Foothills Brewing

Musings and Mashings


1 Comment

Let’s Party

Saturday June 20. You’ll want to remember that date. Here’s why.

FHB (4)Foothills Brewing turned ten years old this year. If you frequent this space you probably already knew that.

We also just opened a brand new Tasting Room. Guessing you knew that too.

Stay with me. It’s about to get interesting.

wayback pile

The Wayback Pile

When I first started working here, on my initial tour of the brewery, I pointed to a neatly stacked row of kegs in the corner of our hops cooler and asked innocently, “what’s all that?”

Our brewmaster gave me a vague Yoda-esque response about knowing the brewery and all its secrets in time.

Having since achieved Foothills Jedi status, I’ve discovered those kegs represent the equivalent of a pile of treasure not seen in North Carolina since Blackbeard’s day. That cooler is a strongbox for all the rare and exclusive beers we’ve brewed and saved over the years.

Including all nine years of Sexual Chocolate.

Yep. At least one 1/6 barrel of every vintage ever made of our iconic Russian Imperial Stout. Wish I could see the mass Pavlovian response going on right now.

SC for FacebookHave you figured out where we’re going with this yet? I’ll spell it out for you —  On Saturday June 20, we’re throwing a Happy Birthday To Us/Happy Tasting Room Opening party out here at the brewery. And Jamie has decided to crack open the treasure chest. On that day we will offer the world’s first, last and only 9-year draft vertical of Sexual Chocolate. Every vintage from 2007 to 2015 will be available. We’re even throwing in a Bourbon Barrel Sexual Chocolate from last year just for good measure — as well as a few other rare beers from the Wayback Pile.

Connells

The Connells

 

EG

Emma Gibbs

 

Big-Daddy-Love_2 (1)

Big Daddy Love

 

 

 

 

Not enough incentive to entice you to come celebrate with us? OK we’ll throw in a few bands. How about Big Daddy Love? A special reunion show for Emma Gibbs with all original members together for the first time in 15 years? And oh yeah . . . our headliners The Connells. We’ll also have our friends from Rock 92 broadcasting live.

Great beer. great music. Hmm, what’s missing? Of course . . . great food.

IMG_6577

Chef Shane

 

Chef Shane has been doing his own stockpiling of treasure . . . he’s convinced a few of the best BBQ barons in the Triad (including Bib’s Downtown, Doc Brownstone’s, Smokey Daze and Saponi Smokers) to have a barbecue competition out here — and you guys get to vote with your forks.

That’s still not all . . . some of our favorite local vendors are coming out to help us celebrate . . . Ice Queen Ice Cream, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Gone Jerky, Roots Hummus to name just a few. We’ll even have a bounce house for the kids — and a few games for grownups as well.

More details to come. For now, just remember — Saturday June 20, 12-10pm, 3800 Kimwell Drive in Winston-Salem. It’s gonna be epic. And completely free to get in.

5/21 UPDATE: the Winston-Salem Marriott is offering a special rate for the nights of June 19 & 20

6/3 UPDATE: beer list for the party:
HIGH GRAVITY BEERS
2007 – 2015 Sexual Chocolate
2014 BBA Sexual Chocolate
Blendiculous Imperial Brown
Seeing Double IPA
Gruffmeister Maibock
Oak-Aged Maibock
Doppelbock Lager
Imperial Pilsner

IPAs
Hoppyum
Jade
HopJob
June IPA of the Month

OTHERS
American Wheat
India Pale Lager
2015 BBA Stout
Carolina Blonde
Carolina Strawberry
Torch Pilsner
People’s Porter
Stout

bolded selections are new beers we’re introducing this month

6/9 UPDATE: band times

2:45pm    Hump Day Funk Day Players
4:00pm    Big Daddy Love
6:15pm     Emma Gibbs (reunion show with all original members)
8:00pm    The Connells


3 Comments

Sexual Chocolate 2015

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
Linda Grayson

 

Hello friends. We have Chocolate.

