ASHEVILLE, N.C. — This summer brings Highland’s twist on a wit: complexity created with ginger, grains of paradise, and cumin, in addition to the traditional coriander and orange peel.
“I love the ginger,” said head brewer Joey Justice. “Ginger can dry the beer out, and grains of paradise are sort of hot, so we started with a slightly sweeter base and more body to compensate for the spices.”
Trying to find the balance of flavors was a fun challenge with Razor Wit.
“We ground the spices, heated them in water to simulate what would happen in the boiling process, and dosed each one in a neutral beer,” said Justice. “We identified the flavors we got from each spice… and talked about how they would work together.”
Several combinations in varying proportions were tested. No single ingredient or flavor was to dominate.
“There’s a lot of talk about ‘creativity’ meaning the hottest hot sauce or the strongest coffee, but we look for a way to find balance. There’s a lot to be said for subtlety in being creative,” said Justice.
This “Moorish” style wit is refreshing with a savory, not sweet, blend of flavors, and a clean finish. Razor Wit will replace Cattail Peak Wheat in May and will be available through August.
Like Little Hump, Cold Mountain, and all other Highland seasonals, Razor Wit is named after a prominent North Carolina mountain peak. Every seasonal release is combined with a presentation in the brewery tasting room and a hike to, or near, the named peak (with the appropriate beer served at the top).
For all seasonal events and hikes, Highland partners with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC). They work to protect the NC and TN Appalachians — the world’s oldest mountains — including their unique plant and animal habitat, water, farmland and scenic beauty that is vital to Highland and the Asheville area.
All are welcome! Please sign up on the SAHC site, under News and Events/Group Hikes.
For more on Highland Brewing: www.highlandbrewing.com
For more on SAHC: www.appalachian.org