Highland Brewing Kicks Off New Barrel-aged Series with Release of Bourbon Barrel-aged Black Watch

HighlandBrewingLogo2Highland Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) has officially announced that it will launch the Southern Nouveau Series, a new barrel-aged beer program, with the Limited Release of Bourbon Barrel-aged Black Watch on Black Friday, November 29.

With a name inspired by “the architectural beauty” found in Highland’s home city of Asheville, the Southern Noveau Series is a new lineup of carefully crafted offerings that will “encompass both clean and sour barrel-aged beers.”  The first three offering in this series will be “bourbon barrel-aged stouts with exciting additions, like earl grey tea from local tea shop Dobra Tea and cacao nibs from Asheville’s own French Broad Chocolates. The first sour beers in the series will debut in the Spring of 2020 alongside the opening of Highland at the S&W Market.”

“There is such excitement and anticipation on our team about these beers,” said Highland Family-Owner and President/CEO, Leah Wong Ashburn. “The Southern Nouveau Series name was inspired by the architectural beauty of Asheville, which has been called the Paris of the South, and our connection to the history of this place. The beers showcase the innovation and quality at the Brewery Taproom in East Asheville and in 2020, they will shine in the Art Deco glamour of Highland at the S&W Market.”

 

Trace Redmond, Brewing Innovation Manager, said, “We have been building the barrel program for two years now and I’m excited to share the fruits of our labor. With the Southern Nouveau Series, we are exploring Southern ingredients and bringing together the beer, barrels and time to create something new. We want these beers to feel true to Asheville and Highland. You don’t get to be a 25-year-old brand without patience. You also don’t get great barrel-aged beers without patience, so these beers will reflect our past and the future we’re building.”

The first official release in the Southern Noveau Series will be Bourbon Barrel-aged Black Watch, an amped up version of Black Watch Double Chocolate Milk Stout that has “aged in bourbon barrels for one year.”  Weighing in at smooth-sipping 11.5% ABV, Bourbon Barrel-aged Black Watch “features the brownie batter character fans enjoy from Black Watch, but with spicy bourbon and oak notes that soften the mouthfeel.”

Bourbon Barrel-aged Black Watch will officially release at Highland Brewing during the Black Watch Release Party on Black Friday, November 29.  Like all Southern Noveau Series releases, Bourbon Barrel-aged Black Watch will be available in 500ml bottles and on draft for a limited time.  Bourbon Barrel-aged Black Watch is a brewery exclusive release and is not expected to see distribution.  Prost!

Vital Information for Bourbon Barrel-aged Black Watch from Highland Brewing

Release – Limited/Southern Noveau Series; November 29, 2019
Style – Milk Stout
ABV – 11.5%
Treatment – Aged for over a year in Bourbon barrels
Availability – 500ml bottles & draft
Distribution – None; brewery exclusive release

Thunderstruck Coffee Porter Makes Seasonal Return for Highland Brewing

TS-Web-Render_2f738ceffacd75bb03d92ae127419836Highland Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) has announced that Thunderstruck Coffee Porter is officially back on shelves and taps to serve as the brewery’s Fall/Winter Seasonal.

Crafted to be “the perfect pick me up” during the colder months, Thunderstruck is an American Porter brewed with “200 pounds of Dynamite coffee” per batch.  Clocking in at 5.8% ABV, Thunderstruck supplies its drinker with plenty of “coffee aroma and flavor with subtle spice and fruit notes.”

Thunderstruck Coffee Porter is rolling out now and is scheduled to hang around through January 2020.  You can expect to find this Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and throughout the rest of Highland Brewing’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Thunderstruck Coffee Porter from Highland Brewing

Release – Seasonal; October 2019 – January 2020
Style – American Porter
ABV – 5.8%
IBUs – 30
Malts – Pale, Caramel 60, Chocolate & Midnight Wheat
Hops – Chinook, Hallertau Mittlefrue & German Select
Added Ingredients – 200 lbs. of Dynamite Coffee per batch
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft

Highland Brewing Company Brews 25th Anniversary Rustic IPA with Sierra Nevada

HBC_16oz_CanMockupHighland Brewing Company (Asheville, North Carolina) officially announced that it is brewing a new collaboration brew – Rustic IPA – today alongside Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (Chico, California | Mills River, North Carolina) and independent, family-owned hop and malt suppliers including Riverbend Malthouse, Briess Malting, Crosby Hop Farms, Roy Farms, and CLS Farms.

