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Asheville Brewer Releases Cold Mountain Spiced Winter Ale

Cold Mountain

For the past 24 years, Asheville, N.C.-based Highland Brewing has kicked off the holiday season with a release party for Cold Mountain Spiced Winter Ale. As with many things this year, Cold Mountain 2020 will look different, including a ticketed weekend of celebration sessions and online pre-orders for the beer.

While historically Cold Mountain release weekends have welcomed more than 3,000 people to the brewery, Highland’s leadership team decided to extend the 2020 release festivities over nine days to space out guests and reduce crowds, creating a safe and fun environment for everyone looking to take part in the seasonal tradition.

“We started receiving messages in May asking about the dates for the Cold Mountain release,” said Nikki Mitchell, Highland’s hospitality director. “While this will not be the typical Cold Mountain experience, we are doing our best to make Cold Mountain magic.

“Our property will have themed spaces to encourage guests to spread out. Safety for our guests and staff is key. We have table seating in all venues. Guests must wear a mask any time they are not seated,” she said.


Friday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 8

Opening weekend celebrations will require guests to purchase an access pass to enter the property. Passes cost $10 per person (children 5 and under are free for afternoon sessions). Each day has two sessions – a family-friendly afternoon session, from noon-4 p.m., and an adult 21-plus evening session, 6-10 p.m. Along with the Taproom, the Meadow will be open with a heated tent and the Event Center will be decked out as a rustic ski lodge. Each celebration session will feature table seating, live music, Cold Mountain cask tappings, food trucks, additional packaged beer allotments and merch for sale. Music includes:

  • Friday, Nov. 6: Afternoon: Sidecar Honey; Evening: Random Animals, Event Center: DJ Ryan (6:30-9:30 p.m.);
  • Saturday, Nov. 7: Afternoon: Hustle Souls; Evening: Pleasure Chest, Event Center: DJ Mitch (6:30-9:30 p.m.); and
  • Sunday, Nov. 8: Afternoon: Eleanor Underhill & Friends; Evening: Get Right Band, Event Center: DJ Mitch (6:30-9:30 p.m.).

Guests will not need an access pass to enter the property for festivities after Sunday, Nov. 8. These events include:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 10, 5-9 p.m.: Cold Mountain Flights and Morsel Cookie Pairing;
  • Wednesday, Nov. 11, 6-8 p.m.: Live music from Woody Wood;
  • Thursday, Nov. 12, 6-9 p.m.: Cold Mountain Beer Dinner in the Barrel Room (Tickets required);
  • Friday, Nov. 13, 6-8 p.m.: Live Music from Ashley Heath and Her Heathens; and
  • Saturday, Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m.: Laura Blackley and the Wildflowers.


Pre-ordered beer packs

Daily allotments of beer packs are available to pre-order online for pickup on a designated day between Nov. 6-14. The pre-made packs are the only way to purchase packaged Imperial Cold Mountain and the blue 1-liter bottles of Cold Mountain.

Daily allotments of smaller quantities are available at the brewery each day.

Highland also will release several small-batch and barrel-aged beers on draft beginning Nov. 6. Cold Mountain will make its way out to stores across Highland’s distribution footprint beginning Monday, Nov. 15. For more information on Cold Mountain or to purchase tickets and pre-order beer, click here.

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