By the end of June, Yee-Haw Brewing Co. will open in Keys Court at 307 E. McBee Ave., Greenville, more than a year after the brewery from Johnson City, Tenn., was announced.
Joe Baker, Yee-Haw partner, says the delay was mostly due to not wanting to rush the process.
“We weren’t in a hurry,” he says. “It was more important for us to get it right.”
Getting it right meant reworking the initial plans. Originally, the seven-tank brewing system was going to be located in the 4,402-square-foot taproom space closest to McBee. The smaller, 2,286-square-foot space facing the courtyard was going to be a restaurant of some sort. Cyclebar sits between the two.
The previously planned uses are now swapped, with the brewing system occupying the smaller space and the restaurant and taproom occupying the larger.
“The time taken here is to our benefit,” Baker says. “We’re providing the community with a quality experience.”
The restaurant component was the biggest change to the plans. Rather than bringing in an already established complementary concept, Yee-Haw chose to create its own restaurant they’re calling Eats at Yee-Haw that will offer a full menu of elevated bar food designed to pair with the 20 or so beers on tap.
“We’re trying to make stuff we like to eat with beer, and offer stuff that tastes good but also a really good, healthy meal,” Baker says. “Leaving here and feeling good about what you had to eat is important.”
The menu includes a balance of the healthy, such as the salmon salad operator Sean Freeman calls a “cyclist’s dream of refueling” because of the fats and proteins, and the not-so-healthy, like fried green tomatoes or the loaded smashed, then fried, potatoes.
A highlight of the menu for Freeman is the chargrilled wings that are brined for 24 hours with liquid smoke before they are convection steam baked and finished on the grill.
“They’re never fried and so tender,” Freeman says.
Baker says the smaller brewing system will serve as an innovative laboratory for them, allowing their brewers to be more creative and make smaller batches of “crazy funky” beers.
“We’re participating in the innovative vibe of the city and allowing ourselves to expand and grow in the Southeast,” he says.
Yee-Haw is currently hiring between 70-75 staff members for the Greenville location.
The taproom and restaurant, with painted exposed brick and an industrial feel in keeping with the style of the building, will seat roughly 100 inside between the large U-shaped bar, booths along the back wall, and tables in the center. The 10,000-square-foot patio will seat as many, if not more, depending on the day.
Plans for the patio include a large fire pit under the awning and a stage on the back of the property facing McBee. As soon as the AV engineers can figure out how to filter the sharp sun glare, a large-screen TV will be installed above. Baker says they’ll likely roll out artificial turf so people can lounge comfortably in the grass and have plenty of corn hole and similar games for people to play.
He says the goal all along has been to provide a place for families to have fun and feel comfortable.
“Greenville’s such a great town to be in,” Baker says.