I’ve always enjoyed several different kinds of beer, but lately I have really been expanding my beer library with new brands, new styles, microbrews, local brews etc. So I definitely wanted to write about yesterday’s trip to Foothills Brewing Company here in Winston Salem.
This was my second trip to Foothills, so I knew somewhat what to expect, but this time I was going in with a purpose. I was going to order the sampler and try as many of the different beers as they would let me, and then also I was taking notes to decide what I liked and what I didn’t.
From left to right: Salem Gold, Pilot Mountain Pale Ale, Torch Pilsner, Hoppyum IPA, Seeing Double IPA, Peoples Porter and Foothills Hefeweizen (seasonal).
I arranged the beers to drink them in order of increasing bitterness, which was not quite the order on the table. With the exception of saving the porter for last, I drank them in the order of SG, Hefe, TPils, PMPA, HopIPA, DoubleIPA and then the Porter. I also finished one completely before moving on to the next, instead of a sip of this, sip of that etc. I didn’t take too many notes, but I wanted to touch on each one.
Salem Gold – A light ale (3.75% alc), this beer is intended to be light and refreshing and crisp and it hits this one out of the park. Very refreshing, low bitterness, all around good brew. Jen really liked this one, and ordered another pint of it after we finished our samplers.
Foothills Hefeweizen – (5.2% alc) This was the current seasonal for FH, and I added it on to my sampler since it wasn’t part of the rotation. I almost don’t have words to describe this beer it was very unusual, not in a bad way, but just different. Probably being wheat beer, where most North American beers are more rice oriented. Also, unfiltered so give it a different mouthfeel and flavor profile.
Torch Pilsner – (5.3% alc) I don’t have a lot to say about this one. My note for it is “OK”. I guess it just didn’t wet my whistle, but Jen sure liked it a lot.
Pilot Mountain Pale Ale – (4.75% alc) This beer was more bitter than I expected it to be, which since I can appreciate the bitterness of a beer, but I’m not a fan of overly hopped beers, I knew I was in trouble with this one since I hadn’t even gotten to the IPA’s yet. Was good, but more bitter than I expected.
Hoppyum IPA – (6.2% alc) With an International Bittering Units score of 70 (compared to Pilot Mt’s 43) you would have expected this beer to be much more bitter, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. This was a very drinkable IPA, which is a style I am not a fan of, but this one wasn’t that bad to be honest.
Seeing Double IPA – (9.5% alc) I was dreading this beer, but I was willing to try it. It was as expected, pucker your face bitter. Besides the high alcohol content, not a lot going on there for me.
People’s Porter – (5.8% alc) I decided to save the porter for last as a “dessert” after we were done eating, and let me tell you, after the double IPA, this beer was so smooth and didn’t taste bitter at all. It might be a little different if you drank it first, or drank it by itself. I did rather enjoy this one. Jen on the other hand did not, and so I drank her sampler of the Porter as well.
Ok.. So in all honesty, I didn’t enjoy the majority of what I tasted (and neither did Jen honestly) which is not to say they are not well made beers because they are, but just not of a style and flavor profile that apparently either of us enjoy. The IPAs and the PA were just too bitter for my taste. However, the Porter and the Salem Gold were good. And the Carolina Blonde (Cream Ale) that I had the first trip I went (and Jen had a couple of at the ballpark) is very very good. I’m certainly not gonna trash the place because I didn’t like some of their styles of beer. They seem to be very well crafted beers that are probably dead on representations of the styles they are patterned after.
Also, this place is not just about beer. The food is AMAZING. The first trip there I got the Cuban sandwich, which was beer braised pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and hot mustard. Oh my goodness it was good. This time around I got the Pub Melt burger, which was a burger with cheddar, provolone, bacon, sauteed onions and mushrooms served on thick toast. Very very good, with hand cut homemade french fries as well. I didn’t care for the salsa (in the sampler pic) but the chips were very good.
Unfortunately I was ready to eat by the time the foot got there and neglected to take a picture of the burger. Oh well, maybe next time.
Overall, this is a great place. The atmosphere is amazing, the food is excellent and when you find which style of beer you like the beer is top notch as well. As I said, I’m not going to bash them because I didn’t like certain styles of the beer that’s not their fault.
Overall – 4 stars (out of 5) – The 4 stars is not to say there is anything negative that deducted the one star, but rather just to leave room to grow in case some place just really blows me away and earns the 5 stars. Since this is my first review I don’t want to set the bar so that every place I review gets 5 stars.