Beer today, gone tomorrow: Asheville beer happenings Dec. 26-Jan.1

Image courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

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 wncbeertoday@gmail.com.

Bottle and can releases

  • Highland Brewing Co. debuts its IPA Variety Pack on Friday, Dec. 29. The 12-pack includes Mandarina IPA, Daycation IPA, Highland IPA and the premiere of Alternate Cargo, a collaboration among the brewery’s departments that will explore the full spectrum of the India Pale Ale with each new edition. The first batch of Alternate Cargo is an American IPA which combines Simcoe, Centennial and Amarillo hops with Hallertau Blanc hops, imbuing the beer with notes of white grapes.
  • On Saturday, Dec. 30, at noon, Burial Beer Co. has a double release at its back dock. The Earth As We Now Know It Triple IPA (10 percent ABV) is triple dry-hopped with some of the brewers’ favorite hops and will not see distribution. Skillet Donut Stout (8 percent ABV) makes its twice-yearly return, the first batch of which will be distributed solely in-state, followed by an out-of-state batch.

Small-batch beers

  • **NEW** Burial taps Ensnared by Distorted Delusion Linden Flower Saison (5.5. percent ABV) on Wednesday, Dec. 27. It will also release The Earth As We Now Know It and Skillet on draft Dec. 30 in conjunction with their packaged releases.
  • Catawba Brewing Co. releases a Chocolate Cherry Stout on Thursday, Dec. 28, at all its locations.
  • Zillicoah Beer Co. rolls out of its extended soft opening phase Friday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m. with the release of at least five new beers. Offerings include an Open Fermented Farmhouse Pale Ale collaboration with Burial Beer Co.; a Tropical White IPA collaboration with Asheville Brewing Co.; an Open Fermented English Mild collaboration with Fonta Flora Brewery; an Open Fermented Dry-Hopped Lime Basil Sour; a Rauchbier; and other exclusive small batch sour brews that will be one-time offerings.

Special events

  • Thirsty Monk Biltmore Park celebrates its 5th Annual New Year’s Eve Keg Drop on Sunday, Dec. 31. A two-story golden keg will be lit up and glowing, descending at midnight as a keg of Thirsty Monk Brewery Must Love Coconut IPA will be tapped to toast the New Year.
  • **NEW** Appalachian Vintner‘s holiday silent auction runs through Sunday, Dec. 31. Over 50 items have been donated by industry partners, local businesses and breweries and all proceeds benefit Arts for Life NC, Mission NICU and Olsen Huff Therapies at Mission Children’s Hospital.
  • **NEW** Catawba‘s aforementioned Chocolate Cherry Stout is also Passport Beer #52, the final Small Batch release in the brewery’s 2017 rewards program. Participants who collected all 52 stamps for the year are invited to a private party at the brewery’s South Slope Rickhouse Bar on Sunday, Jan. 21, where they will be rewarded with custom-made ceramic growlers and supper, compliments of Catawba. The Passport Program will return in 2018 with the release of a Small Batch Russian Imperial Stout on Thursday, Jan. 4. Passport booklets are free at all four participating Catawba locations (Charlotte, Morganton, Asheville-South Slope, Asheville-Biltmore Village).
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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com 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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