Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings


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Double Take

PP FoothillsSeeingDoubleIPA“It’s a good time to be a hop lover”.

The inimitably sage words of our Brewmaster TL Adkisson, when we first sat down to talk to him about some big changes for one of our longest-running beers – Seeing Double IPA.

If you’ve grabbed yourself a HopBox yet (and really, why would you not have?), then you’ve seen one of the most important changes – Seeing Double is now available, for the first time (and only in the HopBox) in a 12-oz. bottle.

But the outside isn’t the only thing that’s changed. The inside’s gotten a makeover as well.

see-dub

Backstory: when craft beer first started being a thing, brewers looked at hops as a delivery vehicle for the alpha acids – those notorious chemical compounds in the hop cone that impart bitterness to beer.

As craft beer grew (and grew and grew and grew) there was a parallel growth pattern in research, breeding programs, and acreage dedicated to all things hop. Gradually the focus has shifted away from alpha acids and more to the essential oils that provide flavor and aroma. It’s opened up a whole new world for beer drinkers. One small hop for man, one giant hop for mankind.

SeeingDouble 12oz RT_Lo-resBrewers are a lot like painters – experimental by nature – constantly tweaking, refining and improving their works of art. Seeing Double IPA was Foothills’ first-ever high gravity beer -so it was due for some fresh, carefully considered brush strokes.

Here’s proof: one the main hops in our revamped recipe is Citra – which hadn’t even been invented when Seeing Double was originally brewed.

We’ve also added Mosaic, and replaced the Cascade dry hop with one featuring the aforementioned Citra, along with Chinook, a hop that adds the signature piney resinous qualities for which Seeing Double has become known – while getting a nice compliment from the citrusy floral qualities of its fellow hops.

The malt profile was also refined, dialed down with base malts and made a little drier, simply to promote the new hop bill. Think of the grains as the canvas and the hops as the paint.

The resulting beer is lower in ABV (8.3%), with IBU weighing in at a hefty 91. The hops are more crisp and aromatic, the malts a low-key complement, the finish a heady mouthful of tropical fruit (specifically pineapple), pine and resin. All in all, a more drinkable double.

TL has a more succinct description: “it’s sticky, man.”

Give the new Seeing Double a try, let us know what you think!

 

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Home = Hope

craft-happiness-tap-stickerEDITOR’S NOTE: by now most of you know about Craft Happiness IPA Project, a series we will use to “craft happiness” with charitable causes in our community. Our first beer in the Project, Domicile IPA, is about the needs of the homeless and affordable housing.

Did you wake up in your own bed this morning? Shower in your own bathroom? Make breakfast in your own kitchen? You might want to take a moment and consider your good fortune. Worldwide there are a hundred million people who are homeless. Another billion and a half lack adequate housing. That’s almost a quarter of the world’s population that won’t put their head on a safe or comfortable pillow tonight.

But there are those who strive to provide a home – and by proxy, hope – to those who seek the better life that better quarters would inevitably provide.

Image may contain: textHabitat For Humanity is one such organization – their stated goal is building homes, community and hope. “I like to move hope to the front of the list,” says Mike Campbell, Executive Director/CEO of Habitat For Humanity of Forsyth County. “Whether it’s for those who never thought it possible to own a home, or parents looking for a safe and healthy environment to raise their kids, or a child who gets space to become whomever they want to be – that is the hope we provide.”

Image may contain: one or more people, sky and outdoorMike has seen Habitat houses become pebbles that ripple the surface of downtrodden communities. One new house can lead to improvements throughout a neighborhood, and ultimately affect education levels, crime statistics… and, perhaps most importantly, the positivity of personal and civic pride.

That positive feeling isn’t limited to the benefactors – it’s something that Habitat fosters in its volunteers as well. Every year dozens of college students eschew raucous Spring Break destinations for service to a community under the guidance of HFH – many right here in Forsyth County, housed in a bunkhouse specially designed for visiting volunteers.

 
Habitat also counts diversity and tolerance amongst its virtues Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor– their Unity Build program brings together religions of all faiths and denominations to build houses cooperatively. One such house was built here in Winston-Salem during the recent tumultuous presidential election.

Next time you ‘take the high road’, don’t be surprised if you see a Habitat For Humanity house there.

Mike explains: “People are very generous to causes that can change lives. All religions became one here, simply to change the life of a family and the face of a community. The atmosphere was one of solidarity, peace and acceptance.”

That just might be a little dose of hope for all of us.

So what about those in our community who don’t know from one night to the next where they’ll be sleeping? That’s where men like Tom Lawson come in. Tom is a board member for Samaritan Ministries, a volunteer-based soup kitchen, shelter and rehab facility in Winston-Salem that’s open 365 days a year.

