How Yee-Haw Looks to Build Brand Recognition

While news was reported in mid-October that a full move was on the way to Nashville, Brewmaster Cris Ellenbecker and his brew crew at Yee-Haw Brewing were busy adding a new canning line to the Johnson City, Tennessee headquarters.

What will be opening in 2018 in Nashville will be a second location for the brewery that has seen massive growth as of late, jumping from 5,000 barrels in its first year of 2015 to more than 11,500 last year with more growth planned into 2018.

A seven-barrel brewpub is set to go online for the eastern Tennessee brewery in Music City — which is the host city for the 2018 Craft Brewers Conference — and everything made at the Yee-Haw brewpub will be sold on site, Ellenbecker reported.

“With it just being sold on site it won’t help us with distribution at all,” he said. “With the amount of traffic coming through Nashville though, I think it will give us a huge boost in brand recognition.

“The more people are exposed to our product the more often they will — hopefully — make their way back to one of our facilities and bring some business to the local areas.”

Yee-Haw entered Nashville as a market for sales in 2016 and Ellenbecker said the brewery likes the Nashville market for a lot of reasons.

“They have been good to us, allowing us to be in Nissan Stadium for the Titans, and in the Bridgestone Arena for the Preds. Those are key events that we get to sell our beer at now, which is a really great thing to get to say,” he said. “Plus with a taproom addition and brewpub allows us to have a little more fun with what we are brewing. It also allows us to brew what the people in Nashville want to drink, not just what we brew at our production facility.”

Everything brewed at the brewpub will be sold on site along with core brands that will be sent in from Johnson City.

“We didn’t want to put too much on the production facility, and thought that it would be nice to do some one-offs to add some variety to the taproom that will be there,” Ellenbecker said.

Although the amount of volume has been moving rapidly up, Ellenbecker doesn’t think a whole lot has changed since opening.

“We are still in the business of making good quality beer,” he said. “As for the growth, as surprising as it has been to get as big as we have in such a short time, I think it’s a testament to the quality of the beer that we are producing. As long as we keep up the quality of the product I think we will only continue to grow as a brand.”

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