Time once again to don your parka, pack up your sleeping bag and head to Foothills for our Annual Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout Release on January 30 and 31. If you’ve been with us before for this most special of days, then the details below will 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.

??????????

– Foothills will host its traditional Bottle Share Pre-Release Party on Friday night January 30th beginning at 7:00 pm, 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 6-pack of Blue Moon 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.

??????????– The 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. So 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 Lime-A-Ritas.

– 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. Wink wink nudge nudge.

– There will be portable restroom facilities in the back parking lot. We’re thoughtful like that.

– Around 6:30 am we’ll all run a lap around the block. Only finishers get their beer. Just kidding. We’ll havBBASC1e our bleary-eyed but cheerful staff on hand at that time to distribute numbered wristbands to denote your place in line. (Captain Obvious says make sure you have your ID with you.)

– 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.

SC for blog– 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.

Bottles are $15 each, limit of 6 to a person. Any questions about that? Then the answer is 15 and 6. (btw that is an increase from the 4 bottle max of the past. You’re welcome.) We take all forms of payment — cash, credit cards, your firstborn . . .

– Bottles tend to get snapped up quickly. 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 3 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.

– 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. 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. Or, if you REALLY don’t want to camp out, you can buy a spot at the front of the line with proceeds going to charity. Details and link below.

– We don’t provide boxes or bags – that would expand our carbon footprint exponentially. Please bring something to safely cart away your newly purchased liquid treasures. How big you ask? About 6 bottles big.

– No growler fills of Sexual Chocolate. And no growling about no growler fills.

teku glass– We will have plenty of Sexual Chocolate Rastal Teku glasses for sale ($15). They’re very cool. Somehow the beer tastes better in them.

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.

Headed here from out of town? The Winston-Salem Marriott (walking distance from the pub) has a special $89 rate just for Sexual Chocolate attendees.

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

Last but not least: it’s our 10th Anniversary. Expect surprises. Also be prepared to grab our limited edition anniversary t-shirt ($10) and pint glass ($5).

 

1/25 UPDATE: Overnight weather is going to be a little chilly — forecast low is 26°. Good news is, currently 0% chance of precipitation.

1/26 UPDATE: The auction for the first of three front-of-line spots (no camping out required) is live now – all proceeds to charity!

1/27 UPDATE: all three spots now up for auction, you can see and bid on them here.


Leave a comment

Queue For A Cause

SC for blogOnce again Foothills is offering you the chance to eBay your way to the front of the Sexual Chocolate Release line — and help some worthy charities while you’re doing it.

Last year we auctioned off the first spots in line for Sexual Chocolate Release (January 31), with all the proceeds benefiting local Winston-Salem charities. We’re doing it again this year, with the first three spots up for grabs.

Details:

  • Auctions will be held daily for 3 consecutive days starting Monday January 26, 2015 at 9am EST. One spot will be auctioned each day (January 26, 27, and 28). Per eBay rules each of our auctions has to last at least 3 days, so bidding will last 72 hours for each spot.
  • In addition to getting a spot at the front of the line (without having to camp out), winning bidders will also receive a Foothills prize pack with all kinds of cool stuff in it.
  • Forsyth County Humane Society, Habitat For Humanity, and Piedmont Environmental Alliance are the charities involved.
  • Like last year we’re letting the charities compete for the lion’s share of the auction proceeds by building up Loyalty Card points at the pub. So if you’re in for a pint or a bite, and want to have your check total added to one of the charities, just ask your server to do so.

Good luck and happy bidding! We’ll post the auction links on our Twitter and Facebook pages once they’re live.

 

 

 

 


1 Comment

Cheers to Ten Years

“It is fun to be in the same decade with you.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt, cabling Winston Churchill after their first meeting

10th logoWe kinda feel the same way about you guys.

??????????Ten years ago this March, Foothills Brewing opened its doors at 638 West Fourth Street in Winston-Salem. At the time it was one of only a handful (less than 20) of breweries in North Carolina.

