Ah, Winston-Salem. Home of Texas Pete, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and oh yeah! Foothills Brewing! We made the trek up there last Friday for the release of Sexual Chocolate Stout. As Foothills approaches their 10th anniversary and expands into new markets (like Tennessee and Virginia), they have moved production brewing to a new location on Kimwell Dr, on the outskirts of Winston-Salem. The downtown brewery and restaurant (where we were headed) is still fully functional and now exclusively brewing the legendary Hoppyum IPA.
When Charles started working in a beer bar a couple years ago, Shannon and Chase would swing by with super fresh kegs of Foothills Beer. Their personalities and great beer made it an easy decision to purchase any and everything they were offering. As that relationship grew, Charles developed a fondness for Foothills Beers. He had never been to Winston- Salem, more or less the Brewery, but SEXUAL CHOCOLATE was the excuse to go! And what a time it was!!! So we walked in, not knowing what to expect…
WOW!!!! The first thing we saw was a jockey box selling Jade IPA (top 25 IPAs on Beer Advocate). So we got some of those. Then we ran into Shannon and her family and then Chase- both made us feel like their family! Chase gave us a tour of the original brewery as he informed us the only beer to continue be brewed in the original location would be Hoppyum, one of Charles’ favorites. Chase then brought out a 22 ounce bottle of Jade IPA brewed at the new brewery. It is already one of our favorites, BUT DAMN!!! That was AMAZING!!! Crisper, cleaner, and obviously SUPER fresh. We got to hang out with Jamie Bartholomaus, the founder and creative genius behind the brewery, for a while. During that time we engaged in some awesome dialogue while trying some really awesome beers.
This brings me to the bottle share…. WOW!!! Certain beers you chase for years, others fall in your lap unexpectedly. Pliny the Elder walked up and introduced himself as an awesome IPA. A three year vertical of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout- 1999, 2001, and 2002 was shared. Cat asked, “what happened in 2000?” Beers that are not sold in North Carolina because of a 15% ABV cap: DuClaw Colossus- a 22% ABV strong ale from an incredible brewery in Baltimore. Alpine Beer Company (San Diego, CA) Pure Hoppiness- Hopped my head!!! And then…. we went up to the bar to try some food and enjoy………. SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!!!
Sexual Chocolate has been one of our favorite Stouts since we first got into craft beer. The chocolate, molasses, coffee, slightly sweet yet bitter balance make this beer one of the best stouts on the market- albeit only on the market for a short amount of time. Sexual Chocolate is only available in the month of February, coming out at the very beginning of the month so that it is available for Valentine’s Day. Bomber bottles are available if you seek them out. On Draught, typically every serious beer bar in the markets where Foothills is sold gets a keg, they share the wealth well. This beer ages well, 9.75 ABV, if you can sit on a bottle or two- you must have the self restraint of a Nun!!! The SRM, Standard Reference Method or color of the beer, is rated on the website as a 70. Yes, 70!!! Anything over 40 is BLACK. I feel like Nigel in Spinal Tap saying “these go to ELEVEN.” Blacker than Black- which is true, it’s really dark. What a great beer! To quote Mr…. Randy… Watson! “Give a hand to my band, Sexual Chocolate!!!”
So what does the future hold for Foothill’s Brewery, you ask? Well, I hope you’re wearing shades! (because the future is so bright- in case you didn’t get the 80’s Timbuk3 reference). With the new production brewery on Kimwell Drive up and running, the already solidified reputation of the beers, and the wonderful people that are working for the brewery- the sky is the limit! And we can not wait to be a part of their future growth. Drink Foothills and drink responsibly and locally.