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Highland Brewing Co. Celebrates Chinese New Year with Collaboration Beer

Highland Brewing Co. Celebrates Chinese New Year with Collaboration Beer

Highland Brewing Co. in Asheville, North Carolina has announced a collaboration beer with Lucky Envelope Brewing of Seattle, Washington called Metal Rat. The beer will be brewed on both coasts and was inspired by the Chinese cultural heritage of the brewery owners. More details from Highland are below.


ASHEVILLE, NC — Highland Brewing Company of Asheville, NC and Lucky Envelope Brewing of Seattle, WA are proud to announce their collaboration brew, Metal Rat, a Hazy IPA brewed with Lotus hops. This beer will be brewed on both coasts and was inspired by the Chinese cultural heritage of the brewery owners. It will be released in cross-country Chinese New Year celebrations on January 25, 2020. 

Metal Rat Hazy IPA will feature Lotus hops from Hopsteiner and Triticale, a rye-wheat hybrid, from North Carolina-based Epiphany Malting and malted wheat from Washington-based Skagit Valley Malting. This IPA will feature bright orange and lemon notes from the hops and a soft, creamy mouthfeel from the addition of wheat malt. With local malt and Lotus hops, this beer will give drinkers a taste of this unique cultural connection and a taste of place. 

Highland’s founder, Oscar Wong, said, “My parents are Chinese, but I grew up in Jamaica and went to college in the United States. So, my interest in craft beer came from my time in American universities. Starting a brewery came from my family’s history of trying something new, adapting to our surroundings, and persevering. Those are the principals with which I founded Highland.”

Both Oscar and his daughter, Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland’s President, will join Lucky Envelope co-owners, Raymond Kwan and Barry Chan, in January to brew this culturally inspired collaboration at Highland’s brewery in Asheville. Highland’s Brewing Innovation Manager, Trace Redmond, will also head to Seattle to assist in Lucky Envelope’s brew day. 

Chan said, “One of our favorite things to do at Lucky Envelope Brewing is to share fond memories of our cultural upbringing. Our beers have regularly featured ingredients and stories influenced by our experiences. We hope this coast-to-coast collaboration helps create conversations on diversity and inclusion in the brew community.” Kwan added, “The Metal Rat Hazy IPA exemplifies ‘Craft, Family, Culture’ in bringing together our two breweries, reflecting on our memories, and creating new traditions for the future.”

Ashburn said, “We are exploring our craft and our family’s heritage with this collaboration. This is about more than beer, this is a conversation about diversity in the craft beer industry.  We are proud to advance that conversation by sharing our heritage and our stories in this brew.”   

Both brews of Metal Rat Hazy IPA will be released onsite at the breweries in cross-country celebrations of the Chinese New

Year on Saturday, January 25, 2020. The beer will only be available on draft at Highland and Lucky Envelope Taprooms. Special T-shirts and stickers celebrating the collaboration and Chinese New Year will be available for sale at the release parties.  For more information on Metal Rat IPA and the release events, follow this link.   ###

MEDIA CONTACT: Eeva Redmond ǀ Communication and Community Outreach Specialist ǀ [email protected]

ABOUT HIGHLAND BREWING: Highland Brewing was founded in 1994 by retired engineer and entrepreneur Oscar Wong, establishing it as the pioneer of Asheville, NC’s now booming craft beer industry. Proudly regional, Highland’s beers are distributed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Highland is committed to quality and sustainability, boasting the third largest solar array in an American craft brewery. Today, the company is led by Wong’s daughter, Leah Wong Ashburn, and serves as the largest family-owned brewery native to the Southeast. Located in a rehabilitated manufacturing facility in East Asheville, the brewery affords space for thousands of visitors to enjoy limited release beers, tours, and live music. In addition, the event center and rooftop are available for private events. For more information, visit www.highlandbrewing.com. Follow Highland on Twitter at @HighlandBrews and Instagram at @HighlandBrewing. Become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/HighlandBrewingCompany.