by Eric Ginsburg
The Barstool column may have been introduced mid-year, but I’ve been writing about drinks and alcohol since we started.
And what a year it’s been, filled with several unexpected honors. Scot Sanborn at Sutler’s Spirit, our area’s first legit distillery, granted TCB his first interview because he loves the paper. Later in the year, Hoots donated the first keg of their wheat beer to our Kickstarter party, temporarily dubbing it “Triad City Wheat.” We were blown away.
One of the most significant highlights of the Barstool column this year came from discovering the Quiet Pint in Winston-Salem, which may now be my favorite Triad bar. I remember meeting someone who works there while passing out copies of this paper at Salute! wine festival downtown, and later being floored by the ambiance and quality of the food. It was one of the many times this year I remember thinking: A place like this really exists around here?
In many ways 2014 was the Year of Beer. Two new breweries — Gibb’s Hundred and Pig Pounder — opened their doors in Greensboro. Meanwhile, Hoots and Small Batch in Winston-Salem celebrated one-year anniversaries this fall. Hoots started making and distributing its own beer in 2014 after initially starting the bar at West End Mill Works to help raise capital for the brewing operation. Construction also began for the newly announced Preyer Brewing in Greensboro, while XII Tribes in High Point continued to make progress.
There was plenty of other Triad beer news as well, from the state brewers guild holding its annual convention in Greensboro to the High Point Get Down. Another new brewery is likely at the Gate City Motors development in downtown Greensboro, and I’m hearing rumors of something called Brown Truck Brewing opening in High Point next summer.
Hell, we put out the Beer Issue, an entire cover story chronicling every brewery in the Triad, including the booming growth of giants Foothills and Natty Greene’s.
This Beer Year will continue right up until the last minute — Hoots is releasing its Watchnight starkbier at its New Years party.
Yet the local scene, and therefore this column, goes much deeper than beer. I checked out the mimosa flight at Marshall Free House, provided the first real look at the new 913 Whiskey Bar, proposed bar crawl ideas in two cities and compiled wine specials, drank palomas at a Mexican restaurant and talked to a Bloody Mary wizard.
Over the last five months, since we launched Barstool in August, I’ve really just been getting my feet wet. But it has allowed me to build a foundation of understanding and helped me generate a seemingly endless list of ideas. Look forward to reading about Ethiopian honey wine, accompanying me to a biker bar, meeting a beloved bartender and exploring new venues.
I know I am, and I’m eternally grateful to you — our readers — for giving me this opportunity.
I’ll see you at the bar.