Brewed by Highland Brewing and Sierra Nevada – two multi-generational, independent craft breweries – with malt and hops exclusively sourced from independent, family-owned suppliers, Highland’s Rustic IPA 25th Anniversary Ale is a Hazy India Pale Ale featuring “experimental hops like Motueka, Zappa, Azacca, and Strata that lend notes of tropical fruit and lemongrass to the brew.”  A “hazy malt bill featuring flaked oats, rye, pilsner malt, and wheat” rounds out the recipe and further accentuates the beer’s “fruity hop character.”  Coming in at 5.8% ABV and 45 IBUs, Rustic IPA promises to be “a balanced showcase for the best of innovation and tradition from each of the collaborators.”

Brian Grossman, Family-Owner and Second-Generation Brewer for Sierra Nevada in Mills River, said, “When Sierra Nevada chose to build our second brewery in Asheville, Highland welcomed us with open arms. Being multigenerational, family-owned companies, we share similar values and experiences. We were proud to collaborate with our friends to brew a special beer to celebrate their 25th anniversary. “

 

“Good businesses are built on relationships and we genuinely enjoy and are proud of our relationships with Sierra Nevada and these suppliers,” said Family-Owner and President of Highland Brewing, Leah Ashburn. “Brian and I are in a small group of second-generation family leaders in craft beer and we intend to build a sustainable future for both our breweries. This collaboration beer celebrates that future.”

Rustic IPA will debut at Highland Brewing Company’s two-day anniversary festivities on May 3-4 and limited distribution is scheduled to follow the on-site release.  You can expect to find this special collaboration available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina.  Prost!

Vital Information for Rustic IPA from Highland Brewing Company & Sierra Nevada 

Release – Limited, May 2019
Style – Hazy India Pale Ale
ABV – 5.8%
IBUs – 45
Hops – Motueka, Zappa, Azacca & Strata
Grains – Flaked Oats, Rye, Pilsner Malt & Wheat
Featured Malt & Hop Suppliers – Riverbend Malthouse, Briess Malting, Crosby Hop Farms, Roy Farms & CLS Farms
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Limited; North Carolina, Tennessee & South Carolina only

Highland25thBrewDay
On the morning on March 19, representatives from Highland Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Riverbend Malthouse, Briess Malting, Crosby Hop Farms, Roy Farms, and CLS Farms gathered at Highland Brewing Company to mash in the brewery’s 25th Anniversary Ale – Rustic IPA.  Photo Credit: Highland Brewing

Highland Brewing Adds Slow Crush Tart Spritz Ale to Year-Round Lineup

Slow Crush Small Highland Brewing Carson HillHighland Brewing Company (Asheville, North Carolina) has officially announced that Slow Crush, a Tart Spritz Ale, will launch in May 2019 as the brewery’s newest Year-Round offering.

Developed to be Highland Brewing’s “sessionable fresh take on kettle soured beers”, Slow Crush is a refreshing Tart Spritz Ale “inspired by the incredibly popular cocktail Aperol Spritz.” Showcasing “all-natural . . . botanicals like gentian root, cinchona bark and hibiscus flowers”, the recipe for Slow Crush is rounded out with “flaked rye and citrus-forward American hops like Citra and Amarillo’ to give the experience “a very craft spin.”  Clocking in at an easy-drinking 5% ABV and 20 IBUs, Slow Crush is “effervescent with a refreshing acidity that makes a perfect libation for any occasion.”

“This is a dynamic time in the industry and at Highland. We are exploring what Highland beer can be and creating beers that are different from anything we have ever done before. Slow Crush refers to the tradition of gruits and aperitifs and the way that brewers and distillers tried to achieve balance with different herbs and spices. In blending the past and present, we are creating beers that fit uniquely into this moment and in Highland’s portfolio.”

 

– Trace Redmond, Highland’s R&D Brewer

Slow Crush Tart Spritz will officially debut at Highland Brewing’s two-day anniversary celebration on May 3 & 4 and is scheduled to enter distribution shortly after the event.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round offering available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and throughout the rest of Highland Brewing’s distribution footprint in the Southeast.  Prost!

