Tag Archives: North Carolina

Cigar City expanding distribution to North Carolina

jaialai1Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company is a true Florida success story. Coming from humble beginnings and crafty outstanding brews, they have grown to become one of the best-known breweries in Florida. Their annual Hunahpu’s Day Craft Beer Festival and bottle release attracts beer-lovers and brewers from around the country and even the world.

Now, the company is expanding its domestic distribution to North Carolina to grow its U.S. footprint and bring Florida-style brews like flagship Jai Alai IPA to the beer fanatics of the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond.

Get all the distribution and launch event details in the official press release below:

TAMPA, FL & ASHEVILLE, NC – Cigar City Brewing Company Announces North Carolina

Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing is proud to announce the addition of North Carolina to
the brewery’s distribution network. This is the second new state to receive deliveries of
Cigar City Brewing’s award-winning beer in over four years. CCB will be partnering with
numerous distribution partners to cover the state including Skyland Distributing Co.,
United Beverages of North Carolina, R.H. Barringer Distributing Company, Long Beverage
Inc., Carolina Distributing LLC, Healy Wholesale Co Inc., Atlantic Shores Distributors,
Coastal Beverage Co. and City Beverage Co Inc. Twelve ounce cans of Jai Alai IPA, Maduro
Brown Ale, Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale, Invasion Pale Ale and Tampa-style
Lager can currently be found in this new market with draft beer to follow shortly behind.

Market launch events will be taking place across North Carolina from March 21st thru
March 29th with numerous Cigar City Brewing representatives present, including Cigar
City Brewing’s El Lector Neil Callaghan and Brand Manager Lucas Widrick. These events
will be incredible opportunities for North Carolina’s craft beer fans to enjoy some of the
first CCB beer to be shipped to the state and to learn about Cigar City Brewing’s brand and
it’s award winning beer from the people who know it best.

Cigar City Brewing’s official North Carolina Launch Party will be taking place at Oskar
Blues’ Tasty Weasel Taproom in Brevard on Saturday, March 25th beginning at noon. This
event will feature specialty Cigar City Brewing taps, a Jai Alai-infused food special from the Oskar Blues CHUBwagon food truck and live music from South Carolina rockers The
Excons from 6-8pm.

Cigar City Brewing’s beer, including award-winning Jai Alai IPA, is now available in eight
states encompassing Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York,
Tennessee and North Carolina. Cigar City Brewing’s ales and lagers are also exported to
the country of Denmark.

Cigar City Brewing’s North Carolina Launch Events

Week of 3/20 – Raleigh
● 3/21: Tyler’s Durham
● 3/22: Raleigh Times
● 3/23: Raleigh Beer Garden

Week of 3/20 – Brevard
● 3/25: Launch party at Oskar Blues Brewery’s Tasty Weasel Taproom in Brevard

Week of 3/27 – Asheville
● 3/27: Barley’s (Asheville)
● 3/28: Creekside Tavern
● 3/29: Black Rose (Hendersonville)

Week of 3/27 – Charlotte
● 3/28: Brawley’s Beverage
● 3/29: Duckworth’s (Huntersville)
● 3/30: Pub Crawl — Harris Teeter #11, Growler USA, Kit’s Trackside Craft, The

Fillmore Charlotte (for The Flaming Lips show)

Visit Cigar City Brewing’s website [ ] to find the CCB beer closest to

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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Beer, Beer News


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Highland Brewing company releasing 2015 Cold Mountain Winter Ale

CMWA_litreWhen the trees are at their peak of autumn color and the air in North Carolina has taken on a distinctly cooler snap, Highland Brewing Company releases one of its most coveted brews, Cold Mountain Winter Ale. The seasonal release is a malty, spiced ale that is named for Cold Mountain in the Blue Ridge range. The release is accompanied by a festival bringing together lively music, food trucks and plenty of Cold Mountain on tap.

If the name Cold Mountain seems familiar aside from the brew carrying its name, it is because it shares its name with a best-selling novel by Charles Frazier and later a major motion picture. The novel, published in 1997, won the National Book award in its year of publication. The movie, starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger, won an Academy Award for Renée Zellweger’s performance as a supporting actress. Both the novel and the movie follow the story of a Civil War deserter’s journey home to his wife and home on Cold Mountain.

The beer is not named for the novel or the movie, rather it is named for the mountain itself as are many of Highland’s other beers. But, the historical contexts of both are, in a way fitting on a personal level for me. After going through a difficult divorce and enduring several years of depression I made a November journey to Asheville and the Cold Mountain release party with my girlfriend in 2013 and proposed to her in front of the entire event. And, this year, we will return to the event to celebrate one and half years of marriage and enjoy the pleasant company of our friends at Highland along with the wonderful beer they are releasing.

