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August 19 2013 / Emily

The Future of Beer in Winston-Salem

The present of beer in Winston-Salem is pretty good. (And beer is a pretty good present!)

Foothills Brewing offers a bunch of great brews, particularly the seasonals and specials.  Their February selection, Sexual Chocolate, is always in very high demand, and creates a lot of buzz around the beer-loving world.  Earlier this summer I was wearing a Foothills t-shirt up in DC.  I was riding the escalator down and heard two guys behind me talking about Foothills: “look, she has a Foothills shirt – they have that Sexual Chocolate!”  I turned around to tell them that I lived in Winston-Salem and went there weekly.  They were so jealous.  “Have you had Sexual Chocolate?”  Why yes, I can have it on tap for pretty much all of February.  Amazing!  They have a very limited bottle release and people will come to my fair city and wait in line overnight in order to procure a bottle, but since I go weekly for trivia, I always just have it on tap instead of going through the trouble of bottles.

Anyway.

The present is pretty solid, but the future is looking great!

waiting in line under blue skies

waiting in line under blue skies

A little over a week ago, on a Saturday afternoon, I was finally in town for a tasting by Small Batch Beer Co. at City Beverage, and it did not disappoint. Small Batch is a new microbrewery (some are saying nano-brewery) opening in downtown Winston this fall.  They have had a handful of tastings that always corresponded with me being out of town, so I was very glad to finally give them a taste.  Headed out there with a few friends and stood in the scorching sun in a decently long line in order to have a sample.

They offered:

0810131338

and I tried the Purple Drank saison and The Bennett kiwi saison.  Purple Drank, according to Small Batch’s facebook page, was made with 15 pounds of North Carolina blackberries.  It certainly had a purple-red tint!  The beer had a bit more of a sour flavor than I was anticipating, but it was quite good.  Then I tasted The Bennett, which did not have much of a kiwi flavor to my palate but was also delicious, and would be my choice between the two.  They were offering a few other beers as well but I was starting to feel dehydrated from standing in the sunshine after a morning of a warm and humid 5k race (more on that in a later post) and a couple hours of yardwork.  Well, by that time there were clouds rolling in and it looked like a big storm was about to hit.  I skedaddled to my car just as the fat raindrops started to come down.

awkwardness by me; photo by brooks morgan

awkwardness by me; photo by brooks morgan

Small Batch had a kickstarter campaign earlier this summer to help raise money for their endeavor.  I fully intended to donate, then put it off, then put it off some more, then it closed sooner than I expected.  So while I expect to be a patron, I missed my chance to be a special kickstarter supporter.

However, there is another new brewery coming as well!  Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Company is also looking to join the Winston-Salem beer world.  They also have a kickstarter campaign going and it is still active (until Aug 27).  This time I didn’t miss my chance to have a tiny little part in this, and I donated.  I’ll leave the link here in case anyone else is so inclined: Hoots kickstarter.  While I haven’t yet had the chance to taste any of their offerings, I’m looking forward to the additional beer opportunities around town.  More and better beer – usually a good thing!

It seemed a bit odd to me that both Small Batch and Hoots would be starting up at the same time.  I don’t know if it is just a coincidence but I do hope there is enough interest and demand for both to be successful.  I look forward to sampling more of their beers.  Perhaps once they open I will be posting here more regularly.  Either way I’ll eventually report back on more of their beers.  Yum.

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2 Comments

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  1. Darrel Wells / Aug 20 2013 11:17 AM

    Great news for W-S! I love trying out microbrews, but I don’t often get the chance, except when I travel. BTW, I’d probably feel awkward, too, if someone had a picture of me with a Pepsi at a beer tasting! 😉

    DW

    • Emily / Aug 20 2013 11:37 AM

      haha! I was holding the Pepsi for my friend who took the picture. Hope you’ll be able to sample some from these brewers come fall in Winston!

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