Foothills Baltic Porter

Posted on September 5, 2010


Foothills Brewing has been making some very great beer since they opened in Winston-Salem in 2004. They benefited even more the next year when North Carolina passed House Bill 392 raising the legal alcohol by volume limit in North Carolina from 6% to 15%. Foothills was one of the first breweries in North Carolina to take advantage of this change when they added Seeing Double IPA to their repertoire. This full bodied, very hoppy Double IPA can be found at many bars around the state as well as South Carolina and parts of Virginia. At my favorite watering hole, Raleigh’s Flying Saucer, this 9% abv beer is available for $3 a pint on Sunday and Monday of every week. They first brewed their Baltic Porter in 2006, and the beer won ProAm Gold that year at the Great American Beer Festival. There was a limited release on draft of the beer that fall, and I was lucky enough to try the beer at Flying Saucer in Charlotte. After that, the beer disappeared from their lineup.

Then, this summer, the folks at Foothills decided that this beer would be a good way to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of House Bill 392. On Friday August 13, a limited run of 22oz bottles of Baltic Porter was released at the brewery and at Sam’s Quick Shop in Durham. After enjoying some Bourbon Barrel aged People’s Porter in the Sam’s parking lot at 10:30 in the morning with some other beer enthusiasts, I picked up my beer and headed home. Some of the beer had been sent out in trades and yielded me some great beer from around the country.

When I finally poured a glass for myself, I was pleased to find out it was just as good as I remembered from 4 years ago. I poured the beer into a Dogfish Head Signature glass a deep opaque black that shows just a slight trace of ruby on the edges of the glass when held to light. The beer wass topped with a nice frothy khaki head that lasted and left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma wass loads of dark malts with some cocoa, smoke and dried fruits. The taste was a wonderfully complex blend of dark malts, molasses, bitter cocoa, dried fruits and leather, absolutely delicious. The beer was medium bodied but the 9% abv was very well hidden. This beer truly held up to my memories. While I enjoyed this beer on a hot August evening, this is certainly a beer that is even more enjoyable on a cold winter night.

To this date, Foothills has only done a few limited bottle releases, but recently announced that later this year, 3 of their beers, Hoppyum IPA, People’s Porter, and Torch Pilsner, will be released in 22oz bombers and made available at select retailers in North Carolina. Until then, and afterwards, I cannot suggest enough that you give this great brewery a taste if see their beer offered at your local pub.

Posted in: Beer Reviews