Tom’s 20-plus years of volunteering at Samaritan have taught him a lot – not the least of which is that “serving is a joy”. Not what you’d expect to hear – but then Samaritan can be an unexpected place.

People that come to seek its services are referred to as ‘guests’, and afforded a considerable degree of dignity and respect. In turn for a warm, dry, safe place to escape life’s hardships, these guests are by and large vocally appreciative and grateful. And surprisingly, according to Tom, not without a healthy degree of optimism that their lives will get better.

In other words… hope.

POSTSCRIPT: Our hope is that this IPA Project, in addition to satisfying your taste buds, will help you satisfy the need we all feel at one time or another to give back. There are local volunteer opportunities wherever you are; here in Winston-Salem, both Habitat and Samaritan could use your help. Samaritan also keeps a wish list of items in need at the shelter; grab a few and drop them by.

There’s also a way you can give back and drink beer at the same time.

We’ve created a Craft Happiness Night that we’ll hold once a month at both our pub and tasting room simultaneously. All you have to do is come out and enjoy a bite or a beer; we’ll donate a part of that night’s sales to a local organization working in the field of that month’s charitable need. Our first one will be this Wednesday, February 15th – at the tasting room we’ll have our friends from Habitat For Humanity around to help build awareness of their good works, and answer any questions you might have about volunteering.

They’ll also be promoting ‘The House That Beer Built’, an intiative HFH has successfully launched in other states that they’re bringing to North Carolina. They’ll have a 2×4 wall stud on hand for people to sign that will eventually go in the wall of the house. Come out, have a beer… and craft some happiness.


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Hop on a HopBox

Picture this: you’re standing in front of the craft beer section at your grocer or bottle shop. There’s Hoppyum right there. Jade right next to it. Over in the bomber section there’s Seeing Double. How are you supposed to decide which hoppy goodness to take home with you?

Well now you don’t have to.
hopbox_artwork
Last year we began concocting plans for our first-ever variety 12-pack – plans that have resulted in HopBox, a rotating selection of our hoppiest (i.e. best) beers.

What’s in it? Well Hoppyum IPA and Jade IPA will be staples, along with Seeing Double IPA. “Wait,” you say. “Seeing Double is only available in 22-oz. bombers.”

Yes, that was once true. It is no longer.

At least, as long as you get a HopBox – because that is the only place you’ll be able to get Seeing Double in its brand new 12-oz. size.

see-dub

For the final selection in the HopBox, we’ll rotate through our Seasonal Series beers – Frostbite Black IPA in the fall and winter, Pilot Mountain Pale Ale in the spring, and HopJob Session IPA in the summer and fall. We’re also working on a plan to include some of our new Craft Happiness IPA Project beers in the HopBox mix.

These should be available next week in markets statewide in North Carolina. For now they’ll only be available in-state; we’re working on plans to be able to expand that in the future.

Grab one when they come out and let us know what you think!

hopbox-with-bottles


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Sexual Chocolate 2017

FHB.14121.12 Sexual Chocolate 2017 label R1 MECH**UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM**

New Year celebrated? Check.

Christmas decorations put away? Check.

Experienced annual hilarity of watching North Carolinians attempt to drive in the snow? Check.

Only one thing left to check off for January. Don your parka, pack up your sleeping bag and head to Foothills for our Annual Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout Release on January 27 and 28.

Following is pretty much every detail you will need to enjoy this release immensely. 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.

  • dscn3547Foothills will host its traditional Bottle Share Pre-Release Party on Friday night January 27th beginning at 7:00 pm (or thereabouts), in the brewery portion of our brewpub at 638 West 4th Street in Winston-Salem. Here’s how it works: we open up the back of our brewpub 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’ beer and we’re not responsible for the incessant mocking which will certainly ensue. We’ll have Sexual Chocolate on tap at the bar, and appetizers to snack on if you’re famished.
  • dscn3629The line to buy 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: please do not, repeat, DO NOT, start lining up before we close. Violators will be sent to the back of the line and force-fed leftover Zima.
  • 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
    the sopranos wink tony soprano james gandolfini
  • 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.
  • Around 6:30 am you’ll get a gentle wake up call from a string trio while being served espresso and biscotti. HA! Who’re we kidding, it’s gonna be cold and you will have dscn3651been sleeping on or near the ground all night. Look on the bright side, morning calisthenics won’t be involved either. 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 said night on or near the ground.
  • The pub will open at 8:00 am, 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.
  • Bottles tend to get snapped up quickly. that will probably continue to be the case even with no bottle limit. This is the part where we politely suggest that, if you want to partake in this beer, please please please plan accordingly. If you show up at 4 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.