Highland Brewing Company was founded by Oscar Wong who, after retiring from a career as a successful civil/structural engineer, landed in Asheville in 1994. He started Highland Brewing “as a hobby” in the 3,500 square foot basement of Barley’s Taproom in downtown Asheville. Over time his brewing ambition grew and the brewery moved to its current location.

The Cold Mountain Release Party takes place on Thursday, November 12 with bottles of the brew going on sale at 4:00 p.m. Bottles of Cold Mountain will be sold in a variety of sizes ranging from a special one-liter, swing-top bottle, 22-ounce bombers and 12-ounce singles. Guests may purchase a limited number of each size bottle or choose to purchase a bundle that includes one, one-liter bottle, two bombers and one case of 12-ounce bottles for $50.

Guests at the release party will enjoy music from several bands and specialty kegs of Cold Mountain. They will also be treated to the opening of the brewery’s new event center. For full information about the release party and bottle pricing go to the event’s web page at:

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Posted by on November 6, 2015 in Beer Releases


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Highland brewery well worth a visit and a taste

Traveling up a winding road in the mountains of North Carolina is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Particularly when the trees begin their colorful fall foliage coloration and the air has a bit of a snap in it. But, if that road also leads to one of the region’s biggest and best craft beer breweries, it is hard to imagine a better day.

Highland Brewing Company is nestled just outside of Asheville, NC, the sleepy, Bohemian city that has a beer culture worthy of earning it the title Beer City USA for the past four years. On approach to the brewery the building seems unassuming and even a bit modest. But, once you pull around the front you notice the wooden deck in front of the doors and the elaborate decoration around them. This is a place that is, as the wording above the door says, “Just a Wee Bit Different.”

When you enter the Tap Room you are immediately struck by its cavernous size. To the left are several shipping containers that have been converted to offices, as your eye travels around the expansive room from left to right, you notice a large stage, more containers, and finally a long bar with many beer taps on the wall behind it. This is where we made our way to meet our tour guide, Kitty Price.

Kitty immediately offered tastes of the brewery’s fine brews and we accepted gratefully. The first taste offered was of Thunderstruck Coffee Porter. As we sipped the rich, coffee and bitter chocolate brew, Kitty explained that they use coffee beans roasted by Dynamite Coffee Roasters in nearby Black Mountain. The flavors were strong, yet pleasant with a nice shot of hops at the end. A fitting way to begin a visit and, for those in need of caffeine, a nice boost.

Next, we were offered several Belgian-style brews, Belmont Abbey Dubbel and Tripple at 7% and 9% ABV respectively. Both brews were fine examples of their respective styles with the banana and citrus as well as the Belgian yeast funk we all know and love. Kitty explained that Highland’s head brewer John Lyda was at one time studying to be a monk. So, in a nod to his past and at the request of an abbey in nearby Charlotte, Lyda brewed the excellent duo of beers.

But, the visit was not restricted to tasting alone. Kitty was quick to point out that Highland is committed to being as green as it can be by recycling nearly everything. By doing this the brewery is able to restrict the waste that must be hauled to a landfill from the brewery to less than a single dumpster a week. They restrict the amount of water they use in brewing to about 2.5 barrels per barrel of beer opposed to the typical brewery’s seven barrels. Spent grain is given to local farms for feed as well.

Highland Brewing Company was founded by Oscar Wong who, after retiring from a career as a successful civil/structural engineer, landed in Asheville in 1994. He started Highland Brewing “as a hobby” in the 3,500 square foot basement of Barley’s Taproom in downtown Asheville. Over time his brewing ambition grew and the brewery moved to its current location. The brewery operates from a 50 barrel main brewing system and a 3 barrel pilot system that is used for special projects and test batches. In a typical week the brewery cranks out 500-700 barrels of delicious beer that translates to over 30,000 barrels a year.

A walk through the brewing floor revealed the great pride and tongue-in-cheek whimsy the brewery has for its product. Above an office in the front of the building is a huge statue-like edifice of a bagpiper that would be familiar to anyone who has seen Highland’s packaging. Elsewhere in the brewery are row upon row of room center of the room. The cavernous cold room was piled high with keg after keg of the finished product ready for shipment to eagerly waiting customers.

With a line-up of quality brews like Gaelic Ale, Kashmir IPA, and St. Therese’s Pale Ale and specialty and seasonals like Razor Wit, Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, and Cold Mountain Winter Ale Highland is sure to remain a regional favorite throughout the Southeast. And, as a destination while in North Carolina, the Highland Brewery is well worth an afternoon. Not only are the beers the freshest and tastiest you will be able to find, but the staff – like Kitty – are full of wonderful stories and brewing knowledge.


Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery


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