Beer today, gone tomorrow: Asheville beer happenings Dec. 18-24

Image by Scott Southwick

Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow is the one-stop home for Asheville-area beer news. Check back throughout the week for updates and send your own to

Bottle and can releases

  • On Friday, Dec. 21, Highland Brewing Co. has a dual can release. Starchaser White (4.8 percent ABV; née Stargazer White), a white ale brewed with coriander, candied ginger and grapefruit peel, joins the brewery’s year-round offerings on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. Also out that day is the seasonal Midnight Summit (6.0 percent ABV), a vanilla milk stout, available on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. Both beers will see distribution in the coming weeks.
  • Burial Beer Co. has a dual packaged release on Friday, Dec. 21, at noon. Houtenhamer Double Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (12 percent ABV), aged in bourbon barrels for six months, racked into new bourbon barrels for an extra six months and blended with 25 percent young steel-aged stout, will be available in 16-ounce single cans for $9 each. Velvet Cocoon Blended American Dark Sour Ale (9.2 percent ABV), a 50/50 blend of dark red mixed culture ale and clean fermented imperial stout, re-fermented in the bottle for 12 months, will be available in 750-milliliter bottles for $20 each. Both beers will also be available on draft.
  • **NEW** Sideways Farm & Brewery has a dual release on Friday, Dec. 21. Farmhouse Berries (7.7 percent ABV), a malty, darker winter ale made with the farm’s summer blackberries and blueberries, will be available in 750-milliliter bottles for $14 each or by the pour. Maple-Aged, Sea Salt Pumpkin Seed Ale (6.3 percent ABV), made with maple syrup and aged on maple spirals, will be available in small pours only or in bottles to those joining Sideways’ CSB (Community Supported Brewery) Reserve Membership.
  • **NEW** Zebulon Artisan Ales releases Appalachian/Belgian Dark Strong Ale (for Mariya Oktyabrakaya) (10.2 percent ABV) on Friday, Dec. 21. Brewed with local small-batch sorghum syrup from McMurry Farms, the Belgian-style quad is the third in Zebulon’s “series of Nazi-killing bad ass women.” It will be available in 750 milliliter bottles for $14 and on draft.

Small-batch beers and ciders

  • Highland is currently pouring Champion Sluggah, a New England IPA fermented on oak chips.
  • Brevard Brewing Co. is currently pouring Rye Pale Ale (6.2 percent ABV).
  • Oskar Blues Brewery taps a rauchbier called Between a Rauch and a Hard Place on Tuesday, Dec. 18, followed by Gypsy Squid Extra Brut Pilsner on Thursday, Dec. 20.
  • On Tuesday, Dec. 18, Fermented Nonsense Brewing releases World’s Best Cup of Coffee, an imperial coffee stout inspired by the movie Elf. The beer was fermented with bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup and M&M’s.
  • Pisgah Brewing Co. unveils the 2018 edition of Chocolatized Russian Imperial Stout on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at ZaPow. Purchases include a free pint glass, while supplies last.
  • **NEW** Hillman Beer is currently pouring Free Punches in the Face Triple IPA (11.5 percent ABV) and Roggenbier (5 percent ABV), a dark German-style rye ale described as “basically a dunkleweizen but made with rye instead of wheat.”
  • Catawba Brewing Co.  releases its version of Resilience IPA on Thursday, Dec. 20, at all of its taprooms, and UpCountry Brewing Co. will release its on Friday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m. at both of its taprooms. The beer answers the “bat signal” sent out by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. — which also releases its take on Dec. 20 — to raise funds for people impacted by the California Camp Fire. According to Sierra Nevada, other participating breweries include Bhramari Brewing Co., Blue Ghost Brewing Co., Ecusta Brewing Co., French Broad River Brewery, Green Man Brewery, Highland, Oskar Blues and Wicked Weed Brewing. Highland will release its version on Jan. 4. Check with the other breweries for their release dates.
  • On Friday, Dec. 21, Archetype Brewing Co. taps Hibernal Sunrise, a breakfast stout with cacao nibs, vanilla, and coffee.
  • **NEW** On Friday, Dec. 21, 6-9 p.m., Daidala Ciders releases Ain’t In It For My Health, a seasonal blend with hints of smoked apples and maple syrup, aged in bourbon barrels.
  • **NEW** Ecusta Brewing Co. taps Dark Prong Coffee Porter, made with pecan coffee from Pisgah Coffee Roasters, on Friday, Dec. 21.
  • Blue Ghost releases Hot Chocolate Milk Stout (6.5 percent ABV) on Saturday, Dec. 22.
  • **NEW** Thirsty Monk Brewery release two new beers on Saturday, Dec. 22, at both of its locations: Monk Lite, a full-flavored light beer with 107 calories and four grams of carbs per serving, and Monk’s Cottage Belgian Dark Ale (8.7 percent ABV), the latest beer in its Karma Series, a portion of sales from which will support Pisgah Legal Services.

Special events

  • Asheville Brewers Supply hosts its monthly Brewers Social on Thursday, Dec. 20, 6-9 p.m. Attendees are invited to bring some of their latest labeled homebrew creations to share. Complimentary pizza from Asheville Pizza Co. will be provided.
  • Appalachian Vintner is the exclusive home of a cask of a coffee variant of Olde Hickory Brewery Event Horizon Imperial Stout on Friday, Dec. 21, 5-8 p.m.
  • The Whale celebrates its first anniversary on Friday, Dec. 21, 6 p.m.-midnight. According to the event’s Facebook page, there will be “super rare beers on tap, special bottle openings, door prizes and surprises throughout the night.”

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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