JRH Brewing is Johnson City’s newest entrant to the microbrewery scene, opening its doors just three months before we arrived. Set in a former garage turned warehouse turned brewery, it’s got a great industrial industrial feel to it. There are a few tables on the asphalt outside; inside, there is a nice long bar and a handful of tables, all looked down upon by a cool beer bottle chandelier hanging from the roof. JRH is also pet friendly and there were a couple of dogs in the place when we were there.
The beer quality was strong as well. They are a new brewery and are still experimenting quite a bit, but they had a couple of IPAs that we liked plus a really well-done farmhouse ale. They also offered something that was a first for us and, while perhaps a bit gimmicky, was interesting to try: a hop infusion. For a couple of bucks, they’ll put the fresh hops of your choice in a tea infuser and then add that to your pint. The bubbling starts and you’re left with the same beer with a bit more of a hoppy kick to it. Anyway, it’s not something I would do regularly, but it was cool to taste the before and after. I would, however, be a regular visitor to JRH if we lived in Johnson City.
YEE-HAW BREWING CO
Not to disparage Yee-Haw Brewing itself, but the most memorable thing about it is that it shares a space with Asheville-based White Duck Taco. It was a brilliant move economically for the owners of Yee-Haw, but it does put them a bit in the shadows of greatness. We visited Yee-Haw twice in the two days we were in Johnson City and both times it was sadly perhaps more about the tacos than the beer.
Objectively, Yee-Haw has a lot going for it in addition to its proximity to some really good tacos. The atmosphere inside is outstanding, with a long metal bar, old school dark wooden tables with metal chairs, the occasional leather couch/chair, and a number of games in the corner. Since they defer to White Duck to serve the food, they are all about the beer. And the beers were decent, if unspectacular. They don’t offer a true IPA, but they did have a double on special that was tasty, if a bit strong for lunch at 8.5%.