REVIEW: Foothills Brewing – Winston-Salem
Foothills Brewing is one of North Carolina’s leading craft breweries producing some of my favorite beers including their Hoppyum IPA and their Total Eclipse Stout but they are probably most famous for their sought-after seasonal stout, Sexual Chocolate. Once a year, Foothills brews Sexual Chocolate and releases a limited amount of bottles that can only be purchased at the brewery and it usually sold out within a few hours. People will wait in line outside of the brewery just to make sure they get it. Beer lovers from all over the country make pilgrimages to Winston-Salem just to get a taste because Foothills’ distribution doesn’t currently reach very far. I’ve heard of people driving over 10 hours just to try it out so I figured a 45 minute trip for me would be well worth it.
I talked my friends, Elliot and Ashley, into heading over there on one of the nights of The Big Eat 2011 where downtown restaurants offer their signature dish at 50% off. Luckily, our trip to Foothills coincided with them still having Sexual Chocolate on tap so we were able to try it out. Sexual Chocolate has a strong ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage so they serve it in 12 oz. glasses instead of pints for $5.50. I had tried it the week at the Jolly Skull Beer Festival but only in 4 oz. glasses so it was nice to be able to sit down and get a full glass in front of me. We all ordered a glass of Sexual Chocolate after I had been talking it up on the ride over but Elliot and Ashley didn’t seem to like it as much as I did probably because of the style.
We ordered the pub nachos which are smothered with salsa, black olives, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, beer cheese, scallions, and sour cream. Our server recommended these to us and I thought they were fantastic. You can add chicken or chili for an additional two dollars but we went meatless. The homemade beer cheese was the star of this dish. It was melted and poured all over the plate. Foothills uses their beer to make a lot of their dishes including their homemade ketchup which is made with their beer, their DIPA glazed tofu and their brats which are boiled in the IPA. They also beer batter a lot of items on the menu. Get the nachos if you go.
Note: Elliot hated the ketchup but he also hates all ketchup that isn’t made by Heinz.
Foothills’ signature dish for The Big Eat was the fish & chips. The full-sized dish normally costs $14.99 but it was 50% off that night due to The Big Eat so Elliot and I both ordered it. The full-sized dish is massive with two huge planks of ale-battered fish with a homemade remoulade sauce and hand-cut french fries. It is a large plate of fried goodness as you can tell from the picture above. The remoulade was tasty and gave a nice bit of tartness to the fish. The batter was pretty heavy (pancake style) but that tends to be the more traditional type from the English pubs.
Ashley ordered the smokey turkey & apple wood bacon wrap which had pepper jack cheese, guacamole, banana peppers, lettuce and tomatoes. She got the sauteed vegetables on the side which looked kind of generic to me. She told me that she loved the wrap and that it was pretty refreshing especially compared to the cardiac-inducing fish & chips that both Elliot and I ordered. I was impressed by the serving size of the wrap because normally places tend to skimp on the contents of their wraps. This thing was the size of one of the homewrecker burritos from Moe’s which I back especially when the contents are pseudo-healthy.
If you are in Winston, you should definitely stop into Foothills Brewing downtown and grab a few beers and some food. I noticed a lot of negative reviews on Yelp about the service and food but we didn’t experience anything like that at all. The atmosphere is a lot of fun especially if you dig beer. You should probably pick up a few bottles to take home with you because they are pretty hard to find if you don’t live in the Triad.