Beer today, gone tomorrow: Asheville beer happenings Dec. 29-Jan. 4

Photo courtesy of Thirsty Monk

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/can releases

  • On Thursday, Dec. 31, Burial Beer Co. releases Book of the Dead, a 6 percent ABV Belgian stout aged on cherries in Four Roses bourbon barrels. It’s a collaboration with the Beer Study bar in Chapel Hill, and 750-milliliter bottles will go for $16 with a four-bottle limit. That day also marks the debut of Cold Moon winter ale, the final release in Burial’s yearlong Moon Series. The rich winter ale was aged on sage and cedar tree, and the 750-milliliter bottles are adorned with sweetgrass braids, gold wax and an original poem by Head Brewer, Tim Gormley. $16 each and limit two bottles per person.
  • Highland Brewing Co. debuts its new IPA on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 4 p.m. The hop-forward, West Coast IPA with hints of tropical fruit and citrus from Pacific Northwest hops will be available year-round in six-packs, 12-packs and on draft.
  • Hi-Wire Brewing rings in the new year with the release of its new lager seasonal, Enchanter Baltic Porter on Friday, Jan. 1. The robust, 8.5 percent ABV porter was lagered for eight weeks and will be available in six-packs and on draft at both of the brewery’s locations.
  • Asheville Brewing Co. releases Love Ninja Porter on Friday, Jan. 1. The 2016 batch is brewed with lactose to give it a silky smoothness, then fresh vanilla beans, cacao powder from French Broad Chocolate Lounge and pureed strawberries are added. The 5.2 percent ABV brew will be available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft at all Asheville Brewing Co. locations.

Small-batch beers

  • Fonta Flora Brewery has sent bottles of Brine oyster saison to Asheville specialty retailers, available now in limited quantities.
  • Oyster House Brewing Co. is pouring a cask of bourbon barrel-aged Bubba’s Brown Ale.
  • Lookout Brewing Co. debuts this year’s batch of Hoppy New Beer on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m. The light, crisp, clean saison uses Nelson Sauvin hops to create bright flavors reminiscent of champagne. Supplies are likely to run out quickly.
  • Green Man Brewery will be open 12-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31 for a draft only sneak peek of The Dweller Imperial Stout.
  • Burial Beer Co. taps its newest draft release, the 8.2 percent ABV, 100+ IBU Gang of Blades Double IPA, on Friday, Jan. 1.

Special events

  • Thirsty Monk‘s Biltmore Park location hosts its third annual New Year’s Keg Drop Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 31. At midnight, a keg of Highland Brewing Co. Cold Mountain Winter Ale will descend from its perch in the front patio area and promptly be tapped. Cold Mountain will also be part of the downtown Thirsty Monk’s Highland pint night on Wednesday, Dec. 30.
  • In conjunction with its Book of the Dead/Cold Moon bottle release on Dec. 31, Burial Beer Co. will be hosting a stout tap takeover at the brewery. Along with Book of the Dead, Tin Cup Coffee Stout, The Confession Belgian Chocolate Stout, and one keg of Skillet Donut Stout, new release Voorhamer Imperial Stout will also be on draft at the front bar.

New and noteworthy

  • Bruisin’ Ales has cans of NoDa Brewing Co. Hop, Drop ‘N Roll IPA, Coco Loco coconut porter, and Jam Session pale ale currently available. This batch of Hop Drop was canned on Dec. 29, so get it while it’s fresh.
  • UK brewery Siren Craft Brew has released a collaboration with Tampa based Cigar City Brewing called Caribbean Chocolate Cake, a 7.4 percent ABV “tropical” imperial stout brewed with cacao nibs, Cypress wood and lactose.
  • Florida-based Saint Somewhere Brewing‘s Caitlin, a saison brewed with whole dried oranges and fresh orange zest, is on shelves now at specialty retailers.
  • Extremely limited supplies of Dino S’mores, the popular marshmallow imperial stout from Chicago’s Off Color Brewing, are now available at specialty retailers. Bottle limits are likely to apply.
  • Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery of British Columbia has made its way to Asheville. Brewed in the style of American IPAs from the Pacific Northwest, this 7 percent ABV brew has been receiving exceptional reviews.
  • Two Baltic Porters from Quebecois brewery Les Trois Mousquetaires have arrived on Asheville specialty shelves. Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique, a 10 percent ABV dark lager, and its higher-gravity rare variant, the 10.5 percent ABV Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique Edition Speciale, aged in both Bourbon and Brandy barrels.
About Scott Douglas and Edwin Arnaudin

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