Stewardship

2019 Community Partners

One of the ways we are kicking off our quarter-century anniversary is redefining the way we give back.

We want to maximize impact and strengthen community relationships, so we picked five areas of focus for our philanthropy: Natural Resources, People in Need, Animals in Need, Health and Wellness, and Cultural Resources. Then, we aligned these five areas of giving with five of Western North Carolina’s leading non-profits to create our 2019 Community Partnerships.

Based on our most deeply held values, we plan our giving in four focus areas: Health & Wellness, People In Need, Natural & Cultural Resources, and Animal Welfare.

Our Partners
  • Natural Resources - Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy - Highland has supported SAHC for most of the company’s history and Oscar, our founder, has personally been a supporter since the 1970s. We have been donating a portion of the proceeds from our seasonal release parties since 2011 and help coordinate partnering hikes for each seasonal.

  • People in Need - MANNA FoodBank - We chose to partner with MANNA because of the truly local impact they have on our community.MANNA is a nationally-recognized Food Bank and its distribution warehouse is just around the corner from the brewery, so this partnership allows us to reach deep into our community and out into the surrounding counties.

  • Animals in Need - Asheville Humane Society - We have a lot of animal lovers at Highland and the Asheville Humane Society has become a fantastic partner to make a difference in the lives of Asheville’s furriest folk. They are going beyond a no-kill community to ensure that each animal has the quality of life they deserve – a life worth living. They have a mix of innovative and traditional programs that mirror Highland’s own pursuit of excellence.
 
  • Health and Wellness - Helpmate - We’ve partnered with Helpmate because we believe in and strive to maintain healthy relationships with alcohol and with each other. We are proud to be part of a resilient community and that Helpmate is part of the nationally-recognized Buncombe County Family Justice Center where people can start their journey towards hope, healing, and safety.

  • Cultural Resources - The WNC Nature Center - The Western North Carolina Nature Center is our partner and our neighbor based just up the road from the brewery. The Nature Center is a 42-acre zoological park and one of the most popular parts of our local Asheville Parks and Recreation Department.

Hiking here can mean a lush rainforest or a grassy bald with views into the next state. We love the outdoors – so many of us on staff are hikers, runners, cyclists, anglers. We never tire of the activities or the views.

Sustainability

In as many ways we take in our surroundings, we look for ways to give back. Environmental sustainability is one pursuit.

Our largest effort was our solar array. Under peak conditions the system can create up to 324 kW DC - more power than we can use on sunny days. The expansive roof is now about half covered by panels and is in full view from the rooftop bar.

The latest:

  • Beautiful 16-foot white oak bartops in the Event Center were harvested from our property.
  • 3rd largest craft brewing solar array in the USA 
  • 13th largest brewery solar array in the world 
  • Our rooftop bar decking is natural, untreated cypress, a tree that grows in water and can withstand rain and sun.
  • The light pole bases in front of the event center are made from irreparable kegs


General Operations  

➢ Ethos of reduce, reuse, recycle throughout company 

➢ Use of variable frequency drives to reduce energy consumption 

➢ We take advantage of programs from the state and the utility companies to provide energy audits, for natural gas, steam boilers, electricity, etc.

➢ Fabrication shop reduces waste and new purchases

➢ Rehabilitating an old warehouse building instead of building a new structure  

➢ Switched out all halogen lights with T-5 fluorescent lights, cutting light energy usage in half

Brewing
➢ Spent grain, spent yeast, used hops and our filter media are used as cow feed
➢ Recycle specialty grain bags
➢ Reduce energy usage with a heat exchanger, which reclaims heat from boiled wort and transfers it to hot water for next batch
➢ Our original retrofitted dairy tanks are still here working as spent material storage
➢ Use a high efficiency boiler that far exceeds regulated emission levels. It has one of the lowest emissions of any available boiler

Packaging
➢ Channel keg washer rinse water to rinse the floor
➢ Automated keg line saves water over manual rinsing by reusing wash water and increases efficiency with water use. It takes two people one day to do what used to require four people doing back-breaking work for a week
➢ Chose a label manufacturer that is 10 minutes away
➢ Save all packaging, boxes, roll cores, plastic bags, for reuse on our next run
➢ Purchase most of our equipment used and refurbish it ourselves. Our keg washer came from Bell’s. Our brewhouse is from Firestone Walker.