Beer Pick: High Pines is the newest year-round beer from Highland Brewing

High Pines Imperial IPA is the newest year round offering from Asheville’s Highland Brewing Co.
Courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.
High Pines Imperial IPA is the newest year round offering from Asheville’s Highland Brewing Co. Courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

Credit: handout

Credit: handout

Asheville’s Highland Brewing is one the South’s pioneering craft beer companies — though outside of western North Carolina, it doesn’t always get the respect it deserves.

Highland’s new year-round offering, High Pines Imperial IPA is good example of the artful way the brewery takes on and tweaks classic styles.

And with that in mind, High Pines Imperial IPA is this week’s Beer Pick.

Beer Pick

High Pines Imperial IPA

Highland Brewing Co., Asheville, NC

Available on draft and in 6-pack 12-ounce cans

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High Pines, Highland’s fresh, new Imperial IPA is said to feature “citrus and blueberry hop flavors with a touch of fresh mountain pine.” I’m not sure I get all those notes. But during a recent tasting, I really enjoyed the complex aromas and flavors of this big, bright and balanced beer.

Brewed with two-row, rye, Munich and Carahell malts, and a panoply of Mosaic, Simcoe, Centennial, Comet, El Dorado and Apollo hops, it captures the tradition of classic West Coast IPAs. Fans of juicy IPAs may find it overwhelming. So be it. I loved the old-school interplay of sweet malt and resinous hops.

Pair with

At 9% alcohol by volume, High Pines is well named. Its combination of bitter, sweet, hoppy, and somewhat dank aromas and flavors work well with smoked and grilled meats, salty cheese and charcuterie. As weird as it might seem, cheesecake with graham cracker crust can be a surprisingly good pairing, too.

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