Small Batch Beer and Our Growing Beer Culture

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We have a storied beer history in Winston-Salem, NC. In fact, it was once the site of a Schlitz brewery for 30 years – the largest brewery of its time! And current headlining brewery, Foothills Brewing, established in 2004, is quickly gaining national popularity. But recently, the city has seen a real boom in the beer scene. You could even call 2013 “The Year of Beer” in Winston-Salem. Excellent brewers, bars and specialty bottle shops opened over the past year and they have received a warm welcome. My was privileged to be invited to tour and taste at most of these joints and our thirst for quality was not disappointed.

Small Batch Beer Co.Small Batch Beer Co. Kopper Kitchen

Small Batch Beer Co. opened its doors in November, 2013 in downtown Winston-Salem at the former Kopper Kitchen location at Fifth and Cherry Streets. It is a nano brewery serving unique craft beers brewed one barrel at a time on the premises. They also offer carefully selected wines, bottled beers and handcrafted cocktails. Owners Tim Walker, Ryan Blain and Cliff Etchason concoct flavorful beers in small batches.

Popular Brews

  • Limonhead IPA – hoppy and brewed with fresh lemons
  • Sweater Melons –  a fresh melon saison
  • “Kranked” – a mocha cappuccino stout made with locally brewed Krankies Coffee

While these brews are popular now, remember that one of the primary ideas behind this brewery is that it will make beers with local and seasonal ingredients when they are available. So, the beers on tap are likely to change from week to week. We can’t think of a better reason to go back time and again to taste what’s new.

Other Libations

Guest taps feature favorite imports. Tim also makes a great cocktail. He won me over with his fresh-squeezed blood orange margarita made with jalapeño infused tequila.

Small Batch Beer Brewers
Small Batch Beer Owners Ryan and Tim.

Also a sustainable bonus is that the leftover hops and grains from making their beers are donated to a local ostrich farmer to feed his flocks. I suppose there might be some well-fed tipsy ostriches stumbling around out there.

The Decor

The atmosphere at Small Batch Beer Co. is full of character as well, with hand-written beer names on the white subway tile backsplash housing the custom-made taps. The decor also features wood-slatted walls made from pallets, fresh flowers in blue Ball jars on the tables and the newly revealed Kickstarter supporter board with names of all those who contributed to making this dream come true. (See if you can find “MyWinstonSalem” on the wall!)

For now, Tim, Ryan and Cliff plan to keep the old Kopper Kitchen sign (the public gives up a sigh of relief). Future plans (expected in the coming weeks actually) include offering tapas and an expansion next door that will include artisan sandwiches.

Small Batch Beer flowers


241 W. 5th St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
(336) 893-6395


Tuesday-Friday, 4PM-2AM
Saturday-Sunday noon-2AM

Other Recently Opened Beer-Centric Local Businesses

About The Author:

Kristi was born and raised just up the road in Mount Airy (a.k.a. Mayberry) and frequented Winston-Salem often growing up for school field trips, shopping, and dining. After attending Appalachian State University, and a brief stint living in Southern Virginia, Kristi returned to Winston-Salem, NC in 1999 and began her work in non-profit, public relations and writing. She and her family enjoy the convenience of living near downtown Winston-Salem. She enjoys the arts, photography and cooking. "I'm a small town girl at heart, but Winston-Salem isn't an overwhelming city. It is rich with friendly people, history, culture and has a vibrant art community and that is why I am proud to call this "My Winston-Salem!"

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Alex Schenker
January 21, 2014 6:29 pm

Small Batch is the bomb! There’s rumors that there will be a food addition as well. I also love how Small Batch connects the two epicenters of Winston-Salem nightlife: 4th St and the Arts District.

Kristi Marion
January 22, 2014 11:06 pm
Reply to  Alex Schenker

Agreed, Alex! It’s a great location. We too, are looking forward to the addition of great food to the great beer menu!

Sadie Cornelius
January 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Great review and so glad we got to try this place out when we were in town in December. SO glad the Winston-Salem beer scene is brewing great gastro pubs. Lovely addition to the city!

Kristi Marion
January 22, 2014 11:08 pm

So glad you got to visit Small Batch while you were in town, Sadie! It is a great addition to our downtown drinks scene. Hope to catch up with you there next time!