Rebranded Ekuanot Hop Key Part of New Highland Release, ‘Southern Sixer’ IPA

With six hop varieties, 6 percent ABV, and 60 IBUs, Highland’s new seasonal, Southern Sixer IPA, will have hop fiends grabbing another six-pack. Great hops and a deep dive into sensory panels and dry hop trials led this complex IPA to its final form.

“I am excited about Southern Sixer because the bulk of the hops we are using, Equinox now rebranded as Ekuanot™, have never been used in a Highland beer before,” said Brewmaster Hollie Stephenson. “Ekuanot and Mosaic will carry the beer together, and the complementing four others are in the dry hop. Ekuanot is a very unique flavoring and aromatic hop that will give us cool characteristics, like ripe berry and cedar forest. Mixed with tropical Mosaic and others, Sixer is going to be a uniquely fruity and resiny IPA, not just classic citrus and pine.”

Knowing the name well in advance, the brewing team had fun making every possible aspect of this beer relate to “six,” from the number of hops to the ABV and IBUs. Even the packaging, typically offered in 12-packs, is available only in six-packs.

The first keg of Southern Sixer will be tapped at Highland Brewing at 4 p.m. on Friday, January 27. It will be the first keg of the first seasonal of the new year. Highland will have live music and food trucks on hand as part of the celebration. In addition to Southern Sixer six-packs to go, Stephenson will offer a special hop tour of the six hops showcased in this beer. Visitors can enjoy an exploration of the aromas and flavors each hop brings to the brew. Afterward, guests are invited to roll right into a brewery tour with one of Highland’s experienced guides. The hop tour will take place during Highland’s normally scheduled 5:45 tour. Tours are limited to 25 people.

Southern Sixer, like Highland’s other seasonal beers, is named for a protected feature of the Southern Appalachian landscape. Close to home, “Southern Sixers” refers to a group of Southern Appalachian mountains over 6,000 feet in elevation. Conserving this area’s land and water retains its true value and beauty. To that end, every glass of Southern Sixer sold on January 27 will result in one dollar donated to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. For more information about Highland’s efforts with SAHC, go to Appalachian.org.

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