The ensuing decade, both in terms of North Carolina craft beer and those who passionately consume it, has been, to say the least, fun. As the now 120-plus breweries in our state will attest.

Those ten years have seen ups and downs, (foot)hills and valleys, but most importantly have been founded on our fervent desire to provide the best quality, best tasting craft beer we could possibly brew.

It’s been a pretty fantastic ten years — thanks almost entirely to you, Foothills faithful. So as we made plans to celebrate our 10th Anniversary, it should come as no surprise that you’ve been in our thoughts frequently.

Here’s a look at what we have planned for you:

New Seasonal Series
Foothills Pilot Mountain
 Foothills OktoberfestYou want an anniversary beer? How about four? We’ve always offered a lot of seasonal beers, but never had a bottled quarterly offering. Until now. Starting February 1st, we’ll be releasing a seasonal six-pack every three months, starting with Pilot Mountain Pale Ale. While its been a core brand for us for several years, we’ve never bottled Pilot Mountain until this month. That will be followed by a brand new session IPA in the summer, our Oktoberfest in the fall, and a black IPA in the winter.

Our bottles will also have hip new bottlecaps in 2015.

FHB (4)

Foothills Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout BBASexual Chocolate
Our 10-year anniversary edition of Sexual Chocolate is scheduled for release January 31, 2015, with the annual “Pre-Sex” bottle share party scheduled for Friday evening January 30th.We might have a few anniversary surprises for you this year as well. Sexual Chocolate chocolates, perhaps?

 

The Decade Parade
What’s a birthday without a party? Or 16. I know, 10 parties would have been ideal. 10 years, 10 parties. Very alliterative. But there’s just too many places we wanted to share in our celebration. So (starting in Charleston this month) we’re holding 16 parties throughout the region, culminating in our new tap room’s grand opening party sometime in April or May (more on that below). The cities we’ll be hitting include:
Asheville NC
Charlotte NC
Greensboro NC
Raleigh NC
Durham NC
Wilmington NC
Winston-Salem NC
Knoxville TN
Greenville SC
Columbia SC
Charleston SC
Roanoke VA
Richmond VA
Norfolk VA
Arlington VA
Washington DC
Soon as we have a full list of dates and locations, we’ll let you know.

dirt room

Our Tap Room! Currently our Dirt Room.

Foothills Tasting Room
We broke ground December 14th at our production brewery (3800 Kimwell Drive in Winston-Salem) on a 28-tap tasting room. It’ll be spacious, open-air, and offer plenty of  fun stuff to do while you down a pint or two. It won’t have a kitchen but we might be able to find a few food trucks to hang out with us on a regular basis. What it will have is live music, a run club, and tours of our brewing facility. We’re shooting for a soft opening sometime in late April, with a blowout grand opening party to follow shortly after that.

Pub events
Ah, the place where it all began. We’ll be celebrating all year at our Winston-Salem pub — including Chef Shane baking a ginormous birthday cake on March 17, they day we opened, to celebrate with all our Winston-Salem friends. But mostly we’ll just be hanging out all year, waiting for you to come in, have a pint, and raise a glass with us to celebrate 10 years together.

This is just the beginning – who knows what party, tap takeover, collaboration or general frivolity we might dream up between now and the end of the year. Stay tuned.


2 Comments

GABF: By The Numbers

This week the city of Denver will be set upon by all manner of beer geeks, beer makers, beer drinkers, beer writers . . . pretty much anyone with a stake in American craft beer will be at the 33rd Annual  Great American Beer Festival. Including us. Here, the enormity of this event (and, by extension, the growth of craft beer), by the numbers:

2 – GABF is actually 2 events – a massive beer judging competition, and a massive-er beer festival held at the Colorado Convention Center.

vintageGABF

ah, the 80s

800 – number of attendees at the first GABF in 1982 (in Boulder, not Denver). That number no doubt included a healthy dose of leg warmers and Benetton shirts.

49,000 – number of attendees the festival has been capped at since 2009. It sold out again this year.


42
– number of minutes GABF took to sell out this year. That’s almost 20 tickets per second.

