As Asheville blooms, Highland Brewing comes to life in spring with outdoor spaces and expanded hours. Not obvious from the road, the brewery’s visitors are often surprised at the size and choices in guest areas. The Meadow and Rooftop are the highlights, offering distinct atmospheres.
The family- and dog-friendly Meadow has live bands Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, beer service from a shipping container bar, and new (shipping container) bathrooms making their debut. The Meadow is a weekly ritual on Friday nights for locals, especially families, who often bring blankets and chairs to meet up with neighbors and friends. With room for more than 2,500, it’s fun and never too full.
For an adult scene, the rooftop beer garden is 21+ only. It has shade sails, taps in a shipping container bar, and is dog-friendly this year. It easily fits more than 300 people and is the best spot for mountain views and spectacular sunsets.
Another option is the deck, which is steps away from the Tasting Room’s large tap selection, merchandise, beer to-go, and restrooms. All told, Highland can host more than 3,000 people outside.
Another cool thing — there’s more time to enjoy Highland with expanded hours. Starting April 7, the brewery is open 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
Every weekend in April is a free celebration.
- April 7 — This season’s grand opening of the Meadow and Rooftop. Davina and the Vagabonds plays Memphis soul from 7-9 p.m. in the meadow. A line up of special beers will be tapped, including Cold Mountain and Black Watch. Get on the Rooftop to drink a Cold Mountain with a view of Cold Mountain. Acoustic tunes play on the roof from 5-7 p.m., with food truck service to the roof provided by Root Down. Free sunglasses will be given to the first 100 rooftop guests.
- April 15 —Easter egg hunt at noon in the Meadow. Ages 0-4 in the Meadow, 5-10 in the woods.
- April 21 — Highland’s 23rd anniversary celebration is on with two-anniversary brews, available only at the brewery, and $3 Daycation IPA all weekend. Free mini cupcakes from Short Street Cakes with the purchase of a celebration beer. Kick the Robot, who play Atlanta Showcase and SXSW this year, come up from Atlanta to play their brand of melodic rock 7-9 p.m.
- April 28 — Grab the first pours of Big Briar Tart Raspberry Ale at the release party. This new seasonal has a sunset hue and a touch of 100 percent real raspberry puree. As with all of our seasonal releases, Big Briar is named for a protected land feature and on this day, $1 per pour is donated to support the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. Food trucks on site will be offering a dish to pair with the new release.
Highland Brewing is at 12 Old Charlotte Hwy., in East Asheville, seven minutes from downtown. Food trucks are onsite every day, pilot beers are always changing, and the story of Asheville’s first brewery since Prohibition keeps going. Visit www.highlandbrewing.com.