Monday, October 6, 2014

Winston-Salem Adventures in Doughnuts, Tobacco and Craft Beer

So, how do all those subjects relate to W-S? That's one of the reasons for our visit, to discover what makes the town so interesting.

We knew about Foothills Brewing already, having enjoyed Hoppyum and Jade IPAs in the past. The largest brewery in W-S with distribution into SC, GA and other states has a well-earned reputation.

We made Foothills our very first stop in W-S, for lunch and a sampler flight. And, as timing worked out, a conversation with one of the brewers.

Had 3 IPAs in our tasting flight and the Oktoberfest, which was malty and tasty.

Josh Parrish, mgr, happy to pour samplers for us.

Jade IPA and September IPA were added to the array after I took the photo.

Bright interior, large space and good food to go with the good beer. Winner.

David Gonzalez, brewer, keeps the 15 bbl system very active to meet demand.
David told me that even with two production facilities (another one is across town, no pub there) they are looking to expand further. A annual 45K bbl capability is what they are aiming for. Today, they are practically brewing at capacity. Good news for us Jade lovers!

Two new breweries we that our research turned up meant a full day of sampling new brews (all for research, of course). One of the newest is Hoots Roller Bar and Brewery (named after the steel-shaping building it occupies) out in West End, near Reynolda Road.

We liked the Gashopper IPA, a balanced, dry and not too bitter example of the style.
Beyond the wall there is the 10 bbl brewery, enough for kegs, not bottles.

One of the biggest and most pleasant surprises was the Small Batch Brewery which is located downtown, by the convention center. A true 1bbl system, this small producer offered up one of my new favorite IPAs, their Lemonhead. With lemon zest added, plus a selection of citrusy hops, some from Australia, this was easily the most refreshing IPA I've ever drunk. Kay loved it immediately too.  

A 1 Barrel system. Mash tun and boilers.
Limonhead IPA is a special beer in my opinion.

Well, that mostly summarizes our beer-tasting adventure over a three day period. But what, you ask, about the tobacco and doughnuts?

Winston-Salem (names familiar?) was and is the home of R J Reynolds Tobacco Co. and the early Reynolds family home is now a museum, garden and village, all open to the public. Worth visiting for the grandeur of the estate as well as good lunch offerings in the Village.

And doughnuts, well Winston-Salem is the birthplace of Krispy Kreme! 'Nuff said.

I should also mention that the town is a haven for foodies too. We were able to have breakfast at Mary's Goumet Diner and a lunch at the Village Tavern. I can recommend them both without hesitation. Before leaving town, we made a quick stop at Camino Bakery for crusty loves of bread and several breakfast goodies to enjoy when we got home.

All in all, a very rewarding time, further exploring the towns and beer makers of North Carolina. We will be back.


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