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)

 

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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

Highland Brewing Unveils Refreshed Look

unnamed (92)Highland Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) announced today that it has officially launched a complete rebrand that includes a new logo, new-look packaging for all beers, an updated website, and a soon-to-be fully updated taproom aesthetic.

After spending the last few years refreshing their beer portfolio so that it is more aligned with the tastes of today’s craft beer drinker, the folks at Highland Brewing began to realize that the brewery’s look and imagery no longer matched their updated brews and vibe.  After much deliberation and extensive research and development work with the Austin, Texas firm Helms Workshop, the tough decision was made to rebrand and move on from the bagpipe-toting Scotsman who has served as the company’s iconic logo since 1994.

All “marketing, labeling, point of sale, packaging and merchandise” will still wear the Highland Brewing name, but these items will now sport a logo that consists a highly-stylized “H” set within a pioneer’s compass that is surrounded by “the clear messaging that Highland remains Asheville’s first craft beer.”  The Blue Ridge Mountains are now artfully depicted on all packaging, and the “Highland” name will continue to honor the area’s Scots-Irish heritage and the brewery’s setting “on high land – in the mountains and on a hilltop.”

HighlandNewCans

“Highland Brewing has been a pioneer in beer since my father founded the company in 1994,” said Leah Wong Ashburn, President of Highland Brewing. “Over two decades, we led with beer, and in recent years, we developed our beer portfolio significantly with fresh new styles and our innovative spirit is firing. The result of the changes was that our beer and our brand were sharing different messages. I love that we are now aligning the message.  

What that means is we focused on the four things we know to be true about ourselves: authenticity, sense of place, consistently excellent beer and an inventive spirit.”

Fully committed to this rebrand, Highland Brewing will be closing its doors on February 19 so that it can update its taproom to match the rebrand.  After a four-day renovation, the taproom will officially reopen on February 23 with a launch celebration that will show off the new branding/packaging and “feature new small batch beers, including Highland’s very first Brett brew, as well as throw-back favorites including Little Hump, Razor Wit, and Vintage 20th Anniversary Scotch Ale.  The event will also boast live music, new merchandise available for purchase, and popular food trucks.  The launch celebration is free and open to the public.

For those of you that do not live within driving distance of Highland Brewing, the rebrand will reach you any day now as the new-look 12 oz. bottles, 12 oz. cans and tap handles hit craft beer establishments located within the brewery’s distribution footprint.  Just be sure to keep these changes in mind the next time you are out looking for your favorite Highland brew.  Prost!