Infamous for its bootlegging during prohibition, it’s no wonder Johnson City is home to some of East Tennessee’s best microbreweries. In honor of this Appalachian city’s heritage, we spent a day visiting a handful of Johnson City’s can’t-miss hops stops (with a designated driver, of course).
Located in the historic downtown, Johnson City Brewing Company has been brewing quality beers since it opened its doors in 2014. Among its nine award-winning brews are the Cascadian Dark IPA, the Company G Belgian Pale Ale and the Little Chicago Stout. Stop by the taproom 7 days a week for a rotating selection of traditionals, seasonals and even guest taps.
YEE-HAW BREWING COMPANY
Yee-Haw Brewing prides itself on making beers you want to have more than one of, and it definitely delivers on that. It offers four brews year-round every day, highlighted by its World Beer Cup award-winning Dunkel. Add in its diverse line of seasonals and you’re sure to find a brew you love. Yee-Haw shares its space with White Duck Taco Shop, and its 16 different tacos are the perfect bar food to pair with your favorite beer.
JRH Brewing is a family-owned brewery, home to some of East Tennessee’s greatest brews. The six beers that are always on tap run the gamut from Boonetime Blonde to Henri’s Stout Nitro to the hoppy Tannery Knobs IPA. And the brewery isn’t afraid to mix it up with its seasonal offerings, featuring brews such as its Cascadian Smash IPA and its 8 percent ABV Belgian Dark Strong. JRH’s taproom is open Tuesday through Sunday.
DEPOT STREET BREWING
While not technically in Johnson City, this place is too great not to include. Depot Street Brewing is in historic Jonesborough, just a short scenic drive from Johnson City. Depot Street Brewing has been crafting amazing beer out of the finest ingredients from across the globe since 2004. While all the beers it makes are delicious, the star brew is the Loose Caboose Lager — a Dortmunder-style German lager that won Gold at the 2007 Carolinas Championship of Beer and was voted the 18th best Dortmunder lager in the world by Beer Advocate Magazine. So stop by to sample any of its offerings, including ones you can only get at the brewery, like its aged sour beer or bourbon barrel-aged beer. And no stop is complete without a game of bocce ball on the court out back!
GREAT OAK BREWING COMPANY
Newly-opened Great Oak Brewing Company serves up six signature brews. Wit, brown, cream, India pale, IPA and amber ales are available for your sipping pleasure. At this brewery, you'll find more traditional German, American and English-style brews, as Great Oak pays homage to the first settlers in Tennessee, who started lives between the Holston, Watauga and Nolichucky Rivers.
Enjoy a cold one when the weather's warm and favorable at Johnson City brewery. These microbreweries provide beers for all palettes like a dry hop IPA or a smooth, hefty stout. Enjoy one on your upcoming Tennessee vacation. Remember to please drink responsibly.