highlandlogoHighland Brewing Company
12 Old Charlotte Hwy
Asheville, North Carolina
Visited on July 5, 2013

After the Oyster House and a brief stop at a nearby consignment store, we figured we’d hit another brewery that required a drive to reach. So we moved from the west side of Asheville to the east side, and hit up the largest native Asheville brewing operation.highlandout2

Highland Brewing Company is far and away the largest setup in Asheville, if you ignore the recent additions of national brand production facilities. They’ve done a wonderful job setting up their tasting room. There’s a giant stage where some superb music was being played, plenty of tables and chairs, enough bartenders to keep the masses hydrated (or dehydrated, as the case may be), and they even went as far as to hang a copious number of sound dampeners from the ceiling to improve the venue’s acoustics.

highlandout1And outside gets even better. A deck directly adjacent to the brewery has beautiful woodwork and plenty of picnic tables to relax on. Further back on the grounds, they have outdoor stages set up for their frequent concerts, when the weather is cooperating (it wasn’t that day).

In all, it was probably the nicest setup I’ve been to from a large-scale brewery.

And the beers are pretty good too. I had already tried all of their regular bottled brews just from having lived in the region for several months, but I got a sampler anyway. None of it will blow you away, but it’s all markedly better than most of the crap that passes for bottled brews in North Carolina. They also had three specialty beers on. Unfortunately, a sampler only comes with the standard lineup and one of these specialty brews tagged on the end. Poor form. The only way to rectify this was to get pints of the other two after the sampler.highlandout1

There was a double IPA on tap, which was average, but even the average double IPA is awesome in the grand scheme of things. They also had their own saison on tap along with a collaboration saison brewed together with several local breweries. Both were tasty, but I preferred Highland’s own recipe.

I’d hang out here on a regular basis if I lived in the neighborhood. The trip to Asheville just kept getting better after a rough first day.

Location: 20
Food: NA
Beer: 18
Service: 18
Overall: 18
Total: 74 (of 80)