OktoberForest: Yee-Haw Brewing

Celebrating healthy forests, clean water and great beer!

Yee-Haw Brewing Co. is committed to giving back—to the mountain community of Johnson City, to the beautiful Appalachian forests on its doorstep and to organizations that help protect these natural treasures.

Opened in 2015, Yee-Haw is co-owned by four friends who are essentially family as they are related variously by blood and marriage: Joe Baker, Cory Cottingim, and brothers John and Chuck Edwards. Joe, an attorney who grew up in the east Tennessee mountains, was the one who was initially inspired to start the brewery in Johnson City.

What’s in a name?

The four partners hit upon the name for their brewery on a ski trip to Wyoming. One day while they were out on the slopes, John Edwards was about to go down a super-steep drop, and one of the guys shouted, “What are you going to do?” John replied, “YEE HAW!” And right then and there the group knew they had their brewery’s name.

“It’s just right for us and what we’re about,” says Jeremy Walker of Yee-Haw. “Because it’s an expression of exuberance and adventure that defines who we are.”

Jeremy has been with Yee-Haw since before the company officially opened. He started as the brewery’s sales director, but his title is a bit bigger now: Director of Exponential Mayhem, which translates into basically: “Taking the lead on our marketing, media, advertising, design and packaging.”

Yee-Haw is based in a historic downtown railroad depot known locally as the “Tweetsie Depot.” Built in the 1890s, the building was painstakingly renovated by Yee-Haw to house its brew-works, offices and taproom.

“Joe was determined to bring that building back,” says Jeremy. “It was important to him, and it’s important to the vitality of Johnson City.”

A natural fit

Sustainability is also important to Yee-Haw. “We are committed to having as light an environmental footprint as we can,” says Jeremy, who adds that Yee-Haw has plans underway to make its packaging more environmentally friendly and energy efficient to transport.

Supporting OktoberForest is a natural fit for Yee-Haw. “Pure water is absolutely essential for good beer,” he says. “Of course, clean water is essential to life—not just human life, but all life. It’s something we are very passionate about.

“We care about protecting our forests for many reasons—including what they do to filter and provide clean water. Just speaking for myself, spending time outdoors is very important to me, so I care very much about protecting forests. We’re really glad to partner with The Nature Conservancy to raise awareness about the importance of forests to great beer.”

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