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Toured Highland Brewing Company


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How many of you are familiar with the Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC? It is a microbrew that makes some quality beers, imo.

 

Last time I was in Asheville, NC, a few months ago, I was at a bar and was drinking the Tasgall beer made by this company, when some guy sitting at the other end of the bar changes seats and sits down right next to me and asks how I like the Tasgall. We get to talking about beer and he reveals the reason he asked is because he works for the HBC. After several more beers each he invites me on an impromptu unofficial after hours tour of the HBC facility, which (unknown to me) is located right down underneath this particular bar, with the only entranceway being through a back alley.

 

It was interesting. He explained how they made the beer, showed me the various holding and mixing tanks, let me sample some hops in natural vegetative pre-beer form (which instantly increased my understanding of what a "hoppy" taste is), etc, as well as providing free beer from taps in the facility during the "tour."

 

One thing that surprised me was how small and humble the whole operation really was. "Facility" is almost too big a word to describe it.

 

But, he mentioned that mine might be one of the last tours ever of that facility, since the company had now outgrown it and was soon expanding to a more expansive location to increase their output.

 

Anyway, it was cool.

Edited by Drunk Pirate Robert
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Thats very cool!

 

When I first moved to Asheville I went downtown looking for the Highlands Brewery. I was walking all around and finally said screw it. I went into Barley's and had a few beers. When I was leaving, I asked the bartender where the hell is the Highlands Brewery. He said downstairs.

 

doh.gif

 

One of my favorite Breweries in Asheville is the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. Most locals refer to to it as the Brew and View. Awesome food and beer. A portion of this building is still a movie theater, which shows recent movies for only $2 a ticket.

 

http://www.ashevillepizza.com/

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QUOTE (Drunk Pirate Robert @ Nov 22 2006, 05:22 PM)
How many of you are familiar with the Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC? It is a microbrew that makes some quality beers, imo.

Last time I was in Asheville, NC, a few months ago, I was at a bar and was drinking the Tasgall beer made by this company, when some guy sitting at the other end of the bar changes seats and sits down right next to me and asks how I like the Tasgall. We get to talking about beer and he reveals the reason he asked is because he works for the HBC. After several more beers each he invites me on an impromptu unofficial after hours tour of the HBC facility, which (unknown to me) is located right down underneath this particular bar, with the only entranceway being through a back alley.

It was interesting. He explained how they made the beer, showed me the various holding and mixing tanks, let me sample some hops in natural vegetative pre-beer form (which instantly increased my understanding of what a "hoppy" taste is), etc, as well as providing free beer from taps in the facility during the "tour."

One thing that surprised me was how small and humble the whole operation really was. "Facility" is almost too big a word to describe it.

But, he mentioned that mine might be one of the last tours ever of that facility, since the company had now outgrown it and was soon expanding to a more expansive location to increase their output.

Anyway, it was cool.

did they run out of beer ? laugh.gif

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In the paper today. This is good news IMO as they had been contracting out some of the beers to a brewery in Maryland.

 

 

 

Highland Brewing Co. finally moves into new digs

by Tony Kiss

published November 22, 2006 12:15 am

 

It took longer than expected. And I don't even want to think about how much it cost. A lot.

 

 

But they're finally making beer at the new Highland Brewing Co. plant in East Asheville. It's a historic time in the annals of local brewing. Asheville's first and biggest microbrewery is taking the next step that will hopefully keep it in business for years to come. The timing is perfect with Thanksgiving here.

 

For the longest time, Highland has been planning this move. The old plant downtown on Biltmore Avenue couldn't make enough beer to keep up with demand.

 

And so Highland founder Oscar Wong started looking for a new location, finally picking a place at the Blue Ridge Motion Pictures lot. Still, it took a while to get this cavernous room transformed into a working brewery.

 

Tanks and equipment had to be carted in. A chill room had to be constructed. Everything had to be hooked up.

 

Highland's brew guru, John Lyda, sweated this one out but got it all pieced together with a lot of assistance.

 

Finally, it was all ready to go. And the first test beer to roll through the system was a batch of Highland's St. Terese Pale Ale - its lightest product - so that any flaws in the system would be obvious in the brew.

 

Meanwhile, the old downtown plant is being dismantled day by day. There's still a final brew in the tanks - Highland's Cold Mountain Winter Ale, which will be bottled by hand in 22-ounce and liter bottles.

 

We've spent a lot of time down there. Maybe before they turn off the lights, we'll have one last brew and toast the memories.

 

This is the opinion of entertainment editor Tony Kiss, who writes his Beer Guy column every other Wednesday. His Brew of the Week feature appears Fridays in the Take 5 entertainment section. E-mail tkiss@CITIZEN-TIMES.com.

 

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll...heme=THEBEERGUY

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