For an up-close look at beer making, take the tour at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, one of the South's largest craft brewers. They rolled out its first beer kegs in December 1994, leading the way for craft beer in Asheville. In October 2006, they built a brewery in east Asheville and crank out 360+ cases an hour! And they are expanding in 2015.
Highland Brewing tours are:
- Monday-Friday at 4:00 & 4:45 PM
- Saturday at 2:45, 3:30, 4 & 4:45 PM
- Sunday at 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 & 4:15 PM
Although tours are free, they ask for canned food donations for Manna Food Bank or a $5 donation to their community partner of the month. The 45-minute tour includes a brief overview of both the brewing and packaging process. Plus, sample several of the current brews. Please arrive ten minutes early - no open-toed shoes allowed. They brew twice daily, three days per week in a "Santa Rosa" 50 barrel brew system. They bottle at least twice a week, packing 2,000 cases or more.
The Highland Tasting Room is open:
- Monday-Thursday 4-8 PM
- Friday 4-9 PM
- Saturday 2-9 PM
- Sunday 1-6 PM
Drop in, sample brews, and hang out with staff. On weekends, they add food and live music 6-8 PM Fridays and Saturdays. They also have an outdoor stage in the field adjacent to the brewery for fun outdoor events and festivals.
Highland Brewing Company is just a few miles from downtown Asheville at 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville. (After turning onto Old Charlotte Highway, be sure to take the second left. Go all the way to the top, then straight ahead to the end of the building.)
Here are some 2015 Updates:
- Rooftop Beer Garden: Highland will open a rooftop event space where guests can enjoy a pint while taking in the views of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s protected hillsides and Mount Pisgah.
- Sustainability Initiatives: Infrastructure and planning are now underway to channel rainwater from the roof and use it for greywater, irrigation, and possibly additional power production.
- New bottling line: Arriving in January, it will take months to assemble and run trials. The new line will be about twice as fast as the current line and with new automation features.
- New Beers: In partnership with the Asheville Symphony and its Asheville Amadeus week, Highland releases Wolfgang 1756 in March. It is a Vienna-style lager. In May, Highland will introduce a new seasonal beer, Lost Cove American Pale Ale, named after a legendary North Carolina ghost town on the Nolichucky River. In addition, over 60 new beers will come from the pilot room in limited quantities this year.
Troy and Sons Distillers
Located next door to Highland Brewing is Troy & Sons American Moonshine. They started selling moonshine in June 2011, honoring the spirit makers that produced for the circuit riding preachers of the 1800's. They are the only distillery in the world producing spirits made from 1840's Crooked Creek Corn. Distillery tours of the "still" are offered at 5 and 6 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.
With Troy's Good Boot Tour, your tasting shots are offered with your choice of spring water. These waters come from some of the most pristine water sources in America, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Try water from Mt. Pisgah, Big Butte, or Whisper Springs with your Troy & Sons Moonshine, or drink it straight at 80 proof.
For a colorful and vibrant experience, choose Troy's Touch Tour with tasting shots with natural juices, traditionally found in the mountains. They include local apple cider, peach, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry juice and more.
Located in the former Southern Railway Wheelhouse, the distillery houses a custom-made 2000 liter copper Kothe Still and state of the art distilling equipment. Each batch of Troy & Sons Moonshine is individually filled, labeled, corked and identified by batch number.
Troy & Sons is located a few miles from downtown Asheville at 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville. (After turning onto Old Charlotte Highway, be sure to take the second left - at the guard shack. Go all the way to the top, then straight ahead to the end of the building.)