Have y’all heard the news? Asheville’s very own Highland Brewing Company has been brewing up a storm this week! Leah Wong Ashburn just stepped up to fill the shoes previously warn by her father, Oscar Wong as Chief Operations Officer! Leah has been at Highland for the last three years as VP, so this isn’t a huge leap for her or for Highland, but I still think it’s very cool that our very first craft brewery in Asheville is now headed up by woman.
The brewery also announced this past fall that 2015 will be a year for expansion. More details are being released about that now. They’ll be adding a rooftop beer garden to the existing facility, moving the bottling line to a separate area that had been unused before, and making room for more tanks so that they can do more of what they do best. I can almost smell the Black Mocha Stout from here!
To top it all off, they are also bringing in a new woman head brewer! Hollie Stephenson is coming from California, where she had been brewing for none other than Stone Brewing! Big props to Highland for continuing to be a brewery that is all about equal opportunity. I can’t wait to see the new beers and the new facilities as each are released. The Asheville Citizen Times printed an article that mentions a new summer ale – The Lost Cove American Pale Ale. I’m sure this is only the beginning of the new possibilities for Highland!
Congratulations to Leah, Hollie and to Highland on the bright future that lies in store. Cheers to Oscar for a brilliant vision that has come to fruition and the joy of passing the torch to good hands. Thanks doesn’t begin to cover what he has done for the craft beer movement in North Carolina and especially in Asheville. It’s a beautiful thing!
To read the Citizen Times article, go here http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2014/12/30/highland-brewing-founder-passes-torch/21060729/
Photo from Highland Brewing’s site http://www.highlandbrewing.com/about-us/staff