Foothills Brewing - Torch Pilsner
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):35
Serving Temperature:40-45º F
Suggested Glassware:Pilsner Glass, Flute
Malts:Superior Pilsen, Munich, Vienna, Wheat, Acidulated
It can sometimes be hard to find a good American-made Czech/Bohemian Pilsner, so we’re excited to have encountered this excellent version from Foothills. Winner of bronze GABF medals in both 2016 and 2017, and then named to Craft Beer & Brewing magazine’s top 19 beers of 2019, Torch Pilsner certainly looks true to style as it pours a bright golden color with great clarity and capped with a robust head of white foam. On the nose, look for a big, bold dose of classic Saaz hops to deliver plenty of that Czech Pils character right away, evoking touches of floral spice, earth, grass, and hay, as crackery malt notes lurk beneath. It’s a well-balanced brew on the palate, with a nice lightly toasty malt core overlaid by those Saaz hops coming through bright and with a satisfyingly spicy bite. Pairing options abound with both Czech and German-style pilsners; pizza, fried chicken, burgers, and grilled shrimp are at the top of our list. Prost!
Foothills Brewing opened for business in 2005 with a brewpub/restaurant location on Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. At first, co-owner Jamie Bartholomaus was pretty much alone in the brewhouse, crafting Foothills’ beers from homebrew recipes he had developed while attending the University of Georgia in Athens. These days he’s got a bit more help; strong growth since those early days means Foothills now has about 15 employees just on the brewing side of their business alone.
Bartholomaus got his start in the beer world as a homebrewer, which eventually led to him working for Athens, GA’s now defunct Blind Man Ales. After relocating to North Carolina, he did a stint with the respected Olde Hickory Brewery before jumping into business for himself with Foothills. Since then, business has grown steadily, although the last several years have been quite dramatic. After maxing out their brewpub system, Foothills acquired a new, larger, 48,000 sq. ft. facility a few miles to the southwest, which they put into production at the end of 2011, a year which saw a 46% increase in production compared to the year prior.
In 2011, Foothills also acquired the brewing division of Carolina Beer & Beverage, including their Carolina Blonde and Cottonwood Ales brands and all their brewing equipment. This gave Foothills a critical upgrade: the ability to bottle their beers and package them for retail sales instead of relying solely on draft accounts. It also means more people are now getting a chance to try their excellent brews!
For more info on the brewery, their brewpub restaurant, or their eight year-round and myriad seasonal and limited-release beers (including their legendary Sexual Chocolate imperial stout, released annually for Valentine’s Day in very limited amounts) visit www.foothillsbrewing.com or call 336-997-9484.
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