Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings


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A Dog Blog

tasting room dogWhen 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.

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It’s a legacy we should have seen coming.

BarleyOur 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.

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When we broke ground for the tasting room, Barley made frequent full-circuit inspections…

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…and even gave the project his final and permanent seal of approval.

Barley paw

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.

FEB Charlie MAY Bentley NOV Maddie

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.

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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.

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Editor’s note: you can follow Barley on Instagram. He’s hilarious.

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Fun Stuff We Did

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.

JAN Barley

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.

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FEBRUARY: Sexual Chocolate Release – which this year came with actual chocolates.

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MARCH: Four Decade Parade parties. Or 1,230 miles on the odometer, if you prefer.

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APRIL: The Tasting Room officially opened! It’s become our pub’s fun little brother.

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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.

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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.

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SEPTEMBER: We announced our expansion into Georgia in 2016 — something Brewmaster (and University of Georgia graduate) Jamie is pretty stoked about.

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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.

Jade maplewood aged sauvignon blanc

NOVEMBER: Our first-ever bottling of our first-ever holiday beer, Moravian Porter. Bottles sold out in a little over a day.

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DECEMBER: Goodbye IPA of the Month, hello Jade six packs.

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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.


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My Foothills UNternship (Unconventional Internship)

When I was a young girl — well, younger than I am now — I loved my dad’s homemade hot wings. Devoured them like a hungry Bills fan at the Anchor Bar. And when my young esophagus felt like it was melting from the heat, my dad (Buffalo native – holla) would, on rare occasion, let me quench the fire with a little sip of his Sam Adams.

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Me and the other intern. I know, no contest.

That, in its entirety, was the extent of my beer knowledge when I applied for the marketing internship at Foothills Brewing earlier this summer.

Given that rather precipitous lack of experience you’re probably asking yourself, why would I submit my resumé to a bastion of craft beer wonderfulness like Foothills in the first place?

Two Words: Ray. Goodrich.

He’s the master of marketing at Foothills. And no, I’m not just trying to suck up to my incredibly talented, super cool boss -who is probably proofreading this blog post as you’re reading it. (Okay, maybe just a little…)

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my two greatest skills – selling koozies and photobombing

I guess my actual response would have sounded more like this: my passion for marketing derives from the desire to be a thought leader – and when it comes to leading that charge for craft brewing in North Carolina, no one is more influential, in my eyes, than Foothills.

So I typed what I thought was a captivating cover letter and hit “send”.

Although I was never named employee of the month (thanks to perpetual employee-of-the-month Barley), I think we made a great team these past few months.

From slapping koozies on sample cups at countless beer festivals, to devising new ways to put craft brews in the hands of my fellow millenials, I tried to earn my keep as 50% of the marketing team.

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New Bern Festival with Wes and his luscious beard.

I was thrilled when we became the most-liked craft beer Facebook page in North Carolina, and when we passed 10,000 followers on Twitter. I also experienced what I dubbed “Christmas Morning” at the brewery, when the first of our four 300-barrel fermenters arrived at the end of July.

Looking back, I feel extremely privileged to have been a member of the Foothills family during such a monumental summer.

When my friends ask what I enjoyed most about my time as an untern, they assume I’ll brag about all the amazing brews I got to sample during my time here.

Don’t get me wrong, it was really stinkin’ cool. And I do brag. Often.

The best part, however, was the people. You won’t find a more boisterous and welcoming bunch in all of North Carolina. Heck, in all of craft beer. I have a feeling I’ll be popping in now and again for Thursday Trivia and maybe even a few festivals (…if I’m invited, wink wink).

The moral of this story is: my internship was an absolute blast and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Cheers to you Foothills!

 

Now about that lifetime supply of Jade


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A Fine Mess

In our brewery, cleanliness is next to godliness.

That mantra stops at the door to my office.

I suppose I could maintain an immaculate work environment (I actually felt a little better about that after reading this article). But like it or not, my office has become a copious menagerie of all things Foothills. A brew-cumulation, if you will.

Some stuff is kinda cool. Other stuff is . . . well, just stuff.

You be the judge:

The first bottle of Jade IPA. Like, ever.

first Jade

Our latest gear ideas. Would you wear a shirt this purple? I mean, without being an ECU fan?

Jade purple shirt

A bajillion label samples.

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Another bajillion merch prototypes.

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Perhaps the only known unopened collection of our entire IPA of the Month series (through June anyway).

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Also, our very first IPA of the Month tap handle (or what’s left of it after Caleb dropped it). Been thinking about making this a part of our ‘name the label model’ prize pack one month.

busted tap handle

A Sexual Chocolate glass filled with Sexual Chocolate cocoa nibs. Yes they’re edible. Not particularly tasty, but edible.

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Malted barley. Quite tasty actually. Often serves as a mid-afternoon snack in a pinch.

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The entry requirements for this year’s Great American Beer Festival – all 72 pages.

GABF entry

Dog bed. Complete with dog.

Barley

There’s more. Lots more.

Maybe when we open our new tasting room I can be a stop on the brewery tour.