by Anthony Harrison
1. Foothills Brewing (W-S)
Foothills produces some of most venerable beers of the Triad. For the light-beer fan, the Torch pilsner remains a crisp, sweetly malty offering. Jade IPA rivals my favorite of the variety, Bell’s Two-Hearted, with its floral notes and easy drinkability, and as far as dark beers go, it’s hard to beat the roasted coffee and caramel taste of People’s Porter.
2. Gibb’s Hundred Brewing (GSO)
A relative newcomer, Gibb’s Hundred has carved out an auspicious presence with its Blind Man’s Holiday pale ale, which beats any of its type at home or abroad with its smooth yet piney taste. Their Cherchez La Femme milk stout also offers a refreshing take on the typically heavy beer, full of flavor but light on the tongue.
3. Hoots Roller Bar and Beer (W-S)
The beers at Hoots rotate change over time, but along with one of the best IPAs in the area, they also made perhaps the best stout I’ve ever had: Must Be the Holy Roast, named in honor of Jared Draughon’s Must Be the Holy Ghost. The aforementioned IPA, named Gashopper after the nearby gas station, deserves a taste.
4. Liberty Brewery (HP)
High Point’s Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery brews quite a few award-winning beers, but their Miss Liberty Lager is their bestseller. While many lagers tend towards boring, I understand this beer’s appeal in its finish — toasted and buttery, reminiscent of cashews. Its tart blackberry wheat, made by adding 80 pounds of berries to their wheat beer, is worth a try, too.
5. Small Batch Brewing (W-S)
As suggested by the name, Small Batch rotates through different beers consistently, making small quantities of each that are only available on site. They still offer the Percolator imperial stout, which Ginsburg covered in Barstool a while back, but my personal favorite was a red session-IPA I tried a few months ago. Check their unique website, listing the percent of each beer still left on tap, to see what they’re offering at the moment.
6. Preyer Brewing (GSO)
Greensboro’s newest brewery sells a lot of their Red Shed IPA, high in ABV yet relatively soft on hop notes, but my favorite is Emmy’s Belgian blonde, featuring some bready, toasty malt flavors which could appeal to many. These are among the cheapest craft beers in the Triad, going for only $4.
7. Pig Pounder (GSO)
Pig Pounder boasts some decent session beers, but my favorite is their Extra Special Pig, a nice, smooth English bitter offered year-round. While none of my friends agree, I also enjoyed their stab at a barleywine.
8. Natty Greene’s (GSO)
One of the most refreshing beers I’ve ever tasted was a Buckshot after unloading 16 cubic yards of mulch during a 100-degree day. I drained it in an instant. Aside from the lovely amber, their Southern pale ale is also a decent offering, and I wish they’d reintroduce Old Town Brown as a year-long offering.