sexual-chocolate-label-2016_bottle-mockup-2

  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • NO BOTTLE LIMIT THIS YEAR. You read that correctly. The seismic shift this represents in Sexual Chocolate history cannot be understated. We’ve never not had a bottle limit. Or a double negative in our blog, come to think of it. This is a one-time rule change, and is good the day of release only; kind of our way of saying ‘thanks’ to all you loyal release attendees over the years.
  • Bottles are $15 each. We take all forms of payment — cash, credit cards, your firstborn…
  • 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. How big you ask? About (insert number of bottles you plan to buy) bottles big.
  • teku glassNo growler fills of Sexual Chocolate. And no growling about no growler fills.
  • We will have plenty of Sexual Chocolate Rastal Teku glasses for sale Image result for make your own s'mores bar($15). They’re very cool. Somehow the beer tastes better in them.

This is the second year our Tasting Room has been open for Sexual Chocolate Release, so it’s getting in on the fun . . . while no bottles will be for sale there initially, they will have Sexual Chocolate on tap Friday night, with live music from Matt Phillips (4-6pm) and Triad favorites Bad Hombres, with members of Big Daddy Love (7-10pm). AND: there will be a Make-Your-Own S’Mores bar! I know. Decadence.

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.

Our friends at the Marriott Winston-Salem (walking distance from the pub) will be offering a special $99 rate for the weekend.
Book your corporate rate for Take the Elevator Home

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

WEATHER: Current forecast calls for overnight low of 29 degrees. High of 49 on Saturday.

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1/27 BEER UPDATE: We’ve got a few surprises for you Friday and Saturday! On Friday, in addition to tapping Sexual Chocolate, we’re also tapping a keg of our other highly acclaimed Imperial Stout, Dead & Berried! It’s barrel aged, and made with real Oregon Blackberries. Dead & Berried will be on tap Friday 5pm at both the pub and tasting room.

ALSO: we’ve come up with two ‘deviant’ versions of Sexual Chocolate.

The first is infused with organic Peruvian coffee beans (home roasted by one of our owners) and organic Madagascar vanilla beans.

The other has been aged on bourbon and rum oak spirals, and infused with coconut.

Both versions will be on tap Saturday at the pub only, starting at 8am.

VERY IMPORTANT: VERY LIMITED SUPPLY OF EACH. Dead & Berried might disappear quickly on Friday night; the two deviant versions of Sexual Chocolate will definitely disappear quickly on Saturday morning. So 1) if you’d like to try these beers, please plan accordingly, and 2) please remember this forewarning if you show up and there’s none left.


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Craft Happiness

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Fun Stuff We Did – 2016 Version

reflection

reflecting on another year

OK, so 2015 was a hard act to follow. Our 10-year anniversary party, the Decade Parade, the uber-popular #FoothillsIPAdog series . . . but 2016 held its own when it came to moments that helped shape the future of Foothills.  As we turn the calendar on the first year of our second decade, here’s a look at some of our highlights this year:

JANUARY
The year started with an epic week of rollout parties, as we began distributing in the state of Georgia – a particularly momentous event for our owner (and UGA grad) Jamie Bartholomaus.Hop of the Month 2016 Generic

January also marked the debut of the successor to our IPA of the Month – the Hop of the Month program focused on selected unique hops and their flavor profiles, brewed in the style that best accentuated those flavors. Our first beer was a Vienna lager brewed with Wakatu hops from New Zealand.

Oh yeah – January also saw the 10th annual release of our Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout – complete with a new gold-tinged label, and label artist Kyle Webster on hand to sign bottles.

fhb-13638-sexual-chocolate-2016-label-r02_page_1 kyle

FEBRUARY
We took delivery on a massive (twice the size of  the old one) glycol chiller, in preparation for another tank installation (and the accompanying production increase).

APRIL
hopswap-2While our tasting room celebrated the 1-year anniversary of its opening, we celebrated NC Beer Month 2016 by initiating the #HopSwap – a way for us to celebrate and support the small independent craft brewers in our state. Every week we visited a brewer in a different region of North Carolina, all with under 5,000 barrels of production annually, and swapped kegs with them, putting their beers on tap in our tasting room (first time we’ve ever done that). That program has inspired a half-marathon/5K we’re hosting this April at our downtown brewpub in Winston-Salem.

foothills-hopswap-race-logo

tanksWe also took time to install three huge 400 BBL fermenters and a 400 BBL bright tank – part of the aforementioned production increase that saw our beer output capabilities jump by 41%.

