new Cherry Porter a taste!

CP

 


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Barrels Of Fun

Sexys Back 6x3 Centerd StackedAh, autumn. Time for football, falling leaves, and more pumpkin spice grocery items than polite society should allow.

2017 BBA Chocolate croppedHere at Foothills we have a little autumn tradition of our own. It actually starts the previous winter, when we brew our iconic Sexual Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout. We squirrel away (intentional seasonal reference) a small percentage of the overall yield in bourbon barrels (usually Buffalo Trace) and let it age into a heady, boozy elixir that we release as the calendar turns to the fall months. 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.

It’s a tradition we’ve had for over a decade – a tradition that will see an exciting new chapter when we release this year’s version of Bourbon Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate on Friday, August 24 and Saturday, August 25.

Whether you’ve been to every BASC release, or this is your first, read on carefully . . . a lot will be changing from the schedule you’ve come to know.

For starters, in addition to our regular bottles of BASC, we are bottling/kegging a brand new version of the beer. You know that hip coffee roasting joint we opened earlier this year, Footnote? Well, Joe our head coffee roaster (yes that’s really his name) has selected some very special Peruvian beans to roast, which we will infuse into a select few barrels of BASC. We’ll then have a limited bottling of Coffee Infused Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate (CIBASC), which will be on sale exclusively at our downtown pub on Saturday of Release Weekend.

Oh and we have one other little surprise for you: Sexual Chocolate Gelato. Read on.

BBA 2017FRIDAY AUGUST 24:
4pm: we will tap Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate at all 3 locations
7pm: Annual Bottle Share Party – this year the party moves to Footnote, right next door to the pub. For those of you new to all this, we basically throw a big party the night we release this beer. The cost of admission is a bottle (or two) (or six) of your favorite craft beer – the rarer the better. It doesn’t have to a whale, but don’t show up with a six pack of Corona Premier either.
11pm: Friday Night Flicks: every Friday night our pub shows a movie on the big bar screen. This night’s selection is (naturally) Coming to America.

This is a good time to talk about camping out. Used to be, that’s pretty much what you had to do to get bottles of this beer. We’d have 150-200 people in line before the pub doors opened on Saturday morning.

campout

We make more of the beer now than we did back then . . . but it is by no means an unlimited supply. Plus, we will have a brand new, limited edition version for sale in bottles as well – which we expect to get snapped up rather quickly.

Bottom line – the only indicator of when to show up will be your good judgement. Please do not ask us on social media when you should show up – we honestly don’t know. Besides, knowing exactly when to show up would be cheating, and counter to the communal nature we try to achieve with this release. Whenever you show up, there will be fellow craft beer lovers to meet, drink and celebrate with.

Oh, and if you do decide to camp out – start the line at the 4th Street entrance of Footnote, not the pub . . . that will be the first location to open Saturday.

SATURDAY AUGUST 25:
7am: Footnote opens, and you get your very first chance to taste Coffee Infused BASC on draft (regular BASC will be on tap as well). But that’s not the only special treat we have for you . . . it’s also your first chance to try our brand new Sexual Chocolate Gelato. It’s being handmade by West End Coffee House, right around the corner from our pub. (We’ve tasted it already; the word ‘orgasmic’ comes to mind) (but be careful; it’s made with the actual beer, which means it’s got alcohol in it) We’ll have scoops available all day at both Footnote and the Pub.

affogatoOur Footnote staff is so excited about the gelato they’ve made a special coffee drink out of it. Sexual Chocolate Affogato has a scoop of Sexual Chocolate Gelato with two shots of espresso poured over it, topped with dutch chocolate bourbon whipped cream. Yeah.

Other drink specials at Footnote the morning of our release: Frozen BA Sexual Chocolate Coldbrew (our frozen cold brew coffee blended with BA Sexual Chocolate, topped with dutch chocolate bourbon whipped cream), and a 50/50 mix of BA Sexual Chocolate and cold brew nitro coffee.

8am: the party moves over to the pub. Doors open at 8am, we’ll wristband everyone as they come in to determine bottle purchase order.  If any of you release veterans (or rookies for that matter) want to line up early, please make sure the line runs east up 4th Street (away from the monstrous hotel being built next door to us).

In addition to having BASC and Coffee Infused BASC on tap, the Pub will have a few thematic food specials as well. Chef Shane is whipping up a Sexual Chocolate Bourbon Barrel Smoked Cheeseburger with Sexual Chocolate BBQ sauce and fried onion straws. We’ll also have coffee braised pulled pork tacos with spinach, smoked pineapple, and chipotle lime sour cream; and our Smoked Chicken Wings that day will be smoked on BASC barrel staves.

00E3478A9am: Bottle sales of both BASC at Coffee Infused BASC will commence at the Pub. Bottles are $20, limit of 12 for regular BASC and 6 for Coffee Infused BASC.

12pm: Regular BASC bottles will be available at the Tasting Room (PLEASE NOTE: this is only for regular BASC; Coffee Infused BASC bottles will only be available at the pub).

9pm: The tasting room will end BASC Release Weekend as only they know how. The brewery’s being transformed into Studio 54, complete with disco, DJ, dancing, and of course plenty of Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate and Coffee Infused Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate on draft. There’s also a photo booth – so dust off your 70s duds and bring your biggest Elton John sunglasses. There will also be a food truck on site. (this event is 21+ only)

BASC disco

LOTS planned . . . all we need is you! Plan to join us for what promises to be an epic Release Weekend.

Check back here and on our release event website page for updates.

Oh and if you want to know what all the fuss is about, read this history of Sexual Chocolate.

BLOG UPDATE 8/22/18: 2 updates for you:

  • We have decided to sell vintage Sexual Chocolate and Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate bottles on Saturday at the pub. They’ll be on sale the same time as this year’s Barrel Aged and Coffee Infused Barrel Aged Chocolate. Vintages available:
    2018 SC and BASC
    2017 SC, BASC and Olde Rabbit’s Foot
    2016 SC and BASC
    2015 BASC
    2010 SC
    all vintage bottles will be $25 each with the exception of 2010 SC ($30)

 

  • We also have a little something for the first people in the pub on Saturday morning – a brand new Sexual Chocolate sticker. There’s only 50 of them.

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Picking A New Pumpkin

OK, let’s get this out of the way right up front . . . this is NOT the time of year to be thinking about pumpkin beer.

And we’re aware (as you are) that seasonal creep has become a thing in craft beer when it comes to fall favorites like pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest lagers.

THAT SAID . . . we’re pretty excited about what we have in store for you once it’s pumpkin ale season again. Because we’ll be retiring the Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale (in name only) and putting it under the Foothills name . . . heretofore to be known as Foothills Pumpkin Ale. Same great beer (with a few tweaks), just a different label. And maybe some cool t-shirts.

Speaking of that new label, here’s your first look:

Pumpkin_12oz_singlelabel_MECH_REV

We now return you to your summer drinking pleasures. BUT . . . as the end of summer looms, start looking for Foothills Pumpkin Ale!