What’s new in food: Highland Brewing Co. hosts Cold Mountain Winter Ale Festival

TWENTY-SIX AND COUNTING: Highland Brewing Co. gears up to celebrate the latest Cold Mountain release with its annual Cold Mountain Winter Ale Festival. Photo courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

Whether you’ve lived in Asheville your entire life or just moved here, chances are you’re familiar with Highland Brewing Co.’s seasonal Cold Mountain Winter Ale.

“We have some die-hard Cold Mountain fans — those who aim to be first in line each year decked out in their vintage Cold Mountain hats and shirts,” says Nikki Mitchell, Highland’s vice president of brand development. “People will happily tell you their stories of which release year was their favorite flavor profile. We have even had marriage proposals and folks who plan their weddings around when Cold Mountain is on tap. It means a lot that Highland and this beer have become part of so many people’s fond memories.”

Friday, Nov. 11, marks the kickoff of the Cold Mountain Winter Ale Festival: a weekendlong release celebration marking the ale’s 26th year. Festivities include release events at both Highland taprooms, the return of previous years’ special Cold Mountain variations such as Imperial and Coconut Cold Mountain and a rotating list of bands and food trucks supplying tunes and foods each day of the festival. Volleyball tournaments and a silent disco are also on the docket.

Meanwhile, this year’s new variation is the Chocolate Hazelnut Cold Mountain.

Guests are required to pre-purchase Celebration Session access passes to visit the brewery, where Cold Mountain releases will be available for purchase on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Daytime access tickets, which will feature a more family-friendly atmosphere from noon-4 p.m., cost $10 (children 5 and younger get in free); tickets for evening sessions designated for the 21-and-older crowd run from 6-11 p.m. and cost $20.

Guests may also pre-purchase Cold Mountain holiday and cheer packs featuring each of this year’s Cold Mountain variations. The party will continue Monday, Nov. 14, and no access pass will be required to visit the brewery.

“Cold Mountain Winter Ale is almost as iconic in Western North Carolina as Highland itself,” says Mitchell. “Over 26 years, the beer has really become a cultural touchstone. Like a lot of folks, my family celebrates the holidays with Cold Mountain every year. There is nothing like sipping Cold Mountain in front of the fire!”

Highland Brewing Co. is at 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Suite 200. Visit avl.mx/anm for tickets and information. 

Mary’s meatloaf

Haywood Street Congregation, a downtown church, partners with a number of local restaurants on Thursday, Nov. 10, for the fundraising event, At Home with Miss Mary’s Meatloaf. Since 2013, the congregation’s restaurant partnership program, Downtown Welcome Table, has created a weekly space for Asheville’s unhoused and at-risk community to enjoy a hot meal and build community with both homeless and housed citizens alike. The initiative has grown to serve over 1,000 meals each week. Money raised during the Nov. 10 event will go toward DWT.

The event’s name is in honor of Mary Littlejohn, a frequent volunteer at the congregation whose family meatloaf recipe dates back 30 years. Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian, Strada Italiano and French Broad Chocolate will be providing desserts for the event, and Sunny Point Café will supply biscuits to accompany the titular meatloaf served with mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Haywood Street Congregation is at 297 Haywood St. Visit avl.mx/c4v for a full list of meal and donation options.

Complimentary Veterans Day BBQ

This Veterans Day, Buxton Hall Barbecue is observing the holiday by offering a complimentary barbecue lunch for veterans, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The offer is part of a statewide partnership with Farm Credit of North Carolina. Other participating restaurants include Prime Barbecue in Wake County and Southern Smoke BBQ in Sampson County.

All who have served or are still enlisted in the U.S. armed forces are welcome to a complimentary lunch with proper ID.  The Farm Credit of North Carolina will also provide curbside pickup for wounded warriors.

Visit avl.mx/c4s for additional information. 

Celebrating fall’s harvest

Interested in expanding your perspective on the possibilities of food and farming? The Utopian Seed Project, alongside four North Carolina chefs, will help you do just that at the Trial to Table: Fall Celebration. The gathering takes place at Smoky Park Supper Club’s event space, The Boat House, on Saturday, Nov. 12, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

The Utopian Seed Project is a local nonprofit exploring and celebrating diversity in food and farming. Expect this event to be a casual, yet illuminating, showcase of both traditional and unique crops and ingredients.

