The first time we had Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest was back in 2010. Even then, it skyrocketed to what we considered one of the best festbiers in brewed in America.
11 years later, neither this beer, or our opinion have changed. (Besides the label.)
Summer is flying by, as it always seems after Independence Day. You’re not out of July before oktoberfests start popping up – mainly because of the lead time to produce a lager like this.
Maybe after all years, it’s worth saying. This beer is as timeless as it is delicious. It’s toasty, light colored, rich, full-bodied, crisp and clean. German inspired, but American brewed. Yet another reason to love fall.
For the 11th time we announce this beer hitting shelves again. If you haven’t, perhaps it’s time to grab a stein and go for it.
Hops: Hallertau Mittlefrue & German Spalt Select
Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Vienna, Caramel, Pilsner
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Seasonal Release.
5% ABV 25 IBU’s
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Highland Brewing, Asheville’s oldest craft brewery will open a second taproom next week in their home city. The brewery got its start more than two decades ago in the downtown area, and starting next week will have a home in the center of the city once again.
The historic S&W Building in downtown Asheville, opened in 1929, is now home to the The S&W Market. Building owners Ellington Realty Group has partnered with five-time James Beard nominee Meherwan Irani, known for Chai Pani Restaurant Group and Spicewalla for five different internal food concepts. The space is anchored by a two floor Highland Brewing tap room.
Highland will have 18 taps on site, featuring small batch and barrel aged offerings. Patrons are free to drink, eat, work and wander through the hall at their own leisure.
The food tenants include Bun Intended, Buxton Chicken Palace, Farm Dogs, Hop Ice Cream S&W, and Peace, Love & Tacos. Adjacent to the S&W Building is The Times Bar.
The S&W Market is located at 56 Patton Avenue in Asheville, open to the public on June 16th.
Highland Slow Crush Tart Spritz Ale will join Asheville, North Carolina’s oldest brewery’s lineup in May.
After speaking with Highland Brewing this morning, it’s very evident the team is excited about this new release. Slow Crush, subtitled a “tart spritz ale”, is a kettle sour that mimics the Aperol Spritz cocktail.
To achieve this, Highland used a few botanicals you don’t find very often in beer – gentian root, cinchona bark, and hibiscus flowers. They contribute the kettle soured base beer, brewed with flaked rye malt and Citra and Amarillo hops. The result according to the brewery is an effervescent beer with a refreshing acidity that is perfect 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… – Trace Redmond, R&D Brewer
Highland Slow Crush will be available in 16-ounce cans year-round starting in May 2019.
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round
Debut: May 2019
Highland Half Yuszch Pilsner debuts this month, a collaboration with the band Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
S.O.B. (Son of Bitch) is the song that brought Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to national fame, selling out shows wherever they travel. This year, the band is currently touring and promoting their newest album, Tearing at the Seams with the hit single “You Worry Me”.
A few years ago, Highland Brewing teamed up with AC Entertainment and Orange Peel Events in order to bring larger music acts to play at the brewery. That move has brought Nathaniel Rateliff to play at the Asheville, North Carolina brewery this month. Highland approached the beer-loving Night Sweats about collaborating on their own craft beer, and the band was more than happy mash in.
Highland Half Yüszch is a Czech-style pilsner, named in honor of the band’s yüszch (meaning usual) tradition of downing a beer and a shot (presumably pre or post-performance). The pilsner is brewed with traditional Saaz hops and Asheville’s soft mountain water. The brewery says the result is “crisp and crushable”.
Half Yüszch will be available at the brewery on May 10th, as well as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats soldout show at the brewery on May 11th. $1 from each beer sold will support The Marigold Project, a foundation established by Nathaniel Rateliff to address issues of economic and social justice.
Malts: Weyerman Pilsner
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft
Distribution: Brewery Only
Debut: Early May 2018
Image: Beer Street Journal
Highland Brewing Company is closing their doors this week. For four days. When they open again on February 23rd, Highland will look a little different.
For multiple decades now, Highland Brewing has sported a kilted Scotsman holding a pint, with the tagline “just a wee bit different”. This week sadly, the Scotsman is retiring.
Leah Wong Ashburn, the president of Highland Brewing and daughter of founder Oskar Wong knew a little while ago that Asheville, North Carolina’s first craft brewery needed a branding change. “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,” Ashburn says. “I love that we are now aligning the message.”
Highland spent most of 2017 collaborating with Austin, Texas-based Helms Workshop on the refresh. The entire beer lineup will still be labeled under the Highland name, but will now depict the Blue Ridge Mountains, where the brewery calls home. The pioneer compass you see is a reminder that Highland was Asheville’s first craft beer.
” We believe in authenticity…You act the same way when no one else is looking. You deliver the same level of quality every time that only you could notice. You are authentic when your actions align with your words. And when our brand aligns with our beer. This refreshed brand is who we are.”
Highland will host a launch celebration in their taproom on February 23rd. Look for the refreshed look on all Highland bottles, cans, and tap handles hitting shelves in the near future.
Highland Southern Sixer IPA marks the Asheville, North Carolina based brewery’s first seasonal of 2017. It’s a hoppy one. ;
Six varieties of hops make Highland Southern Sixer IPA, including one never used by the brewery before, Ekuanot. (Once called Equinox.) Ekuanot along with Mosaic are the hop headliners, making this beer uniquely fruity and resiny.
Knowing the name well in advance, the brewing team had fun making every possible aspect of this beer relate to “six,” from the number of hops to the ABV and IBUs. Even the packaging, typically offered in 12-packs, is available only in six-packs. – Hollie Stephenson, Highland brewmaster
Highland Southern Sixer IPA will be tapped at the brewery on January 27th. 12 ounce bottles and draft will be available shortly after the brewery launch.
Hops: Ekuanot, Mosaic, 4 Other Varieties
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Seasonal release.
6% ABV, 60 IBUs
Image: Highland Brewing
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale is back in action for its 20th year. The beer is officially the longest running seasonal in the brewery’s Asheville, North Carolina home.
Stylistically, the brewery calls Cold Mountain a winter warmer. Honestly, this beer is really unique and in our minds really doesn’t fit that style. Imagine a caramel colored, malt forward ale that isn’t roasty, bitter, or rely on a boozy finish for flavor. Highland really doesn’t disclose the spices in Cold Mountain, but we are placing our bets on hazelnut and vanilla. Perhaps even a light touch of cranberry. Not knowing really makes every pint of this more fun.
We are all in agreement here at Beer Street Journal that Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale is one of our absolute favorite seasonals every year. Two full decades later, can it be called iconic? We hope so.
To celebrate the double decade mark in 2016, the brewery released an Imperial Cold Mountain edition at the brewery only. A beer we hope to get our hands one one day.
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale is available in liter and 22 ounce bottles, as well as draft, seasonally.
Style: Winter Warmer (w/ Spices)
Hops: Cascade, Mount Hood
Malts: 2 Row, Brewers, Pilsen, Chocolate, Wheat, Caramel 40/60
Availability: 22oz Bottles, Liter Bottles, Draft.
Latest Return: Winter, 2016
5.2% ABV, 28 IBUs
PIC: Beer Street Journal