by Brian Clarey
1. Sexual Chocolate, Foothills Brewing (W-S)
The beer that put the Triad brewing scene on the map, Foothills’ Sexual Chocolate comes out every February, bringing long lines to the Fourth Street brewpub. The name comes from Eddie Murphy’s Jheri-curled band in Coming to America, and the beer itself, an imperial stout, has notes of coffee and chocolate.
2. The Event Horizon, Old Hickory Brewery (Hickory)
Event Horizon is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels that won a bronze medal in the World Beer Cup. And, evidently, when you drink it, something is about to happen.
3. Skillet Donut Stout, Burial Beer Co. (Asheville)
Oatmeal gives this stout a breakfast flavor reminiscent of homemade doughnuts cooked on a stovetop, along with strong coffee notes.
4. GasHopper, Hoots Beer Co. (W-S)
The best thing about this American IPA from the Winston-Salem brew-bar is that is was named for the shady gas station next door.
5. Freak of Nature DIPA, Wicked Weed Brewing (Asheville)
This one’s a high-octane hop bomb, with 8 percent ABV and an “absurd” amount of hops — more than 3 pounds per barrel.
6. Snozzberry, Green Man Brewing (Asheville)
This lambic-style wheat beer borrows a page from Willy Wonka, infusing the mythical snozzberry into the flavor profile. This one’s a limited release, so watch for it.
7. Cherchez la Femme Milk Stout, Gibbs Hundred Brewing (GSO)
Not just a great name, Cherchez la Femme is a great beer, combining 10 different malts and flaked barley, with just a hint of milk sugar. Its name translates into “follow the woman,” which has connotations of its own.
8. Pistols at Dawn, Lonerider Brewing Co. (Raleigh)
This surprisingly smooth beer, with lactose and oats contributing to its velvety texture, is a high-caliber shooter at 7.5 percent ABV.
9. Golem, Wedge Brewing Co. (Asheville)
Named for the Old Testament avenger, this is a high-octane Belgian strong pale ale is 9 percent ABV and, according to one Beer Advocate reviewer, contains notes of bubblegum.
10. Lunsford Robust Porter, Preyer Brewing (GSO)
More impressive that this malt-forward brew is its legacy, named for the esteemed Greensboro banker, jurist and legislator L. Richardson Preyer, whose descendants founded the downtown brewery, or perhaps his grandfather, Lunsford Richardson, who invented Vicks Vapo-Rub.