Highland TourOne of the most well known breweries in the Asheville area, Highland Brewing Company offers some of the best brews in the state. Founder, Oscar Wong, set up shop in downtown Asheville and began serving the craft beer needs of the southeast shortly thereafter. From a very centralized beginning in downtown Asheville to being distributed from Indianapolis to Miami, Highland Brewing is the craft brewer which other smaller breweries always find themselves compared.

Photo Courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

Photo Courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

The humble roots of this craft brewer began in 1994 with the first kegs rolling out in December of that year. Like most craft brewers in the early days of craft brewing, Mr. Wong found it difficult to find and fit equipment to deal with his small brewing needs. Retrofitting dairy equipment into brewing equipment was no doubt a difficult endeavor, however, their conversion is just the sort of mountain ingenuity that people in this area are known for. Mr. Wong was able to create adequate brewing equipment to ensure that he could produce 6,500 barrels of beer a year.

Twenty years and 55,000 barrels a year later, Highland now has its home in a bigger, better facility in Asheville, complete with a tasting room and event space. Tasting room and rooftop tours can be booked online and taken daily from 4 to 8, Friday and Saturday from 2 to 9, and Sunday from 12 to 6. In addition, you can enjoy special live music events Friday through Sunday. The dates and bands can also be found on their website.

Photo Courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

Photo Courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

A major benefit of being one of the oldest and most successful breweries in the region is the fact that Highland’s brews can be purchased at almost any local restaurant or grocery store. After experiencing the tasting room, head over to pick up a six pack to take home with you. They have several year-round brews, including my personal favorite the Gaelic ale. In addition, they have seasonal brews, small batch brews, and a couple of short-run series. All in all, they have around 27 brews, give or take a few, and the tastes vary enough to appeal to even the pickiest of taste buds.

Another commendable aspect about Highland Brewing is their commitment to sustainability and charitable organizations to protect the surrounding community, waterways and forestry of the Asheville area. That attitude is very ‘Asheville’ and further solidifies Highland Brewing Company as an Asheville native institution. What sort of sustainability are we talking about? Solar panels on the roof of the brewery add the power needs of Highland Brewing and ensure that their operations have minimal impact on the surrounding environment. In addition, they try to minimize their impact in production and distribution as well. The details of which will be provided on the tour.

All in all, Highland Brewing Company is a great place to begin your brewery journey. It’s well rounded and really is a great example of an Asheville brewery.

Highland Brewing Company

https://www.highlandbrewing.com/

12 Old Charlotte Highway,

Suite 200

Asheville, NC 28803

Highland Brewing Company

12 Old Charlotte Highway, Suite 200

Asheville, NC 28803