Triad City Wheat by Eric Ginsburg

I wish I could say it was my idea, but I had nothing to do with it.

Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co. recently started brewing its own beer, and released a batch of wheat beer last Friday, Aug. 29 just in time for our six-month anniversary party in Winston-Salem that night. While I was at Small Batch picking up several donated growlers for the event, Brian Clarey swung by to grab a keg of Hoots’ new stuff.

With no plan for a name and Clarey hanging around, somehow the brew ended up being called “Triad City Wheat,” a pretty obvious nod to this paper. It wasn’t Clarey’s idea and it certainly wasn’t mine, which actually makes it that much better. What higher honor could be bestowed upon a newspaper or individual? A Pulitzer? Yeah right.

Call me self-serving or self-involved, but it would be criminal not to revel in this, at least for a week.

While I can’t think of anything more flattering that having a beer named after you — because we are this paper and the paper is us, so I’m going to conflate the two — one of the most gratifying aspects of the whole affair is that the Triad City Wheat is actually a great beer.

Like, I’d buy it regularly even if it had nothing to do with us.

Standing at a table welcoming people as I came in, our sales rep Maria Recio and I enjoyed the first two full cups from the keg. One, or both of us, definitely said “Oh, damn!

The brew, a light, wheat beer that is 4 percent ABV, was a rocking success at our party. The crowd at Delurk Gallery, an artist space that is literally mostly underground, went for it with gusto.

Fear not — there’s more at Hoots, located in the West End Mill Works, where it can be ordered under its official, long-term name Wheel Bite Wheat. Some remained in the full-size keg as the night closed, and I jumped at the opportunity to take the rest home before anyone else on our team could offer. Suckers.

But, in the immortal words of LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it. Food critic, chef and blogger Nikki Miller-Ka wrote on Facebook from the event: “I can attest that the new Triad City Wheat is a good, solid beer. Girls, get your wallets out. This one’s a keeper.”

Eric Swaim, one of the men behind Hoots, joined us to tap the keg, and Small Batch general manager Janna Swartz came to enjoy the shindig, too. Actually it was a pretty boozy affair all around, with Sutler’s Spirit owner Scot Sanborn in attendance as well and a case of wine from Zeto. My kind of party.

Visit Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co. Tuesday thru Sunday at 840 Manly St., Winston-Salem. (Yes, really Manly.)

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