Asheville breweries team up on new Plum Nectar


Sarah Gulotta and Katie Smith


Special to Carolina Brew Scene

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Two of Asheville’s most beloved breweries, Highland Brewing Company and Hi-Wire Brewing, have joined forces to create Plum Nectar, a dry-hopped Berliner Weisse with plums.

Tart and refreshing, Plum Nectar blends aromatic citrus and tropical fruit notes from Azacca hops with the juicy and sweet character of 17 pounds of plums per barrel.

This Berliner Weisse is the result of a collaboration headed by brewers Sarah Gulotta of Hi-Wire and Katie Smith of Highland, who crafted the idea through connections with the Pink Boots Society. Gulotta was excited for an opportunity to work with Asheville’s original craft brewery.

“It’s awesome to work with Highland — the beer culture in this town started with them, and they’ve been so supportive of Hi-Wire. I love when local breweries work together — it’s all about celebrating our community here in Asheville. Also, Highland has been very supportive of women in the beer industry, so it was fantastic to work with another female brewer,” Gulotta said.

The excitement is mutual, Smith said.

“I had a blast collaborating with Hi-Wire on this beer,” she said. “Starting with recipe development alongside Sarah all the way to spending the day brewing at their Big Top location. Our goal was (is) to create a deliciously tart Berliner Weisse with a slight spicy rye note to pair with the deep rich flavor of the plums."

Inspired by Sarah and Katie’s involvement with the Pink Boots Society, Highland and Hi-Wire will donate one dollar from each draft pour of Plum Nectar sold at the release parties at each brewery on Oct. 17 to the nonprofit. The Pink Boots Society assists, inspires and encourages women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education.

Plum Nectar will be available on draft and in 4-packs of 16-oz. cans featuring Highland’s signature mountain-scape with Hi-Wire’s “clean color-blocked” specialty branding. Look for it in Hi-Wire’s and Highland’s taprooms on October 17th and throughout North Carolina in mid-October.

Hi-Wire Brewing is known for producing approachable and balanced lagers and ales, most notably Hi-Wire Lager, Bed of Nails Brown and Hi-Pitch Mosaic IPA. They have two locations in Asheville: the 27,000-square-foot Big Top Production Facility & Taproom positioned half a mile from the Biltmore Estate and the South Slope Specialty Brewery & Taproom in the South Slope area of downtown, which has a focus on wild and sour ales.

Hi-Wire was awarded the gold medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in the German-Style Maerzen category for their Zirkusfest Oktoberfest Lager. Most recently, they took home bronze in the Wood and Barrel Aged Beer category at the 2018 World Beer Cup® for their Dry Hopped Brett Pale Ale. Hi-Wire Brewing’s award-winning beers can be found on draft and in bottles across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio and Kentucky.

To learn more about the company, visit

Highland Brewing Company was founded in 1994 by retired engineer and entrepreneur Oscar Wong, establishing it as the pioneer of Asheville’s now booming craft beer industry. With a portfolio that is equal parts established and inventive, Highland is known for its consistently excellent beer. Highland is distributed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Kentucky. An annual production of around 46,000 barrels makes Highland the largest independent family-owned brewery born in the Southeast and it has the third largest solar array in an American craft brewery.

The Asheville brewery is in a rehabilitated manufacturing facility on a hilltop, affording space for thousands of visitors to enjoy limited release beers, tours and live music. In addition, the event center and rooftop can be reserved for private events. Today, the company is led by Wong’s daughter, Leah Wong Ashburn, and has 50 full-time employees.

For more information, visit