Cold Mountain release party set for Nov. 13 in Asheville at Highland Brewing

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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cold_mountain_ale_2014Press release here regarding one of Asheville’s biggest beer releases each year:

The guidelines for this staff meeting seem odd, even harsh: Show up at 8am. Don’t brush your teeth. No food. And most appalling to some: no coffee.

On the other hand, you get to taste beer…

Welcome to Highland Brewing and Cold Mountain season. The unusual meeting occurred on October 2 and determined the flavor profile for this year’s highly anticipated Cold Mountain Winter Ale. Calls and emails about Cold Mountain ramp up in October and reach a fever pitch through December. Last year the company discovered someone outside the brewery runs a Twitter handle, @ColdMountainTracker, designed to help fans find the brew. “We came in at the right time with a recipe from John (Lyda, brewmaster) that hit home. It’s Asheville’s first seasonal and such fun to see it grow,” said founder Oscar Wong.

The beer arrives in mid to late November, depending on where you live and if you can get to it quickly enough. It can sell out at a store in hours. At the brewery, the release party is November 13, 4-9 pm. Last year, all bottles at the brewery sold out in just two and a half hours. This year, bottles are split among Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On-site purchases are limited to one of each package – liter, 22oz bottle, and 12oz 12-pack. “We want more people to enjoy it and take it home so we reduced the maximum purchase,” said Drew Stevenson, Community Liaison. “And we’ve got more bottles to sell and more kegs to tap this year.” Bands and food trucks continue through all three days. Special cask varieties of Cold Mountain, which met with rave reviews last year, will also be available.

Once a year, the whole staff is invited to the Cold Mountain tasting, setting the course for the season. Sometimes the outcome is easy, like this year, when recipe #5 resulted in a round of applause for John Lyda. Mission accomplished, they wrapped up with bagels and coffee and went to look for toothbrushes.


For more on Highland Brewing visit

For more on the Cold Mountain Release Party go here.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Levy November 11, 2014

    Is there a band playing?

  2. Beer buzz November 10, 2014

    I just want to know when I should hit up Ingles for a 12 pack.

  3. Charlie November 10, 2014

    I tried it once. It was just OK so I’m not sure why all the hype…

  4. yawn November 4, 2014

    Honestly this beer had it’s moment in the sun…but it has set. It really isn’t that exciting anymore.

    1. smytty November 10, 2014

      The mobs of crowds and Twitter hash tags suggest that you are in the minority.

      Besides, with a different recipe each year, how can you even presume how “exciting” it might be?

    2. RJ November 11, 2014

      Very few things ever live up to the hype. It is still an excellent beer and a fun tradition. Kwitcherbellyachin.

      1. jtroop November 11, 2014

        I think the word “tradition” perfectly captures the point of all of this. The limited availability, the changing taste, the hype… that is all part of the fun!


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