It’s that special time of year when the birds are singing, the flowers are in bloom, and a young lover’s fancy turns to….Beer. April is officially NC CeleBEERation Month in Winston-Salem and we’re pulling out all the stops to honor the beverage we first started brewing more than 200 years ago.
Our love of beer began with the establishment of North Carolina’s first microbrewery way back in 1773 at the Single Brother’s House in Old Salem. According to the historical archives of the burgeoning Moravian colony, “the wish was expressed that we should plan for the building of a brewery in town, and that less strong drink should be distilled; for beer would be much more wholesome for our Brethren, and the neighbors would buy it in quantity.” How right they were.
Since then, Winston-Salem has earned a proud reputation as the place to experience some the state’s largest and best breweries, including nationally known Foothills Brewing, and local favorites Small Batch Beer Co., and Hoots Roller Bar. Brand-new Wise Man Brewing is quickly gaining a loyal following among local beer enthusiasts.
So where to start? Why not try your hand at Winston-Salem’s own Beer School, held each month at Foothills Brewing. You’ll spend the afternoon getting “hopped up” on the subtle nuances of craft beer brewing, then take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Foothills brewery. Cap it off with a complimentary tasting of some of the fan favorite beers Foothills has to offer, and you’re sure to graduate with an easy “A.”
Or, skip school and head straight to your choice of local breweries – all within the bustling downtown area. Known for its relaxed upscale vibe, guests at Small Batch can see the gleaming tanks and watch the brewing activity right from the bar courtesy of an in-bar glass window. It’s just one of many ways that Small Batch keeps the focus–and the love–on crafting truly high quality beer. True to their name, each beer at Small Batch is brewed in “small” batches using locally sourced ingredients from right here in North Carolina. The result is a monk-like attention to quality beer akin to Winston-Salem’s own Moravian ancestors.
For an equally authentic, but totally different take, swing by Hoots Roller Bar. This unabashedly beer-forward bar promises the best “blue collar beer with unmatched character,” brewed with their own signature “love and magic.” Their goal? To brew a fresh, local beer that you’ll love to drink. Sounds like a winner to us.
Brand new on the scene is Winston-Salem’s Wise Man Brewing, which opened late January. This long-awaited local favorite features a running list of original and seasonal brews pouring from 12 taps. Check their website for a daily update of what’s in the kegs. Worth a stop for any serious beer fan swinging through the city. Housed in a historic wholesale warehouse from the early 1900s, Wise Man was founded by three friends who have quite the accumulated wisdom. Brewmaster Sam Victory is a chemist while his co-owners are an accountant and local attorney. Though not yet bottling, Wise Man offers “crowlers” for you to fill and take you beer with you. Yes, please!
BRING A TASTE OF WINSTON-SALEM HOME
In addition to our popular breweries, Winston-Salem is also home to some of the most unusual and exciting beer and bottle shops in the state where you can create your own variety six-pack or fill a growler. Most notable is Carolina’s Vineyards & Hops (CV&H), featuring exclusively North Carolina craft beer and wine, and the state’s first pour-your-own wine wall (don’t worry, the beer’s on tap too).
For a complete list of bottle shops and stops, click here.
BOOK A BEER GETAWAY THIS SPRING
As you can see, beer goes deep into our roots. And as NC CeleBEERation Month approaches, we’re proud to celebrate with special hotel getaway packages that last the whole season long. Book a beer getaway package at the Historic Brookstown Inn, or the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel. We can’t wait to see you–and raise a glass in your honor. Cheers!