ASHEVILLE, NC – Highland Brewing Company is surging with energy, forming a path paved with beer styles rarely seen from this regional brewery. As experienced leaders blend with new staff members, many of whom hail from respected national breweries, Highland is flexing its brewing muscle. Changes are apparent in the new bottling line project and the construction of an event center which includes a rooftop with capacity to hold 300 people. But it’s really about the beer, and that expansion begins in July with a new series that brings taste buds to full attention.
Calling on the brave legends of the Scottish Highlanders as a guide, Highland Brewing’s new family of beers is called the Warrior Series. High gravity, with bold aromas and flavors, styles will vary widely and will be released four times per year in limited quantities of kegs and 12-ounce four packs. To lead the series, Head Brewer Hollie Stephenson created a double IPA “hop bomb” dubbed King MacAlpin, who was the first king of Scotland. It is packed with 5.5 pounds of hops per barrel. Aromas and flavors offer layered fruits finishing with piney bitterness and a citrus punch at 10% alcohol by volume. When asked about the beer she said, “Highland is known for balanced traditional styles, rather than high-gravity hop forward beers. If there is balance, this beer is balanced in its extremes. It clocks in at 90 IBUs, with slight malt sweetness, and is double dry hopped with piney and citrusy Pacific Northwest Centennial, Amarillo, Chinook, and Simcoe hops. This beer will uphold Highland’s commitment to high quality and consistency, while expanding the style profile one can expect from the brewery.”
Future Warrior beers styles will include a chocolate milk stout, a Scotch ale, a Belgian tripel and more. “Gaelic, our flagship, is growing double digits,” said President Leah Wong Ashburn. “At the same time, we want to showcase our talent and taste for bolder beers. We’re in the best position in our 21-year history to give consumers more choices at the highest quality.”
The release party for King MacAlpin Double IPA is Friday, July 17, from 4-9pm, with free live music from 6-8pm and local food trucks on site. The brewery is located at 12 Old Charlotte Hwy, Suite 200, Asheville, NC. It offers indoor and outdoor venues in a comfortable atmosphere.
King MacAlpin Double IPA will be available in Highland’s major markets at limited retail locations. The next Warrior beer will appear in September – a frenzy-inducing chocolate milk stout that was born in the pilot room will be tweaked and graduated to the 50-barrel system.