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

Photo courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

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Bottle/can releases

  • Highland Brewing Co. releases Saw-Whet Saison on Friday, Jan. 29, at its tasting room. A 6 percent ABV hoppy farmhouse ale, Saw-Whet is named for the saw-whet owl, the smallest predatory owl in the eastern U.S. and will be followed by two other Highland seasonal brews later in the year. It will be packaged in both six packs and 12 packs of 12-ounce bottles.
  • Wicked Weed Brewing will sell a limited, one-off batch of French Toast Imperial Stout on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 11:30 a.m. at its Biltmore Ave. location. Only a pallet and a half was made on its 15bbl brewpub system and the cans will have no distribution. Brewed with maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla, the beer is available for purchase by the four-pack ($15) with a one case (six four-packs) limit per person. Brewers will also be downstairs that morning cooking up actual french toast for customers.

Small-batch beers

  • On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Burial Beer Co. releases Mittens Citrus Winter Wit, a light (4.2 percent ABV) and aromatic Belgian wit brewed with lemon verbena, lemon peel and orange peel, then aged on grapefruit pulp and peel before release. On Thursday, Jan. 28, it welcomes The Forge Rauchbier, a German “smoked beer” (5.3 percent ABV) made using traditional German base malts as well as smoked malt from Virginia’s Copper Fox Distillery.
  • Pre-Prohibition Lager is on tap at both Hi-Wire Brewing locations. The easy drinking (6 percent ABV) lager is made exclusively with local malt and corn.

Special events

  • Appalachian Vintner hosts an event in honor of Asheville Brewing Co.’s Love Ninja Porter on Thursday, Jan. 28, beginning at 4 p.m. with 22-ounce bottles on sale as well as pours from a rare cask version of the brew. The 2016 Love Ninja is brewed with lactose, giving it a silky smoothness. Fresh vanilla beans, cacao powder from local chocolatier French Broad Chocolate Lounge and pureed strawberries are then added to the beer.
  • Bruisin’ Ales‘ free weekly tasting features offerings from Oskar Blues Brewery. Samples of Dale’s Pale Ale (6.5 percent ABV), Deviant Dale’s IPA (8 percent ABV), Death by Coconut porter (6.5 percent ABV) and Ten FIDY Imperial Stout (10.5 percent ABV) will be poured.
  • Tasty Beverage Co. celebrates dark offerings from Bell’s Brewery, Inc. on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. Kegs of Expedition Stout, Java Stout and Double Cream Stout will be taps as well as a surprise or two.
  • Sanctuary Brewing Co.‘s official beer release party is at noon Sunday, Jan. 31, featuring 12 house beers, food and live music.

New to distribution

  • Franklin-based Lazy Hiker Brewing Co. has been picked up by Skyland Distributing and will be featured at several bars and restaurants around town this month, including pint nights at Thirsty Monk Biltmore Park and Brixx. In the words of head brewer Noah McIntee, “We are releasing new beers to support the expansion and to fill out our catalog which includes flagship beers Trail Mate Golden Ale, Slack Pack IPA and Wesser Evil Porter. To great response, we debuted a Winter Porter made with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs as well as a Bourbon Barrel Aged Double IPA that is literally melting peoples minds with pure beer awesomeness.”

New and noteworthy

  • Wicked Weed Brewing’s latest bottle release,  Iron Lady Black IPA, a 9.5 percent ABV black IPA, is currently available in the Asheville market.
  • Two new beers from Prairie Artisan Ales arrived last week but were overshadowed by snow closure:. Ape Snake, a dry hopped, 7.9 percent ABV dark farmhouse ale, and the extremely limited Barrel Aged Bomb, a whisky barrel-aged variant of the brewery’s popular imperial stout. Supplies of both are likely to be dwindling if not already gone.
  • Grimm Artisanal Ales Super Spruce, a dry-hopped gose brewed with spruce tips, is on specialty retailer shelves now.

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About Scott Douglas and Edwin Arnaudin

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