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Foothills offers a sampler of their regular beers, 6 oz each, for $7.99. You can add additional seasonal samples for $1. They were out of the Pilot Mountain pale ale, so we got the Cottonwood Low Down brown in its place. The others we were given were the Carolina Blond cream ale, the Torch pilsner, the Hoppyum IPA, the Seeing Double IPA, and the People’s porter. We also asked to try the Foothills Red ale and the Frostbite black IPA. Getting a sample of the Sexual Chocolate was not an option but the bartender did let us each have a sip. The Carolina Blond is a very light summer beer but with more flavor than other light beers. The pilsner is a very light, solid beer. The Hoppyum is Nick’s favorite beer - it’s hoppier than the Seeing Double (and he prefers this hoppiness). The People’s is a solid porter with nice coffee notes - Nick dubbed it “effing delicious”. It is noticeably better than when it’s bottled. The Low Down was more bitter than some browns, which Nick liked - some browns are too plain. The Foothills Red was our favorite of the beers we hadn’t tried before. Very drinkable - smooth and flavorful. The Frostbite tastes like black Hoppyum. Overall we were very pleased with our stop here - one of the best of our trail adventures so far. The space and bar itself are great, we can vouch for their great fried mushrooms (generous portions!), and they had live music playing the whole time we were there. Drafts are normally $4 each but on Sundays they’re $3 (except for the Sexual Chocolate, which is always $5).
Shiva IPA, Red Light IPA, Bier de Garde French farmhouse ale, Ninja porter, ESP pale ale. Ben ordered the Ashevillain, the black IPA. All these were good, solid beers but we weren’t blown away by anything. The Ashevillain was Nick’s favorite. We were disappointed we didn’t get to try the Fire Escape jalepeño ale; they had just run out.
Here’s our ($7.00!) flight. This is all of their current beers. The pilsner was surprisingly flavorful; the pale ale was a little strange (probably the rye); the saison was a perfect balance of sweet and hoppy; the Golum was VERY drinkable as promised, and definitely dangerous at 10.8%; the porter was very good (one of the better porters I’ve had, although it ended up being overshadowed by others); the oatmeal stout was solid — but the Imperial stout, oh man, THAT was some good frickin beer. It was like a dark chocolate raspberry dessert in a glass - and definitely not too sweet. We definitely saved the best for last, though - both the IPA and the Imperial IPA were fantastic. Nick says the Iron Rail was “definitely one of the best IPAs I’ve ever had - strong and complex hop flavor without being overly bitter”. The Imperial IPA had noticeably more body and you could taste that it was high gravity (although not in an overbearing way). We were disappointed to learn that they don’t distribute at all - not even within Asheville! The only thing you can get in any kind of container is the Iron Rail in a growler. If you want to drink this beer, you basically have to come here.
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At Fullsteam, we ordered the Working Man’s Lunch in a Bourbon Barrel Stout (L) and the Hogwash Hickory Smoked Porter (R). The stout has a slightly sour finish and just a hint of whiskey. The smokey flavor of Hogwash is pleasantly noticeable without being overpowering. David Baker says it is rich and smokey without being too heavy, and more subtle than the stout. Julie doesn’t like the Hogwash because she thinks it’s too smokey.
Left 3, from top to bottom: Clearwater Light, Alligator Ale, Pale Ale. Middle 2: Hammerhead Red, Hoptoberfest Seasonal. Right 3: Lightning Bold Gold, Oatmeal Stout, Scottish Ale. We liked the Scottish a lot and the Red, which had a nice smoky finish. And the Oatmeal Stout had nice intermingling flavors. Nick liked the Pale Ale, too (of course). The Alligator Ale was real different but very good - a porter with a slightly sour finish.