Craft Brewery of the Day – Hi-Wire Brewing in Asheville, NC
In December 2012, Craggie Brewing Co. became the first Asheville brewery to close.
Less than a year later in the same building on a side street halfway up the South Slope, just around the corner from Asheville Brewing Co., arose the circus-themed Hi-Wire Brewing. Entering the fast developing local scene with names like Bed of Nails Brown Ale — part of a flagship quartet rounded out by a lager, pale ale and IPA — it quickly developed a reputation as one of the most reliable sources of flavor-forward yet approachable beers in town.
Hi-Wire soon cycled in such seasonal beers as Lion Tamer Rye IPA and Strongman Coffee Milk Stout as well as exciting one-offs in its Ringmaster’s Reserve series, among them a Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian IPA and a Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout.
One of the few Asheville area breweries to take the time and energy necessary to produce lagers, Hi-Wire was rewarded for its efforts on a national level when its Zirkusfest Oktoberfest Lager took home a gold medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.
While the cozy original location remains open, the brewery’s braintrust has shifted the spot’s focus to small-batch and sour beers, earning raves for its Single Barrel Series of oak-fermented brews incorporating fruit or Brettanomyces.
As for the large scale production, it’s moved to a charmingly cavernous Biltmore Village space directly behind noted local bottle and wine shop Appalachian Vintner. Aptly named The Big Top, it’s become a hot spot for its roomy interior and copious parking, quarterly festivals (e.g. Stout Bout and the How Do You Lagerfest?), soccer game viewing parties and winter and summer film series.
2 Huntsman Place
Asheville, NC 28803
197 Hilliard Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 738-2448