ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Hi-Wire Brewing’s annual collaboration 12-pack brought together some of the biggest names in craft brewing – Ninkasi Brewing Company out of Oregon, Cigar City Brewing from Florida, and New Belgium Brewing Company hailing from Colorado but also just down the road from Hi-Wire in Asheville, North Carolina. Brewers from each company collaborated individually with Hi-Wire’s head brewer, Luke Holgate, to create a beer that blended the soul of both breweries to create something entirely new. The result: three inspired new beers plus three new friendships spreading from all corners of the country.
First up, let it be known that Ninkasi Brewing Company is one of the best IPA producers in the country, period. Together with the hop wizards themselves, Hi-Wire Brewing sought to blur the line between Northwest and Northeast IPAs by blending a higher bitterness and balanced malt character with the experience of a hazy IPA. Almost West IPA (6.8% ABV), dry-hopped with Citra, BRU-1, Amarillo, and Zappa supported by Imperial’s “Juice” Organic Yeast, was born from this blending of worlds. Spritely tangerine citrus peel, lemon-lime, tart passion fruit, peach flesh, and sweet cherry are just a few characteristics present in this kaleidoscope of hop goodness.
The famed Cigar City Brewing made the trip up to Asheville next, but the beer-centric journey did not stop there. A shared love of lagers and pilsners was the bottom line in their partnership with Hi-Wire and the resulting carbonated passport. Intercontinental Contemporary Pilsner (5% ABV) brings together hops from around the globe – South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. – then melds them with North Carolina-grown heirloom corn and German malt. A subtly toasted cornbread character and creamy mouthfeel from the malt and Jimmy Red Corn tie together the aromas of tropical fruit, guava, and honeydew from whirlpool hop additions.
Finally, if the name does not give it away, New Belgium Brewing was founded on traditional Belgian ales, and Hi-Wire Brewing teamed up with their brewers to pay homage to that classic style. Belgian Stout (7% ABV) is not a bold and roasty American-style stout simply brewed with Belgian yeast. The recipe was designed as a proper nod to the Belgian-style, and it all started with the grain bill. Briess’ Midnight Wheat and Epiphany Craft Malt’s Brewer’s Breakfast Malt lend a subtle grain body while Ruby Malt also from the North Carolina-based Epiphany provides notes of plum, fig, and dark fruit. Additions of orange to the base create a classy ale reminiscent of a chocolate orange while star anise adds a whiff of botanical liqueur and soft licorice. Imperial’s Napoleon Belgian Yeast’s high attenuation leaves this beer extremely dry allowing for a pleasant orange twang mixed with smoky cloves on the finish. The collab 12-pack, featuring four cans each of Hi-Wire Brewing’s collaboration beers with Ninkasi Brewing Company, Cigar City Brewing, and New Belgium Brewing Company, will be available across Hi-Wire’s distribution footprint starting Jan. 17.
The rich and smooth Bohemian Dark Lager kicks off Hi-Wire’s new Local Lager series, an ode to locally-sourced malt and favorite lager styles. Featuring barley from North Carolina’s Epiphany Craft Malt and Riverbend Malt House, this dark German-style lager perfectly balances hoppy and malty flavors and comes in at an easy-drinking 5.2% ABV. Notes of toasted hazelnut, light chocolate, and a subtle roasty flavor finish out crisp and clean. Bohemian Dark Lager is available now in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans and on draft throughout Hi-Wire’s entire distribution footprint.
The first edition of Hi-Wire’s new Sour Smoothie Series received a staggering one hundred pounds of fruit per barrel to create an over-the-top fruited sour beer bursting with blueberry, mango, and a balanced sourness that finishes on a delightfully refreshing note. Blueberry Mango Sour Smoothie (5.5% ABV) makes a bold statement with its jammy magenta color, sunset-inspired can, and punch-you-in-the-face fruitiness. A limited amount of 4-packs of 16-ounce cans are available now across Hi-Wire’s distribution footprint.
About Hi-Wire Brewing
Hi-Wire Brewing is known for producing approachable and balanced lagers and ales, most notably Hi-Pitch Mosaic IPA, Lo-Pitch Juicy IPA, and Bed of Nails Brown, and it boasts an award-winning sour and wild ale program. Founded in Asheville, North Carolina, in 2013, Hi-Wire now has two locations in Asheville – the Big Top Production Facility, Taproom & Event Space and the South Slope Specialty Brewery & Taproom – along with a third taproom in Durham, North Carolina, and its first out-of-state taproom in Knoxville, Tennessee. Hi-Wire Brewing’s Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup award-winning beers can be found on draft and in cans across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Alabama. To learn more about the company, visit hiwirebrewing.com.