Vital Information for Slow Crush Tart Spritz from Highland Brewing Company

Release – Year-Round, launching May 2019
Style – American Sour Ale 
ABV – 5% 
IBUs – 20
Featured Hops – Citra & Amarillo
Added Ingredients – Gentian root, cinchona bark & hibiscus flowers
Fun Fact – Slow Crush will be the first Highland Brewing offering to launch in a 16 oz. can format
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://highlandbrewing.com/beer (located at the bottom of the page)

Highland Brewing Introduces Midnight Summit Milk Stout as Newest Seasonal

MidnightSummit-Web-Render_2f738ceffacd75bb03d92ae127419836Highland Brewing Company (Asheville, North Carolina) has announced that Midnight Summit Vanilla Milk Stout will officially join its Seasonal lineup in late December 2018.

Surfacing just in time for the cold winter nights ahead of us, Midnight Summit is a Milk Stout that blends “trails of smooth, creamy vanilla . . .  with shades of chocolate and coffee.”  Weighing in at a comforting 6% ABV, Midnight Summit “is a beer that is best enjoined by a roaring fire while the snow falls outside.”

Midnight Summit will make its official debut at a Release Party at Highland Brewing on December 21 and is scheduled to enter distribution at or around that date.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and throughout the rest of Highland Brewing Company’s distribution footprint in the Southeast.  Prost!

Vital Information for Midnight Summit from Highland Brewing Company

Release – Seasonal; launches December 21, 2018
Style – Milk Stout
ABV – 6%
IBUs – 40
Malts – 2-Row, Munich, Wheat, Caramel 80, Black Prinz, Flaked Oats, Chocolate Malt & Midnight Wheat
Hops – Summit & Willamette 
Added Ingredients – Vanilla
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://highlandbrewing.com/beer (located at the bottom of the page)

 

 

Highland Brewing Company Adds Starchaser White to Year-Round Lineup

Starchaser-Web-Render_2f738ceffacd75bb03d92ae127419836Highland Brewing Company (Asheville, North Carolina) has announced that Starchaser White will officially join its Year-Round portfolio on Friday, December 21.

Introduced earlier this year as a Seasonal offering that received much acclaim, Starchaser White is back to provide craft beer fans with the same “Belgian-inspired white ale . . . brewed with coriander, candied ginger, and grapefruit peel” on a Year-Round basis.  In an effort to keep things as local as possible, Highland Brewing is taking great care to source the ingredients for Starchaser from two other Asheville companies:

  • The wheat and rye used in the brewing of this beer will be sourced from Riverbend Malt House, a malt roaster located in Asheville that sources all their grain from local farmers.
  • The coriander for Starchaser will be acquired through Spicewalla, an Asheville-based spice wholesaler founded by James Beard-nominated chef Meherwan Irani.

Built for ultimate refreshment, Starchaser White comes in at an easy-drinking 4.8% ABV and 22 IBUs.

Highland Brewing will welcome back Starchaser White with a release party on December 21 and plans to send it out to distribution at or around that date.  You can expect to find this Year-Round offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and throughout the rest of Highland Brewing’s distribution footprint in the Southeast.  Prost!

Vital Information for Starchaser White from Highland Brewing Company

Release – Year-Round; December 21, 2018
Style – Witbier
ABV – 4.8%
IBUs – 22
Malts – 2-Row, Riverbend Flaked Wheat, Riverbend Malted Wheat, Flaked Oats & Riverbend Flaked Rye
Hops – Perle, Saphir & Hallertau Blanc
Added Ingredients – Grapefruit peel, candied ginger, & Spicewalla Brand coriander
Fun Fact #1 – Starchaser White was originally released in the summer of 2018 under the name “Stargazer White”.
Fun Fact #2 – On the decision to make Starchaser White a Year-Round offering: “Named the fourth best American wheat ale by Vine Pair Inc. in August 2018, and wildly popular in the Highland Tasting Room, the resounding acclaim for this beer made it an easy decision to upgrade the brew to be included in Highland’s year-round portfolio.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://highlandbrewing.com/beer (located at the bottom of the page)

 

Hi-Wire & Highland Brewing Brew Up Plum Nectar Berliner Weisse Collaboration

HighlandBrewingLogoHighland Brewing (Asheville North Carolina) and Hi-Wire Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) have officially announced that they will release their new collaboration beer Plum Nectar in their respective taprooms on Wednesday, October 17.

