It’s safe to say that Asheville wouldn’t be the beer mecca it is if not for the pioneer spirit of Highland Brewing Company owner/founder Oscar Wong. The brewery which began in 1994 has expanded its brand and is available in seven states. You can tour the brewery and sample beers like Gaelic Ale, Kashmir IPA and the seasonal offerings in the new tasting room which is open Thursday - Saturday with food and music available Friday and Saturday. The atmosphere is very laid-back so grab a seat at one of the indoor picnic tables under the giant fan and enjoy beers from Asheville’s oldest brewery.
(Visited 06/2015): Highland Brewing is located southeast of downtown Asheville on Old Charlotte Highway, not too far off I-40/I-240. Parking is available in front of the building.
There is a wooden-decked patio in front of the large building. Inside is spacious with a bar along the right side, a merch stand near the front, and high-top tables in the open space. There is a stage toward the rear. Industrial look, including a B.A.F. and a disco ball, among other decorations. There is a board behind the bar listing the beers on tap.
As for the beers, there are around 6 on draught, a mix of some flagship stuff plus some seasonal and brewery-exclusive selections like Footpath (collaboration with New Belgium), Out Of The Park IPA and DiBelgian Imperial Stout. Samplers are available. They also have a few bottles available to go, including a couple Anniversary beers while I was there. The beers were decentd overall.
Service on a Friday afternoon was good. The bartenders were friendly and knowledgeable.
We did not have any food on the visit.
Overall this is a good brewery to visit in Asheville, especially given they are one of the originals. While there are some better-quality breweries around, I respect Highland’s place in craft brewing history.
Huge place, great atmosphere. Went here in the summer of 2011 and they were in the middle of an expansion. Probably even better place to have a beer and enjoy some music. Hope to check it out again someday.
Stopped in on a weekend evening. Quite a good size crowd. First place I had to trade my license for a sampler. The building is huge, lots of seating and a nice area out back. A little out of the way from Asheville, but worth the trip.
Visited in July, for the free tour and tastings afterwards. The waiting area is very large and clearly setup for large crowds. Wish we could have seen the bottling line in action, but no dice. They have a room with a where they make small batches so their folks can experiment and play, which I thought was cool.
One of the few breweries I’ve been to that gives out free swag at the end of the tour to discourage folks taking ’souvenirs’. They also have a selection of merchandise, if you are so inclined.
Sort of out of the way to get too, but cool once you do. They have a huge stage which looks great for concerts. The beer was pretty good, but I didn’t like that you couldn’t get a flight/taster of whatever you wanted, just a select 3 or 4 plus 1 seasonal.