History of Highland’s Tasting Room
The concept of a tasting room had been hanging low on Oscar Wong’s radar for many years. In Oscar’s words, “I held off as long as I could, but once I realized every other brewery in the area had a tasting room, I realized we had to be accessible to our fans or lose business.” Oscar wants Highland fans to visit his brewery, yet he also encourages fans to support the local businesses who are supporting us.
In June 2009 Oscar agreed to open up a side area of the brewery on Friday’s from 4-8pm when the general public could drop in for a pint. At this point, Highland was the last brewery in Asheville to open an onsite tasting room.
The Tasting Room originated as a 6tap kegerator right next to the packaging line. As the number of guests grew, we quickly realized that a separate dedicated space for the tasting room was inevitable. In October of 2010 we opened our new tasting room venue located in an adjoining space to the brewer. Our focus of the Tasting room has always been based on quality craft beers along with quality local/ regional music. Our tasting room now consists of 24 taps, a 3barrel pilot brew house for experimental beers, a large stage, shipping containers converted into offices, and about 2,000 acoustic baffles hanging from the ceiling creating one fantastic listening venue to check out our awesome local/regional bands…The 5,500sqft tasting room’s current capacity now holds 570 people.
In addition to our indoor space, we have also been diligently working on our outdoor music venue and outdoor bar. We call this outdoor space “the meadow”. It also consists of a shipping container which we converted into a wrap around bar and a large stage (white oak timber framed with a large tensioned waterproof fabric as a roof). We look forward to seeing all of you out in the meadow when the weather is nice!
- Grant DaSantos, Tasting Room Manager