22, 40 – number of breweries and beers poured at the original event.

700, 3,500 – number of breweries and beers being poured at this year’s event.

4,809 – total number of beers entered for judging last year, a 12% increase from 2012.

89 – total categories of beer styles being judged this year

10 – beers we’ve entered for judging this year:
Hoppyum IPA
Jade IPA
IPA of the Month
People’s Porter
People’s Coffee Porter
Torch Pilsner
Carolina Blonde Ale
Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale
Baltic Porter
Sexual Chocolate

5 – number of beers we’re pouring at our GABF booth this year:
Jade IPA
September IPA of the Month
Cottonwood Pumpkin
Hoppyum IPA
Sexual Chocolate

7 – number of GABF medals Foothills has won over the years (including 2 gold)

V12 – Our booth number at GABF this year. Come see us!


Leave a comment

Sexual Chocolate Made Me Do It

by Guest Blogger Charlotte Moore

Foothills Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout BBAThat title sounded a lot less alcoholic-y in my head.

Beer is a fairly recent thing for me. By “fairly recent” I mean “within the last five years,” but I’m 31 years old and so what I’m telling you right now is I spent fully 95% of my college years saying, “No thanks, do you maybe have a Mike’s Hard Lemonade? Just one, I have to be up at 9:30 tomorrow.” Then I started working in advertising. Ask me about adult peer pressure sometime.

But now I drink beer and scotch and whiskey and, oh yeah, bourbon, and I’ve even been known to accept—nay, welcome—those things in combination.

Which is why Sexual Chocolate: the BBA-ening is relevant to my interests.

FH%20BBL%20Aged%20Sexual%20Chocolate%2022oz%20BottleSince I’ve entered the wonderful world of Foothills beer—sexy cocoa specifically—I have been induced to sleep in a tent in a parking lot (for beer) and judge a beauty contest (for beer). Also, Sexual Chocolate got me out of paying a speeding ticket. It didn’t get me out of getting a speeding ticket, but it did make the whole process a lot more pleasant. I wasn’t even drunk; the bottle was closed. Because, really, truly, don’t drink and drive, kids. More specifically, don’t drive with shitty beer. Drive with excellent beer you slept in a tent for. And remember: if the beer is still in your car at the end of the traffic stop, it’s not a bribe. It’s a conversation starter.

If you’ve just camped out for the SC:BBA release: kudos, and welcome to the club. If you’re just a fan who’s been given a bomber by a friend you probably don’t deserve: lock it up. Save it for a special occasion. Maybe brain an intruder with it. When you’re ready to enjoy it, do so fully. And gird your loins. Something weird and awesome is probably about to happen.

 

 


2 Comments

Sexual History

Foothills Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout BBAOur annual release of Bourbon Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate is coming up this weekend. Those of you in the know will either quietly genuflect or leap about making unintelligible nom nom noises. Those of you wondering what the fuss is all about? You’ll know about 300 words from now.

Peter the Great

This beer is great! Like me.

It all started with Peter The Great . . .
Who took a trip to England in 1698 and, taking a brief respite from his native vodka, decided to try the dark local beer — and loved it. He thought, “Hey this would go over big in the future Soviet Union.” Or something to that effect.

All too familiar with indulging royal whims, English brewers quickly complied and shipped beer to the Czar’s imperial court, increasing the hops and alcohol so the beer wouldn’t spoil on its thousand-mile journey.

The beer arrived, to much fanfare and caviar ingesting, and Russian Imperial Stout was born. It would go on to become a favorite of Catherine The Great as well — lending credence to the idea that having “The Great” as your last name necessitates a love of high gravity beer.

Jamie

our fearless leader – and Sexual Chocolate inventor

Fast forward to 1996 . . .
And a University of Georgia student, home brewing beer with some of his friends in a dorm room (probably against university policy but whatever).

Jamie Bartholomaus had an idea to make a beer to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and turned that idea into a dark, chocolaty brew. Then he named it for a fictitious band in an Eddie Murphy movie. ‘Cause that’s what you do when you’re in college.

