From our flagship Gaelic Ale to one-off Barrel Aged Smoked Cherry Wood Chocolate Cherry Stout, we believe in every beer we make. It has to be a beer we want to drink, made with the finest ingredients and crafted with care for the product, our employees, our customers, and our environment.
We are known for consistency in our year-round styles and it takes extra effort to achieve it. By checking quality at several points during the brewing process, we reduce variations. We test by measuring pH and gravity during mash and boil, and every day of fermentation. We measure dissolved O2 pickup from filtration/packaging and run an ATP test for cleanliness of tanks, filler and other surfaces. We track yeast performance and plating at several points. Brewers' conversation about yeast might not get you invited to a party, but everyone wants to taste the results!
Our Tasting Panel at 8am on Friday mornings - no food, no drinks including coffee, and no toothpaste! - educates every employee on how each of our beer styles should taste. We all have our favorites, but at the panel, the right taste is more important than a favorite.
Process is unbelieveably important. A Gaelic Ale should always be a Gaelic Ale. We can't control the beer after it leaves the brewery, but the better job we do, the less impact adverse conditions will have on the beer after it ships.
New Seasonals and One-Offs
We love our standard styles but it’s also nice to switch things up. Our seasonal offerings capture the essence of the time of year. We think of what style is best suited for a hot summer day on top of one of our local mountains, or the beer you want to have while sitting by the fire during the holidays with your family. Our three-barrel pilot brewery is the key to the development of these new and exciting styles. It allows our brewers to express their creativity and artistic side. Not all of these small batches make it to the shelves of the grocery store, but they can always be found on tap at our tasting room for your enjoyment.
The Fun Part
The endless possibilities in beer keep us asking ourselves what we can do next, and does it fit for Highland?
Things we have done or are looking at:
- Fresh, local ingredients. We put our taste buds to the test with chocolate, cinnamon, hazelnut, vanilla, fruit and much more.
- Wine and whiskey barrel-aged beers. Wine barrels from our friends at Biltmore and whiskey barrels from Jim and Johnny!
- Wild Yeasts
- Cask Conditioning
- Bottle Conditioning
Our brewers are so excited about developing the next great recipe that we have to take turns on the pilot system. Everybody plays well together, but they're all itching for time to be creative.