Friday evening, August 12, the year is 2011, it’s 2100 hours and a group of four beer geeks are getting on I-85 towards Winston-Salem, NC. It must be another limited Foothills Brewing beer release. Foothills does about three big limited releases every year. Around February they release Sexual Chocolate. I think in July they release barrel aged Sexual Chocolate. Now, on August 13 is the trio release of Olde Rabbits Foot. The blended wort of the imperial stout from three North Carolina brewers. Olde Hickory, Duck Rabbit and Foothills Brewing.
front of line
line behind us
Saturday morning, 0209 and we finally arrive at Foothills Brewing. Just in time to miss last call after our 44 minute exploration to find gas and a toilet. I actually found a concrete ditch on the shady side of a laundromat. So now we empty the car of camping chairs, some Redbulls and a few bottles of water and Gatorade. Just as we sit down I text old Athens resident, now Winston-Salem local, AJ to bring us some beers from his house. He stands up besides us and manages to lose his chair, to only gather up a smaller version of a chair. To make bad use of an old phrase, ‘We’re in for the night’. See Foothills will only allow 250-300 people to purchase a max of four bottles per person. So at 0800 they open the doors, check id and give you a wristband with a number on it. There’s now five of us, so we’re 16-20, me being the oldest some how manages to get the highest number. Who gives a shit, I still land four bottles.
It’s now thirty minutes before the doors open and we’re semi waking up from taking semi naps all night. The people are moving around and setting the tables. They were kind enough to leave the outside speakers on and provide us with some serious Wu Tang Clan music. They however didn’t realize that the pseudo Marshal Mathers of Winston-Salem was going to try and freestyle to the Wu Tang Clan beats. Just as it looks like the doors are about to open with Denver and Pounder walking back after putting away our chairs and umbrellas, it begins to sprinkle. I think everyone inside got a nice smirk out of watching hundreds of people outside get soaked in the rain.
People's Porter Randallized through coffee and Warrior hops
Eight a.m. we’re in early enough to finish filling up the bar. Right in front of the People’s Porter randallized through coffee and Warrior Hops. Yes, it’s 8:00a.m. Saturday and we’re just now starting to drink. A porter ran through coffee served with a sausage biscuit. I now know what the true meaning of the breakfast of champions actually is. Because we felt like kings sitting at the bar drinking as people were still outside in the rain trying to get in and get a sub 300 number.
10:00 a.m. and they finally call numbers 1 – 50 to come forward to purchase their bottles of Olde Rabbits Foot. A quick rewind and there was this one chick with her chair back to the front of the door. So close no one can get out. What made the day was to see her NOT be the first to get her bottles. You may have a #1 on your wrist but you can’t yell FIRST as you walk to the back to pick up your bottles. AJ could though. He disappears then walks back around with a pint of ORF and give us all a sample. We’d forgotten it was on tap the day before the release and all morning. So we’re sold now that it’s solid. “Four please.”
One other nice thing about Foothills, and many other North Carolina brewpubs and breweries is their ability to allow almost anything. The release was very much a meet-up to sample and enjoy any beer you have on hand. It was quite obvious you could brown bag in your own beer. They also have a mug club. For a yearly fee you get to drink from a 20oz mug instead of the normal 16oz, along with discounts on food, swag and daily meal rebates. Hopefully some Georgia pubs or breweries will follow suit.
Foothills Brewing mug club
We finally made it back home to Athens around five or six Saturday afternoon. I’m now done to three ORF, with plans to have another possibly for a big event between now and New Year’s Eve. Another for my birthday unless I score another big beer for it. The last week be doing a vertical tasting of Olde Rabbit’s Foot 2012. If you ever get the chance to make it to a Foothills release, I strongly advise it. We’ll be there in February in a tent with some heaters. Come say hi!
And just what we do when we toast or salute one another? #PintsUp
Olde Rabbits Foot 2011