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Beer and Hot Chicken: Yee-Haw opens its new brewery and beer garden in Knoxville

The brewery has been in the works for years after Elkmont Exchange closed. It's opening with 62 taps, a decked-out beer garden, and Prince's Hot Chicken!

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After years of development, Yee-Haw Brewing Co. is opening its first brewery in Knoxville.

The Johnson City brewing company bought the location where Elkmont Exchange once stood at 745 North Broadway back in Jan. 2021. Now two years later, the brewery has officially opened to the public.

The new taproom includes an in-house brewery with 62 taps as well as an outdoor beer garden with shaded space, firepits and an outdoor amphitheater equipped to host large concerts with more than 700 people.

The opening is also a twofer for people who love both beer and Nashville hot chicken. The brewery partnered with Prince's Hot Chicken to open a location inside.

"Today is just the beginning,” General Manager Charles Ellis said. “Our event planning team has pulled out all the stops for a celebratory series of events starting the week of February 27 that’ll really showcase what this space was intended for. Live music, watching the game on the jumbotron, community experiences, enjoying this massive outdoor space, and of course sharing a drink with friends.”

Yee-Haw said the Knoxville brewery will have a specific focus on brewing limited releases, a barrel-aging program and sour-style beers.

“There are over thirty different breweries in the Knoxville area, and we hope to add a new taste to the already vibrant beer scene here in town. We want to help push Knoxville towards being known as a destination beer city,” Brewmaster Chris Meadows said.

The Knoxville Chamber said it's happy to see more businesses expanding to the Knoxville area, saying it will translate to future jobs and investment within the community.

“Yee-Haw Brewing adding a Knoxville location contributes to the civic furniture of our community that helps to attract and retain young talent,” it said.

The city of Knoxville said it will continue to invest in developing the Happy Holler area at the North Broadway and Central Street corridors in the coming years. It said it has provided more than $450,000 in grants so far to fund facade improvements at seven commercial buildings, including the one Yee-Haw now occupies. 

The city also completed the $6.15 million Central Street Streetscapes project in 2019, which repaired sidewalks, built new curbs, and worked to improve pedestrian safety along North Central Street. 

Knoxville will soon begin a similar streetscape project on Broadway, with bidding happening later this year. The project will build a new shared path that extends along the First Creek Greenway from Cecil Avenue to Woodland Avenue.

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