The legend grew. . .
Jamie started Foothills Brewing in 2005, and soon resurrected his dark, delicious concoction. Word quickly spread in the craft beer kingdom about this magic elixir, potent of taste and provocative of name. Bottling began by popular demand in 2007, sparking an impromptu raid on the brewpub each February.

??????????

the 2013 BA Sexual Chocolate line

Today, Sexual Chocolate Release Day (both the regular version in winter and the bourbon barrel version in late summer) attracts hundreds of revelers who camp out overnight just to acquire this now legendary brew.

And, without really knowing it, toast Peter the Great for his taste in beer.

Join us this year, won’t you?

For more on the Sexual Chocolate, check out this hip video.


2 Comments

Bringing Sexy Back

Foothills Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout BBALeaves are turning. The air is getting crisp. The color and pageantry of college football is returning.

That can only mean one thing: it’s time for our Annual Release Party for Bourbon Barrel Sexual Chocolate.

If you’ve been with us before for this most special of days, then the details below will 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. And read on carefully.

??????????

– Foothills will host its traditional Bottle Share Pre-Release Party on Friday night September 5th beginning at 7:00 pm, in the brewery portion of our brewpub at 638 West 4th Street in Winston-Salem. Appetizers will be provided. Price of admission is a bottle or two (or three or four) of something rare, unique or coveted in the craft beer world. We leave the interpretation of that description to you; but show up with a 6-pack of Blue Moon and mocking is sure to commence.

??????????– The line to buy 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. So for once you don’t have to actually go home at closing time.

– City police officers will be on hand overnight—this will of course prove to be completely unnecessary, 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. Wink wink nudge nudge.

– There will be portable restroom facilities in the back parking lot. You’re welcome.

BBASC1– Around 7:00 am we will rouse you with a bugle for calisthenics. Just kidding. We’ll have our cheerful staff on hand at that time to distribute numbered wristbands that denote your place in line. (Captain Obvious says make sure you have your ID with you.)

– The pub will open its doors at 8:00 am, BBA Sexual Chocolate will be tapped and waiting. We’ll also have breakfast available for purchase. Actual food, not beer. Not judging,  just saying. And for those of you who complained last year — we’ve worked diligently on Biscuit Improvement.

BBASC5– Bottle sales will commence at 9:00 am. You’ll be summoned by your wristband number in groups of 50. Bottles are $20 each, limit of 6 to a person. Any questions about that? Then the answer is 20 and 6.
(By the way, that is an increase from the 4 bottle max of the past. You’re welcome again.) We take all forms of payment — cash, credit cards, your first born . . .

IMPORTANT: While we have the best supply of this beer that we’ve had in years (hence the new and improved bottle limit), both bottles and draft tend to move quickly. This is our polite way of suggesting that, if you want to partake in this beer, please please please plan accordingly. If you show up that 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. Please do not ask us on Facebook or Twitter what time you should get there to get bottles. WE DON’T KNOW. Every year is different.

ALSO IMPORTANT: we will not provide extra boxes or bags  – that would expand our carbon footprint exponentially. Please bring something to safely cart away your newly purchased liquid treasures. How big? About 6 bottles big.

– No growler fills of BBA Sexual Chocolate. And no growling about no growler fills.

teku glass

Been there. Done that. Bought the glass.

– We will have a limited number (less than 200) of Sexual Chocolate Teku glasses for sale, $15 each. No limit. They’re very cool. Somehow the beer tastes even better in them.

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.

It bears repeating — this year’s yield is significantly better than it has been in years past. So if you show up at a decent time, there’s an excellent chance you will be leaving happy. So show up! Hope to see you there.

 

9/5/14 10:30am WEATHER UPDATE: right now they’re calling for only a 20% chance of rain after midnight tonight — if you’re camping out, please base your attire on your faith in the weather man. Canopy tents will not be allowed on the sidewalk in front of the pub, but will probably be OK in the parking lot around the corner.