Beer today, gone tomorrow: Asheville beer happenings Nov. 17-23

BACK IN CIRCULATION: The entire portfolio of Shelton Bros. importers returns to market this week. Including brewers such as Mikkeller and Jolly Pumpkin. Photo from Shelton Brothers' Twitter account.

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

  • Pisgah Brewing Co. will release Chocolatized Vortex II (which will now only be known as Chocolatized — a Russian Imperial Stout aged on raw cocoa nibs from French Broad Chocolate Factory) in 22-ounce bottles and on draft Thursday, Nov. 19, at its taproom. The limited batch will produce an estimated 20 cases to be sold in bottles, so a preorder has been set-up with sales beginning Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. Each purchaser’s credit card must match the person’s ID and buyers must be 21 or older. No refunds will be given for underage purchases or unmatched credit cards or IDs. Presale products must be picked up in person at the release. Bottles are $12 each, and the release begins at 6 p.m.
  • Hi-Wire Brewing debuts Smoked Mexican Lager in 22 ounce bottles and on draft in its taprooms on Friday, Nov. 20. The 4.9 percent ABV brew combines oak-smoked wheat malt and beechwood-smoked barley malt with Saaz, Perle and First Gold hops for a smooth and refreshing smokehouse-inspired lager with a deep gold color.

Small-batch beers

  • On Monday, Nov. 16, Burial Beer Co. taps a new batch of Thresher Coffee Saison (a 4.6 percent ABV French Saison and with Counter Culture Coffee’s cold-pressed Olke Birre added post-fermentation) followed by Hermit Saints Saison (a 5.5 percent ABV saison-style ale brewed with Huell Melon, Galaxy and Mosaic hops then rested in a blend of Biltmore Estate red wine barrels, refermented on petite manseng grapes from Overmountain Vineyards and finished with Brettanomyces brux wild yeast strain) and the return of Massacre of the Innocents IPA (6.5 percent ABV) on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
    Thursday, Nov. 19 brings The Forge Crabapple Cinnamon Berliner Weiss (a 4 percent ABV Berliner Weiss kettle-soured for multiple days with lactobacillus bacteria, brewed with cardamom and cinnamon and aged on crabapples from Salt & Smoke’s backyard) while the 7 percent ABV The Confession Belgian Stout (brewed with roasted barley, black barley and traditional Belgian candi sugar) debuts Friday, Nov. 20.
  • Oyster House Brewing Co. has casks of its Supermoon Imperial Oyster Stout (aged with oak that had been soaking up Highland Park single malt scotch whisky) and Cloud Gatherer IPA (with Zeus hops and lemon zest).
  • On Wednesday, Nov. 18, both Hi-Wire Brewing taprooms began pouring a Red Lager from its specialty brewery.
  • Also on Nov. 18, Green Man Brewery tapped what its Facebook page calls “a super small batch” of She’s My Cherry Pie, a Munich Weisse with tart cherries and munich malt and soured with lactobacillus.
  • Highland Brewing Co. presents House of Black and Weiss (5.28 percent ABV with notes of chocolate, banana bread, mild toastiness and a soft toasty finish) and Beer Goddess (a 6.42 percent ABV pale ale with coffee beans) on Friday, Nov. 20.
  • Blind Squirrel Brewery releases Fire Roasted Curry-Curry Pumpkin Porter this weekend, exclusively in its Plumtree taproom and at specialty tasting events. The beer is made with roasted, locally-farmed pumpkins and an extensive spice blend.

Rare kegs

  • Appalachian Vintner is currently pouring 2013 Olde Hickory Brewery Imperial Stout and on Friday, Nov. 20 taps a cask of Stone Brewing Co. Ruination 2.0 Double IPA that was dry-hopped in the cask with Cashmere hops.

Special events

  • Tasty Beverage Co. welcomes Curtis Smith from Olde Hickory Brewery on Thursday, Nov. 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Kegs of cedar-aged Irish Walker (a 10 percent ABV English-style barleywine), Imperial Stout (10.6 percent ABV) and Lindley Park (a 10 percent ABV stout brewed with honey and raspberries) will be tapped and a few bottles of Omega Point (a 10 percent ABV barleywine-style ale aged in bourbon barrels) will be available to purchase.
  • On Thursday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. the Downtown Thirsty Monk hosts an Anderson Valley Brewing Co. tap event upstairs and downstairs. Briney Melon Gose, Brother David’s Double, Heelch o’ Hops double IPA, Hoppy Saison and Rye Barrel Stout will be available. Then on Friday, Nov. 20 also at 4 p.m., Samuel Adams Brewery reps stop by on their coast-to-coast tasting tour in honor of the release of the Boston brewery’s Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF) Grand Cru. It, American Kriek Nitro (an ale aged with Balafon cherries in oak barrels), Winter Lager and New World Tripel will be paired with a special menu of tacos.

New to distribution

  • Following a protracted absence, the entire portfolio of Shelton Bros. importers returns to market this week. Including brewers such as Mikkeller and Jolly Pumpkin as well as many others, this is likely to be the most significant story in Asheville beer availability this year. Check back here throughout the week for further details.
  • The full Shelton Bros. roll-out has been pushed back to next week. In addition to the aforementioned breweries, Belgian Trappist brewery Achel  and Norwegian brewers HaandBryggeriet will be returning. Additional breweries and further details will be posted here as they become available.
  • Prairie Artisan Ales releases Christmas Bomb! for the first time in Asheville this week. Taking as its base the brewery’s popular Bomb! spiced imperial stout and adding cinnamon bark, Christmas Bomb! will be available in bottles on Thursday, Nov. 19 at specialty retailers.
  • Some, but not all, of the Shelton Bros. beers should be in stores sometime Friday Nov. 20, with others following in weeks to come.

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About Scott Douglas and Edwin Arnaudin

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