Chefs Luis Martinez (Tequio Foods), Ashleigh Shanti (Good Hot Fish pop-ups), Jamie Swofford (Old North Farm) and Terri Terrell (co-founder of Ladies Who Brunch) will each prepare two tapas-style plates for all guests, including one vegetarian dish. Additional treats include: a harvest red saison specially brewed in collaboration with Cellarest Brewery; Turkish butternut squash from Two Seeds in a Pod and The Utopian Seed Project; and a pie and ice cream collaboration between Gospel Ice Cream and Terrell.

“We want people to be energized about exploring and connecting with food on a different level,” says Chris Smith, executive director for The Utopian Seed Project. “We will tell stories about the food, offer different varieties to experience and talk about the importance of food and climate change.”

The Boat House is at 350 Riverside Drive. Tickets cost $50 per person. For additional information, visit avl.mx/c4t.

Authentic Argentinian asado

On Nov. 12, from 12:30-4 p.m., chef Eric Scheffer (Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian, Jettie Rae’s Oyster House and Cielo Catering) invites the community to attend Authentic Argentinian Asado at Fonta Flora’s Whippoorwill Farm in Nebo. Picada (a charcuterie-style starter), beef empanadas, choripán (Argentinian sausage and bread with chimichurri), short ribs, flank steaks, vegetables and dulce de leche-stuffed cookies comprise the family feast. Fonta Flora beer will be served à la carte, and the Centerprice Jazz Trio will provide live music beginning at 1 p.m.

“Communion with family and friends is important to Eric,” says Sarah Urman, brand manager of the Scheffer Group. “His passion as a culinarian, his love of food and hospitality and the joy it brings him to be of service to others is what he hopes to share.”

Tickets are available for $85 per person. Fonta Flora Brewery – Whippoorwill Farm is at 6751 N.C. 126, Nebo. Visit avl.mx/c4u for additional information.

Cider and a cause

Following the success of a fundraising event held last year, Barn Door Ciderworks will again help raise funds for Root Cause Farm on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2-5 p.m. Root Cause Farm is a nonprofit located in Fairview driven by a mission to grow community solutions to hunger and work toward a just, equitable and resilient food system where all types of hunger are nourished.

“Last year, Root Cause Farm was our first fundraising event, and we had a fantastic turnout,” says Barn Door Ciderworks co-owner Dan Fowler in an official announcement. “We were so happy to support our Fairview neighbor and the important role that Root Cause plays in our community.”

The start of an online silent auction will coincide with the event, and Root Cause Farm representatives will be on-site sowing the seeds of education on how the organization operates and how people can become involved. Barn Door Ciderworks will have its full array of small-batch ciders, local beers, wine, nonalcoholic beverages and a small-bites food menu available during this free-to-attend event. A portion of all sales on Barn Door products will directly support the Root Cause Farm fundraiser.

The Flying Cloud Band will play live music throughout the event, and raffle prizes from East Fork, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Biltmore Estate and more will be on display to encourage online bidding in support of Root Cause Farm.

Barn Door Ciderworks is at 23 Lytle Road, Fairview. Visit avl.mx/bct to learn more about Root Cause Farm.

Local artist, national recognition

Earlier this year, local artist Hannah Bunzey’s submission to the Pabst Blue Ribbon 10th annual Art Can Contest was one of 10 designs selected from nearly 7,000 original entrants from over 120 countries to be featured on a special run of PBR cans. Over 140 million cans of the classic beer will feature these 10 designs and have begun rolling out to all stores that carry PBR.

Bunzey received a prize of $10,000 for her winning submission, which has allowed her to leave her part-time job to focus on her artwork. “I have been working toward becoming a full-time artist for about five years, and winning the contest has really helped me do that,” says Bunzey.

If PBR isn’t your beer of choice, you can still view her winning artwork on two billboards around town on Patton Avenue and Haywood Road. “It is an awesome feeling and a great way to get my art out there,” says Bunzey.

Visit avl.mx/c4r for more information on the contest and its winners.


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