Carolina Beer Guy: February brings new brews

RUSSIAN ACCENT: Be on the lookout for Highland Brewing's Imperium Russian Imperial Stout. This latest entry in the brewery's Warrior Series will be available in bottles in select local beer stores and groceries. Photo courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

February is shaping up as a busy time on the craft brew scene, so we’re rounding up some of the many events to watch for.

AVL Beer Expo

The AVL Beer Expo is Saturday, Feb. 18, at The Venue, 21 N. Market St., and we’ve got the complete beer list for this event, which is produced by the Asheville Brewers Alliance. Each of the participating brewers is a member of the alliance and is bringing one special beer. Here’s the list as it stands now:

  • Asheville Brewing Co. — Nottoway River, a rye bock made in collaboration with Deschutes Brewing of Bend, Ore.
  • Appalachian Brewing of Boone — Pom Pom Gose, a chocolate pomegranate gose
  • Bhramari Brewing — Good Fight pale ale
  • Boojum Brewing of Waynesville — Jalapeno IPA
  • Catawba Brewing — Astral Bootie IPA
  • Currahee Brewing of Franklin — Frankenstark Belgian golden strong ale
  • Ecusta Brewing of Brevard — Points North Porter
  • Green Man Brewing — Green Man and the Chocolate Factory breakfast stout
  • Highland Brewing Co. — Highland IPA
  • Hi-Wire Brewing — Enchanter Baltic porter
  • Lazy Hiker Brewing of Franklin — Lazy Englishman English strong ale
  • Lexington Avenue Brewery — Thumper Belgian tripel
  • Nantahala Brewing of Bryson City — Midnight Topher espresso stout
  • New Belgium Brewing — 8 Hop Pale Ale
  • Oskar Blues of Brevard will unleash Deviant Dale’s Imperial IPA
  • One World Brewing — Citra Bomb IPA
  • Pisgah Brewing Co. of Black Mountain — Pisgah Mole Stout chili pepper beer
  • Sanctuary Brewing of Hendersonville — Weekend Joe imperial coffee stout
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. — Side Car orange pale ale
  • Thirsty Monk Brewery — Hazy Monk IPA
  • Tipping Point Brewing of Waynesville — Let It Linger tart cranberry-cherry Berliner weisse
  • Twin Leaf Brewery — Cosmic Inquiries barrel-aged saison made with local blackberries
  • Wedge Brewing Co. — Dragul Belgian strong dark ale
  • Wicked Weed Brewing Co. — Pernicious West Coast-style IPA
  • Bold Rock Hard Cider — India Pressed Apple dry-hopped cider
  • Urban Orchard Cider — Blue Moon Rising fruit and spice cider

Two sessions are scheduled — 1-4 and 5-8 p.m. — with each including panel discussions on beer. Tickets for the expo are $30 at

New Russian stout

Highland Brewing Co. has released its potent Imperium Russian Imperial Stout. This dark, rich brew includes hand-cut vanilla, toasted coconut and Octane coffee and is 8.5 percent alcohol. The latest entry in Highland’s Warrior Series, the bottled brew will be sold in four-packs that will mostly go to specialty beer stores and a few groceries, we are told. Don’t delay in getting some — this will sell out fast.

Beer and science

The next Beer City Science Pub explores anthropology on Friday, Feb. 24, at The Collider, 1 Haywood St., with a program called “Out of Africa 1: The Story of Homo Erectus” with Don Lewis. Free beer is provided to the audience. There’s no charge to attend, but leave a donation at the door if you want. At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, The Collider hosts Oskar Blues Movie Night with episodes of the climate-change series “Years of Living Dangerously.”  The suggested donation is $5, and guests get free Oskar Blues beer and popcorn.

Habitat beers are coming

Habitat Brewing Co. at 174 Broadway next to Moog Music, will have its own house beers on tap by the end of this month. In the meantime, the taproom is pouring a wide variety of craft beers by local breweries. After 5 p.m., parking is available in the Moog lot next door.

Hi-Wire at the Monk

Want to try the three collaboration brews that Asheville’s Hi-Wire Brewing has released? The Thirsty Monk will have them on Thursday, Feb. 23. The beers are Pimm’s Berliner Weisse made with NOLA Brewing of New Orleans, Oatmeal Brown Ale with Hardywood Park Craft Brewery of Richmond, Va., and Carolina Coastal Black Rye Lager brewed with Holy City of Charleston, S.C. These beers are also available in a 12-pack box.

Oskar Blues murals

Oskar Blues Brewery is seeking entries for two signature murals that will be painted at its Brevard facility, one indoor and one outdoor. But artists need to move fast. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, Feb. 28.  The competition is open only to Western North Carolina professional artists. The total stipend for the two murals is $2,500, and materials and artist compensation come out of this fund. But a bar tab will be covered for the selected artist during the project timeline. For more details, contact Ellen Catlin at



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About Tony Kiss
Tony Kiss covers brewing news for the Xpress. He has been reporting on the Carolina beer scene since 1994. He's also covered distilling and cider making and spent 30 years reporting on area entertainment. Follow me @BeerguyTK

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