MAY
May saw the first-ever meeting of our Foot Soldier Run Club – and it’s met every single Wednesday ever since.

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JUNE
wvOff we went to West Virginia – the 6th state in which we now distribute beer. Enjoyed some heavenly scenery . . .

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. . . and met a few of the locals.

wv2

JULY
Another successful FloydFest partnership! this time with our very own party deck.

floyd

beer-thumbnails-deadberriedAUGUST
We introduced our first new stout in quite awhile – Dead & Berried, an American Imperial Stout made with oregon blackberries. Its presence in our pub and tasting room was understandably short-lived.

OCTOBERtorch
The Chicago Cubs weren’t the only winners in October – we took home a Great American Beer Festival bronze medal for our Torch Pilsner!

Beer-Thumbnails-MoravianPeoplesNOVEMBER
We made more Moravian Porter than ever – and it sold out faster than ever. Just introduced two years ago, this beer has quickly become a Triad holiday staple. And this year it even came in gift boxes paired with Moravian cookies.

hotm-2016-decemberDECEMBER
We brewed our last-ever Hop of the Month beer – a Simcoe Double IPA. That series will be replaced by a new monthly series in 2017 – we’ll announce that the first week of January.

Here’s to cheers and new beers in 2017!


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Carrying A Torch

Google the word ‘Bohemian’ and you’re told it’s an adjective that means ‘having informal and unconventional social habits.”

If that’s true then Bohemian Pilsner might be the most culturally accurate style in all of craft beer.

foothills%20torch%20pilsnerNow read the label copy on our Torch Pilsner. (In fact, read all our label copy. We work so hard at being clever.) The last line on the Torch label says “we dig Bohemians”.

It’s true. And apparently we’re not the only ones.

On a day that saw North Carolina more than double its previous record medal total, Foothills was awarded a bronze medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival for Torch Pilsner. (NC got a total of 17 medals – the previous best was 8).

Most of you know about GABF, and many of you have probably attended. For those who aren’t as familiar… imagine you threw the greatest tailgate party ever. And the entire stadium showed up. That’s GABF.

Held every October in Denver, it’s a 3-day, 4-session, 800-brewery, 3800-different-beers marathon of bacchanalian indulgence for craft beer faithful from all over the world.

It’s also the largest beer competition in the country.

gabfHow big? This year saw more than 7,200 beers entered, evaluated by 264 judges from 12 different countries. The American IPA category alone had 312 entries.

So you can see why a medal from this competition is kind of a big deal in our world. It’s like winning a beer Emmy.

And this one is special, for a couple of reasons. One, there are 96 style categories judged at GABF. Bohemian Pilsner is one of the simplest and most basic beer styles – not to mention one of the oldest. The Czech city of Plzen was founded in 1295, and shortly thereafter the citizenry was granted the right to brew their own beer by King Wenceslas. Presumably after he looked out on the Feast of Stephen.

pilsenThe first true Czech (Bohemian) Pilsner was brewed on October 5th, 1842 (174 years and 1 day before we won our medal for that style), and is still being brewed today in that same city.

It’s a style our brewmaster T.L. is quite fond of, from personal experience. True story – while T.L. was still early in his beer career, a friend from his college days at University of Tennessee got hired as the personal chef for the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. T.L. got invited over for a visit, and spent a few weeks drinking Bohemian Pilsner at its source. His 3-word review: “I was hooked”.

Meanwhile, on a parallel Pilsner track, our owner Jamie got interested in brewing beer while attending University of Georgia. When he brewed his very first batch of beer, he and his buddies visited a comic book store for label inspiration. He saw a cover depicting the hero descending into a cave – holding  a torch. The label – and the legend – were born.

In fact ‘Torch Brewing’ was one of the names considered for this place before they settled on Foothills.

torch1 torch2

Even today’s version of the label has an interesting twist to it – our label artist Kyle used his dad as inspiration for the flame-bearded Viking. Some early sketches:

torch-pencil-sketch  early-torch-1  early-torch-2

Soon you’ll be able to see our new ‘beer Emmy’ hanging in our pub, alongside the other 7 we’ve won at GABF. We’re proud of it – but not as proud as we are of our state as a whole. North Carolina brought home more GABF medals this year than any state east of Colorado. More than the revered craft beer state of Washington, even.
That pride extends particularly to the three medals won by Brown Truck Brewery in High Point. Not only are they our Triad craft beer brothers, but their head brewer Ian Burnett was part of our our brewing staff before starting Brown Truck. (oh by the way Brown Truck took home Very Small Brewery of the Year honors in addition to their three medals).

Wow. Seems the North Carolina craft beer scene is burning bright. Almost like a Torch.