How Oscar Wong Saves the World


photo by John O’Hagan

He’s a god in Asheville, NC, brewing circles.

Oscar Wong is a Chinese guy who was born and raised in Jamaica and majored in civil engineering at Notre Dame.  He eventually moved to Asheville to found the Scottish-style Highland Brewing Company, the biggest brewery in town.

Before that, his job was to get rid of nuclear waste. “You know, I really helped the world doing what I used to do, but not even my wife was that impressed,” he says. “Now, I tell people I make beer for a living, and you ought to see the smiles on their faces.”

I first met Oscar when I went on the Asheville Brews Cruise, a VIP tour and tasting at local breweries.  You’ll find my story on it in the North Carolina, Florida, and Maryland editions of the July issue of Southern Living.

Confession from a Gaelic Ale Fanatic
Speaking of Highland, my first taste of Asheville-brewed beer came on a semi-raucous evening at the Jack of the Wood pub downtown. While several local musicians performed an impromptu jam on guitars and fiddles, I enjoyed more than a few pints of Highland Brewery’s Gaelic Ale. I’ve been hooked on the stuff ever since.   


  1. Roya June

    If any one could save the world, it would be Oscar.

    August 4, 2008 at 7:55 pm

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