October’s Featured Brewery: Yee-Haw Brewing Company

There’s something special brewing at Tomato Head in October – well, it’s not actually brewing here, but it is flowing happily from our taps. What makes our taps so special this month is that what’s coming out of them epitomizes everything we love in beer: the beer tastes good; the brewery offers a nice variety of styles; and all this goodness comes from right here in East Tennessee – only about 90 minutes from either of our locations. We’re talking about Yee-Haw Brewing Company, an East Tennessee craft brewery located on Buffalo Street in Johnson City.

For many Knoxvillians Yee Haw isn’t just a beer or the noise you make when mounting an old tire swing to propel you from the bank to the river, it’s also the name of a now closed print shop that produced some of Knoxville’s most iconic and distinguishable posters, handbills, and old-fashioned church fans. Yee Haw Industries closed a little over 3 years ago, but the press’ co-founder Kevin Bradly and Joe Baker, one of the Brewery’s owners are longtime friends. In addition to the name, Kevin’s work at Yee Haw Industries has been an important inspiration for the brewery’s logo and imagery.

The beer, though, has another branch of noble lineage. Brewmaster Brandon Greenwood comes to Yee-Haw by way of a little brewery called Lagunitas. He’s also an organic chemist with a penchant for perfection, which means that he spends a lot of time in Yee-Haw’s state of the art lab making sure that the beer is consistently delicious.

After all, the most important thing is the beer itself, and Yee-Haw beers are all in good nick, as you can taste for yourself. We’re pouring Yee-Haw’s Pale Ale, Pilsner, Dunkel, Eighty Shilling, and a seasonal Oktoberfest at both Tomato locations.

Yee-Haw’s Pale Ale gives a really nice sense of the brewery’s ethos: balance. You’ll find plenty of hops here but no make-your-mouth-shrivel bitterness; there’s a good dollop of malt that brings some sweetness and, therefore, balance to the flavor.

The Pilsner makes for a perfect antidote to the season of fading light. It’s light, bright, and comforting, and it shows a nicely crisp personality that will send your mind floating to the wilds of Bohemia. It’s also a nice match for food – it’s a great refresher alongside our #2 pizza with Benton’s Bacon, ham & Andouille Sausage. But it’s a versatile beer that’s works equally well with light, mild food and/or anything with a lot of spice.

If Bohemia isn’t your ideal drinking inspiration then perhaps you’d prefer to hop over to Bavaria with a draft of Yee Haw’s Munich Dunkel. This classic German dark lager was the first of Brewmaster Brandon’s frothy loves. You’ll understand once you taste it; rich, but not heavy, it’s a complex beer to savor.

Eighty Shilling is fairly light for the Yee Haw range. Here’s what the brewery has to say: “Decidedly smooth with the slightest bit of sweetness, grab ahold of our Eighty Shilling Scottish ale. The best of both worlds, hops play second fiddle here with just enough bitterness to complement the malt-driven notes of caramel and toffee.

The seasonal beer is of course, Oktoberfest, which the brewery describes as, “A traditional, malty German amber lager, our Märzen Oktoberfest is one seasonal you won’t want to miss. Munich malt is at the heart of this beer. You’ll enjoy clean, rich and toasty flavors without sweetness thanks to an ever so slight hop bitterness.”

Yee Haw Tap Handles