Developed from an idea that brewers Sarah Gulotta of Hi-Wire Brewing and Katie Smith of Highland Brewing concocted while interacting together in the Pink Boots Society, Plum Nectar is a Berliner Weisse that has been dry-hopped with Azacca hops and introduced to “17 pounds of plums per barrel.”  This results in a 4.6% ABV Plum Nectar that “blends aromatic citrus and tropical fruit notes from [the] hops with the juicy and sweet character” of the plums.

“It’s awesome to work with Highland – the beer culture in this town started with them, and they’ve been so supportive of Hi-Wire. I love when local breweries work together – it’s all about celebrating our community here in Asheville. Also, Highland has been very supportive of women in the beer industry, so it was fantastic to work with another female brewer.”  – Sarah Gulotta of Hi-Wire Brewing

 

 “I had a blast collaborating with Hi-Wire on this beer! Starting with recipe development alongside Sarah all the way to spending the day brewing at their Big Top location. Our goal was (is) to create a deliciously tart Berliner Weisse with a slight spicy rye note to pair with the deep rich flavor of the plums.”  – Katie Smith of Highland Brewing

Plum Nectar will officially debut at release parties that will take place at Hi-Wire’s and Highland’s taprooms on October 17.  The breweries “will donate one dollar from each draft pour of Plum Nectar sold at the release parties” to the Pink Boots SocietyPlum Nectar will also enter distribution in mid-October, and you can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer establishments located throughout North Carolina.  Prost!

Vital Information for Plum Nectar from Hi-Wire Brewing & Highland Brewing

Release – Limited, mid-October 2018
Style – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 4.6%
Featured Hops – Azacca
Added Ingredients – 17 pounds of plums per barrel
Fun Fact – On the label artwork: The 16 oz. cans feature “Highland’s signature mountain-scape with Hi-Wire’s ‘clean color-blocked’ specialty branding.”
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – North Carolina only

Tasting Notes: Stargazer White from Highland Brewing

HighlandStargazerPour_editedFor this installment of Tasting Notes, Tuesday has arrived and brought with it the inspiration – or excuse – to daydream while day-drinking a pour of Stargazer White from Highland Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina).

Named after the Stargazer Lily that blooms in mid-to-late summer, Highland Stargazer is a fresh take on the Witbier style that employs the use of grapefruit peel, candied ginger, and coriander in its recipe. The stylistic tweaks continue from there as Highland’s brewers reinforce the “spicy character of the Belgian ale yeast” with added spice notes from Saphir hops and locally sourced rye malt. Clocking in at a sessionable 4.8% ABV, the summer-appropriate Highland Stargazer is here to supply craft beer fans with “a bright and balanced white ale in a stellar can.”

Stargazer White is available now in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft.  You can expect to find this Seasonal offering at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and throughout the rest of Highland Brewing’s distribution footprint.

Now that we are all a little more familiar with this new Seasonal, let’s crack open these cans and get lost in fanciful thought with some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Stargazer White from Highland Brewing

Appearance: A careful pour produces a soft-yellow-colored brew that is capped with right at a finger of wispy, airy white foam.  When held to direct light, the yellow gains some vibrancy and intensity.  The beer is slightly cloudy but remains clear enough to display the exuberant carbonation presence streaming throughout.  Head retention is decent but falls quicker than expected to a thin cap that still retains the ability to leave wide streaks of lace behind on the glass whenever it is jostled.

Aroma:  The aromatics kickoff with a pronounced and distinct ginger presence that eventually settles down enough to allow earthy and spicy hop tones to come forward.  Citrusy coriander then builds from this and brings with it gentle notes of grapefruit and lemongrass.

Taste: The grains surprising get top billing here, starting things off with slightly sweet wheat and spicy rye.  The malts act as a solid foundation to carry the brighter, more assertive ginger and grapefruit notes that follow closely behind.  The hops then gently work their way in, offering complementary earthy, floral and spicy notes.  The experience closes beautifully with just a bit of bubble gum and musky coriander.

Mouthfeel:  Light side of medium in body with an effervescent carbonation level, Stargazer is all about being easy-drinking and refreshing.  The beer is wonderfully balanced across the board as the spices, hops and grains all know that this experience requires focus and teamwork.  The 4.8% ABV is not at all noticeable, upping the refreshment level even further.  Aftertaste is minimal, leaving just a slight trace of ginger behind.

