Highland Brewing Company - Asheville's Oldest Brewery
Highland Brewing Company rolled out its first beer keg in December 1994. Built almost entirely of retrofitted dairy equipment, our original brewery in downtown Asheville could produce up to 6,500 barrels of beer per year.
Until 1998, our beer was available only in kegs and hand-filled 22-ounce bottles. That year, we added a four head bottling machine, which enabled us to start packaging 12-ounce bottles as well. In 2002, we purchased a used Krones Bottler and were then capable of filling 7,200 12-ounce bottles per hour. We continued to hand fill our 22-ounce bottles. Although we brewed twice daily, four days per week, the demand for our beer continued to exceed the supply.
After evaluating short-term options for increasing production, we opted temporarily to brew and bottle some of our beer using the facilities of Wild Goose Brewery in Fredrick, Maryland. Our long-term goal was to once again brew all our beer locally, and in October 2006, we were thrilled to begin operations in our larger, more efficient brewery in East Asheville.
Since December 2006, Highland has been fully operational in our new facility, with 30,000 square feet for brewing and operations. We can now produce more than 20,000 barrels of beer per year. We still have room to add more tanks in the future as growth demands. Meanwhile, our staff of sixteen works daily to efficiently brew, package, and sell our product, overseen by owner/founder Oscar Wong and vice president/brewmaster John Lyda, who have been at the brewery since its inception.
Our move to the new brewery has given us the space and time to try several new exciting ventures. So far this year we have introduced two new seasonal beers, with two more to come by the end of 2008. We also held the first annual Highland Cup, a competition designed to enhance relations with homebrewers and homebrew clubs and also to enter the winning beer in the Great American Beer Fest Pro-Am competition.
Highland Brewing Company would like to extend an invitation to visit the brewery for a tour and tasting. Tours are conducted every Friday at 4:00pm.
Sales and Marketing Representative