November’s Featured Brewery: Highland Brewing Company

There are many things to love about Asheville; it’s not only a pretty cool city to have close enough to us to call a neighbor, but it’s also the home of great beer. For the month of November, we’re particularly thankful that the Highland Brewing Company lives just over the mountains.

Highland, Asheville’s first legal brewery, embodies most of the things we love about a brewery. Of course, the brew tastes fantastic, but also the brewery’s whole culture grows from a positive perspective. The company’s founder and chief bottle washer, Oscar Wong, runs the company with a mantra: Honesty, Integrity, Respect. And that informs everything from workplace attitudes and relationships with suppliers to real care for the beer itself and the smart people who drink it!

And Oscar is one of those lead by example types; so his belief in giving back to his community leads not only to his personal active involvement with charitable organizations, but it also means that Highland Brewing keeps its helping hands busy with good causes like Southern Appalachian Highlands ConservancyAdopt-a-Stream, and Manna Food Bank, among others.

In addition to that good work, the Brewery makes a concerted and successful effort at being really nice to all of our taste buds. And November makes a perfect time to show your gratitude for all the blood, sweat and hops that Highland puts into their causes. This month we’ll feature a variety of Highland brews that will tickle your beer loving buds to no end, including a couple of special offerings that won’t last long.

We’re happy to offer some of the froth from the Brewery’s two new series!

First up, we’ll offer something from the Kinsman Series which features blends of all natural ingredients into their existing Flagship beers. We borrowed this info from Highland’s Website:

“Head Brewer Hollie Stephenson describes the series as, ‘All natural – whole or chopped spices; fresh, chopped, pureed, or dried fruit; oak spirals – and not in extract or concentrate form. Ingredients will be local where feasible and as fresh as possible. For example, we hand-cut the dried chipotle peppers and hand-cut and scraped the vanilla pods and beans that went into the Black Mocha Stout.’”

We’ll have the Black Mocha Stout (with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, dried chipotle peppers, whole cinnamon sticks and Nicaraguan Cocoa Nibs from the French Broad Chocolate Lounge) on tap until it runs out, so get a move on!

Then we’ll move on to the Warrior Series, which Highland describes as a product with “bold aromas and flavors, often high gravity, styles will vary widely and will be released a few times per year in limited quantities of kegs and 12-ounce four packs.”

Our first Warrior will be the high-gravity Blackwatch: “It’s a double chocolate milk stout named for Scotland’s Black Watch, the historic military regiment that protected the Highlands. Brewed with five malts, roasted barley, flaked oats and one pound of cocao nibs per barrel, we created a rich, high-gravity ale reminiscent of brownie batter and marshmallows with an aromatic nose and a lingering dark chocolate finish. Contains lactose and cacao nibs.”

In the 3rd week of the month you’ll want to keep your own watch for the arrival of Cold Mountain Winter Ale. It’s a seasonal brew and a highly anticipated entry into the beer world!

Highland has a good description and some considered advice: “Our spiced winter seasonal complements all your holiday festivities. It’s typically malty in body, lightly hopped, and rounded out with a delicious mix of spices that vary from year to year as we search for the best vanilla, hazelnut and other flavors. If you see it in the store, don’t wait!”

We hope that they’ve allocated enough for us to last through the end of the month. We hope.

But make sure that you also take the time to grab a pint of Thunderstruck Coffee Porter. It’s a “robust porter has a full body with some hints of chocolate from the Chocolate Malt and Midnight Wheat. The mild hop aroma showcases the roasted flavors and subtle fruit and spice notes of the artisan fair-trade, organic coffee, roasted in the neighboring town of Black Mountain at Dynamite Roasting Company.”

It’s a fantastic month to celebrate all the wonderful things that help make life good. And so we’re reminded of the over-quoted but always good to remember thought that “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Happy November!

Oscar Wong from Highland Brewing Company
Oscar Wong from Highland Brewing Company



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