Highland Brewing Company
For a taste of trailblazing Asheville beer, head to Highland Brewing Company. Highland Brewing Company was founded in 1994 by retired engineer, Oscar Wong. It was the first legal brewery in Asheville since Prohibition and has grown to become the largest family-owned, female-led brewery native to the Southeast. They are our favorite brewery to visit. Their east Asheville production facility and taproom is a destination for locals and visitors alike. The 40-acre campus allows visitors to enjoy limited-release beers, an 18-hole disc golf course, five sand volleyball courts, live music, and private events. They have plenty of free parking, and it's a quick 5-mile trip from downtown!
Staying downtown? Highland also has a downtown taproom within Asheville’s first food hall, The S&W Market. The restored Art Deco food hall is on the National historic registry and features Highland beer alongside five local food entrepreneurs.
Brewery Tours: The 50-minute tour and guided tasting allows guests to explore the brewery, hear Highland’s history, and taste 5 beer samples along the way. Tour space is limited—no open-toed shoes allowed. Tour guests must book tickets in advance. Go to their website to make a reservation. Before or after, take a stroll on their walking trails through the surrounding forest.
Sampling of Highland Brewing Beers
- Gaelic Ale: Their first beer is still their most popular by far. This deep amber-colored American ale features a rich malty body. Cascade and Willamette hops add a complex hop flavor and aroma.
- AVL IPA: This west coast style IPA with American Chinook, Citra, and Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest, with hints of tropical fruit, lemon rind, grapefruit and dank hops notes.
- Highland Pilsner: A finely nuanced pilsner with German Hallertau Blanc hops and three other Hallertau region varietals creating notes of stone fruit, pepper, and lush grass. Cold fermented with lager yeast for a crisp, dry finish.
- Daycation IPA: This IPA is lively and light-bodied, with stone fruit and herbal notes, while dry hops adds layers of bright citrus.
- Black Mocha Stout: Highland’s most robust beer has a very malty body with a large, roasted chocolate flavor, created from special roasted barley grains.
- Seasonal & Small Batch: Stop by throughout the year for seasonal beers (like the Clawhammer Oktoberfest and Cold Mountain Winter Ale) and plenty of small batch creations.
Highland Tasting Room: Drop in for a pint or flight and stay for live music and delicious local food trucks. Go to their website for their entertainment and food truck calendars. They are open 7 days a week. Check the website for the latest update on hours of operation and happenings!
The stage is lit up for Highland Brewing's 25th Anniversary celebration! (Photo: Stephan Pruitt)
During warmer months, head outdoors to the meadow for music and festivals. Their rooftop terrace is open many nights to watch the sunset over the mountains.
Weddings & Private Events: The Event Center, Barrel Room, and Rooftop Bar at Highland Brewing host weddings and private gatherings.
Directions: Highland Brewing Company is just a few miles from downtown Asheville at 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville. From downtown, take I-240 East to Exit 8 / Highway 74. Turn left onto Fairview Road. In just over a mile, turn right onto Old Charlotte Highway. You'll see their sign on the left.
For more inform including their busy events calendar, go to Highland Brewing's website.