Final Thoughts:  Just as the brewery hoped, Highland Stargazer comes together to be an updated, slightly exotic take on the Belgian Wit/White style.  The ginger adds a fun new dimension to the flavor and aromatics but does so without taking anything away from the style’s trademark wheat and coriander notes.  The addition of grapefruit peel rather than orange is also a nice touch that adds just a grace of balancing bitterness that the style often begs for.  There is not one ingredient added to this beer that ever considers getting aggressive, and that is no small feat when you are working with ingredients such as ginger, coriander and grapefruit peel.  Everything just knows its role, works for the greater good, and results in an ultra-refreshing brew that is absolutely perfect for summer sipping.  Speaking of sipping . . . we are going to get back to that and encourage you to pick up a sixer of Highland Stargazer so that you can do the same.  Prost!

 

Highland Brewing and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Collaborate on Half Yüszch

HalfYuszchHighland Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) has officially teamed up with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to create a special collaboration beer, Half Yüszch Pilsner, that will be featured at the band’s sold out May 11 tour stop at the iconic Asheville brewery.

Brewed as an homage to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ yüszch – or usual – tradition where they drink a beer and take a shot, Half Yüszch (a.k.a. the beer half) is a Limited Release Czech-style Pilsner that has Weyermann Pilsner malt supplying “a clean and elegant mouthfeel, while Saaz hops contribute mild earthy, floral, and herbaceous aromas.” Clocking in at a “crisp and crushable” 4.5% ABV, Half Yüszch promises to be the perfect pairing for “an evening of restless and soulful music.”

Half Yüszch is a brewery-only release that will be available in 12 oz. cans and on draft during the sold-out Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats show at Highland Brewing on May 11, and also on draft at the band’s sold-out shows in Charlotte, N.C. (May 8) and Raleigh, N.C (May 9).  If you were unable to land tickets for those concerts, Highland Brewing has also scheduled a listening party of Tearing at the Seams, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ newly released album, on Thursday, May 10. Half Yüszch will be available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at the listening party as well.

More than just an awesome collaboration, Half Yüszch also has a charitable cause as “$1 from each beer sold will support The Marigold Project, a foundation established by Nathaniel Rateliff to address issues of economic and social justice.”

For those keeping score at home, Half Yüszch basically serves as a junction that unites damn good beer and music with a great cause . . . and you simply cannot go wrong with that combo.  Be sure to check out this Limited Release if you have the chance.  Prost!

Vital Information for Half Yüszch from Highland Brewing and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Release – Limited; May 10 & May 11, 2018 at Highland Brewing
Style – Czech-style Pilsner
ABV – 4.5%
Featured Malts – Weyermann Pilsner
Featured Hops – Saaz
Fun Fact – On the label artwork: Highland Brewing “worked with local poster artist Drew Findley with Subject Matter Studio for the can graphics.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft 
Distribution – None, brewery-only release

 

Highland Brewing to Release Stargazer White Ale as First Canned Seasonal

stargazer-can_180320_083533_2f738ceffacd75bb03d92ae127419836Highland Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) has announced that Highland Stargazer White Ale will officially release on April 27 as the brewery’s first Seasonal to be packaged in cans.

Named after the Stargazer Lily, Highland Stargazer is a fresh, new take on the Witbier style that employs the use of grapefruit peel, candied ginger, and coriander in its recipe.  The stylistic tweaks continue from there as Highland’s brewers reinforce the “spicy character of the Belgian ale yeast” with added spice notes from Saphir hops and locally sourced rye malt.  Clocking in at a sessionable 4.8% ABV, the summer-appropriate Highland Stargazer is here to supply craft beer fans with “a bright and balanced white ale in a stellar can.”

“In addition to the non-traditional fruit peel, we integrated the spicy characteristics of Saphir hops and rye with the Belgian yeast,” said Trace Redmond, R&D Brewer at Highland Brewing. “I love the balance in the traditional approach, so we have that and some fun complexity.”

Highland Stargazer White Ale will officially debut at a brewery launch party on April 27 (click here for more details) and will enter distribution shortly after that release event.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and throughout the rest of Highland Brewing’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Highland Stargazer White Ale from Highland Brewing

Release – Seasonal, launching late April 2018
Style – Witbier
ABV – 4.8%
IBUs – 22
Malts – 2-Row, Riverbend Flaked Wheat, Riverbend Malted Wheat, Flaked Oats & Riverbend Flaked Rye
Hops – Perle, Saphir & Hallertau Blanc 
Added Ingredients – Grapefruit peel, candied ginger, & coriander 
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://highlandbrewing.com/beer