Hi-Wire Brewing has announced the the company’s downtown brewery, located in Asheville’s South Slope Brewery District, will transition from brewing a specialty one-time-release ales and lagers to brewing exclusively sour ales and wild beers. Fans of Hi-Wires lagers and core lineup of beers need not worry, the shift in operations will not change Hi-Wire’s signature brews, which will continue to be produced at the company’s Biltmore Village ‘Big Top’ facility. The move to sours will placing the brewery among an elite handful breweries nationwide that have a specialty program that revolves around both craft lagers and sour beers.
Few other breweries in the country focus on both craft lagers and sour beers because of the amount of time both take to produce (anywhere from eight weeks for specialty lagers up to eighteen months for barrel-aged sour beers). Despite the time and money required to fulfill this commitment Hi-Wire’s dedicated team will continue creating high quality versions of both beer styles.
The souring of the brewery will be lead by two brewers – Luke Holgate, Hi-Wire’s Head Brewer, and Jonathan Parks, Hi-Wire’s Head Specialty Brewer. Both men are dedicated to quality and craft and are excited to launch Hi-Wire into the world of sour and wild beer.
“The specialty brewery allows us to be more nimble and create beers more spontaneously than the production brewery,” said Holgate. “We have the flexibility to innovate, to become a brewery doing something different.”
Over the last two weeks, Hi-Wire has moved several 30-barrel tanks from its South Slope Brewery to their Big Top location to provide more space for barrel storage at their budding wild-beer brewery. Although the first release of specialty sour beer isn’t scheduled yet, Holgate and Parks estimate the first beers from the new program will be making their debut sometime this summer.
“Sour beers need time to age and perfect,” said Holgate. “We want to let the barrels and the ‘bugs’ do their jobs fully, before we release a beer. As we continually taste our barrel-aging sour beers, as soon as we come across barrels that are just how we want them, we will bottle and condition them until we are absolutely sure they are ready for the public. We have always been committed to quality at the brewery and our sour program will be no exception.”
Hi-Wire expects a fresh shipment of barrels to arrive in the coming weeks along with some additional equipment necessary for the project.
To keep up with the changes happening at Hi-Wire Brewing, check out their website at www.hiwirebrewing.com or on facebook at www.facebook.com/HiWireBrewing/