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Where to Drink Like A Local in Johnson City: 8 Best Breweries

Looking for the best place in Johnson City to grab a pint? Maybe with a side of food truck grub? If so, read here for the best breweries in Johnson City, TN!

Growing fast in popularity among craft beer connoisseurs, Johnson City is a must-visit destination to satisfy your thirst. With over 6 breweries located just in the downtown area, treating yourself with a self-guided brew tour is a great idea since most of them are within walking distance.

Most of the breweries located in Johnson City host food trucks, feature local live music, or even have games including weeknight trivia!

Downtown Johnson City also hosts a few yearly festivals, including the famous Blue Plum Festival which has been a local favorite since 1999, bringing music and arts to the downtown area while supporting the community.

Sour beer on table with friends cheering beers together at a brewery in Johnson City TN

The breweries located in Johnson City offer many types of beer, from IPA’s to tart sours, which is why brewery hopping is one of the top things to do in Johnson City. There is even a brewery specifically dedicated to sour beers, which is often rare as it usually takes many months to produce a sour beer.

Having lived in Johnson City for over 10 years now, I have had first-hand experience at every brewery that Johnson City has to offer.

In this guide, will break down the best breweries located in Johnson City so you can come and enjoy what this city has to offer like a local!

The Best Breweries in Johnson City, TN

1. Johnson City Brewing Company

Flight of Craft Beers at Johnson City Brewing Company
Flight of craft beers at Johnson City Brewing Company
  • Hours: Mon: (closed), Tues-Thur: 4-9pm, Fri: 4-10pm, Sat: 1-10pm, Sun: 1-5pm
  • Locations: 257 E Main Street (Downtown) and 362 Boones Creek RD (Boones Creek Location)
  • Food: Yes – Rotating Food Trucks (Boones Creek)
  • Pet Friendly: Yes

A favorite among many locals since opening in 2014, Johnson City Brewing Company is one of the best breweries in the city!

They feature many craft favorites including the Blue and Gold, named after the colors of the local East Tennessee State University, a Golden Ale brewed with blueberry purée (one of my favorites!). Another fan favorite is Peaches, which is an Amber Ale brewed with peaches and coriander.

You may notice that there are many mugs, or steins, hanging up on the back wall as you enter the brewery. These mugs are actually owned by locals who frequent JCBC.

You can become a member of the Lamplighter Beer Club for $125 for the first year and a $20 renewal fee for every year after that. This membership provides you with a free t-shirt, a magnetic bumper sticker, and a handcrafted 20oz stein made from local potters. Also, you will only pay the 16oz price for a beer when you will actually be getting 20oz!

Johnson City Brewing Company has also recently opened another location which is located in the Boones Creek area of Johnson City. This brewery was built in an old victorian style house with lots of outdoor space. Come to this location instead if you prefer to sip on brews while enjoying the outdoors or would like some room outside for your kids to enjoy.

Live bands and food trucks are often offered at the Boones Creek location as there is a lot of outdoor space to offer. The downtown location sits right across from one of our favorite coffee shops in Johnson City and offers fun board games and weekly trivia nights!

2. Watauga Brewing Company

  • Hours: Tue-Thurs: 4–10pm, Fri: 4pm-Midnight, Sat: 11am-Midnight, Sun: 11am-8pm
  • Location: 142 W Market St
  • Food: Yes – Full Restaurant and Brew Bites
  • Pet Friendly: No

Watauga Brewing Company is more than just a brewery, you’ll also find a full restaurant and rooftop bar! The Brewery located on the ground floor offers a taproom with brew bites, the Restaurant on 2 is a full menu restaurant, and the 3rd level is the SkyBar on 3 which offers specialty cocktails, brew bites, and a view of King Commons Park in downtown Johnson City.

Visit the first-floor brewery to sample one of their 16 taps of signature Ales, IPAs, ESBs, Stouts, and seasonal Seltzers. No reservations are needed to visit the taproom. If you look towards the back of the room, you’ll be able to have a glimpse of their brew kettles and the equipment where they make their craft beer. Grab a beer and play a game of Table Shuffleboard with your friends!

Restaurant on 2 is a full-menu restaurant that specializes in unique cuisine and a cozy atmosphere. Walk-ins are accepted but reservations are highly encouraged! The menu features tapas-style food, allowing everyone in your party to share. Restaurant on 2 also offers Sunday Brunch from 11 am to 3 pm — bring on the mimosas! 🍹

Delicious Food from Restaurant on 2 and draft beer at dinner
Credit: Watauga Brewing Company via Facebook

Last, but certainly not least, is the Skybar on 3. Here you can order craft cocktails, signature craft beers, brew bites, and small plates from the kitchen. This sky bar offers a great view over King Commons Park and the rest of Johnson City. They also provide gas firepits and patio heaters scattered around the deck for those chilly nights!

3. Tennessee Hills Brewstillery

  • Hours: Mon-Wed: 4-10pm, Thurs: 12-10pm, Fri-Sat: 12-11pm, Sun: 12-8pm
  • Location: 458 W Walnut Street
  • Food: Yes – Whiskey Kitchen Food Truck
  • Pet Friendly: Yes

Tennessee Hills Brewstillery offers the best of both worlds — craft beers brewed in-house and spirits from Tennessee Hills Distillery. This location recently opened in 2021 and has been going strong since opening day! Sit inside at their custom-made copper bar or head outside where you can play a game and relax in the sun.

Here you will be able to sip on a craft beverage while playing a game of cornhole, listen to a live band, or even grab a bite from their very own Food Truck — The Whiskey Kitchen. This food truck offers brew bite favorites such as hamburger sliders and loaded fries.

Stay tuned as Tennessee Hills is also planning on building another distillery close to this location as well as a gift shop where you can purchase their very own spirits; my favorite is the Lavender Lemon!

4. Little Animals Brewery

Colorful sour beers at Little Animals Brewery in Johnson City TN
Sour beer on table with friends cheering beers together at a brewery in Johnson City TN
  • Hours: Mon-Tues: (closed), Wed-Fri: 4-10pm, Sat: 2-10pm, Sun: 2-8pm
  • Location: 324 E Main St
  • Food: No
  • Pet Friendly: Yes

Little Animals is a special type of brewery, as they specialize in funky or sour beers. This is very rare as it usually takes many months to create a sour beer and you’ll usually find only one or two sours offered at most breweries.

The name, Little Animals, was named after the microorganisms or “animalcules” it takes to create a sour beer.

The first thing you’ll notice when entering this brewery is the artwork on the wall.

If you take a closer look, you’ll notice images of all the microorganisms, yeast, and bacteria that it takes to make the funky craft you are sipping on. Pretty cool, eh?

Sip on a Doxie Blackberry Sour, an Aminacule Plum & Apricot, or even an IPA if you aren’t too fond of funky sours. Bring your friends, your dog, and an appetite for a funky sour!

5. Depot Street (Jonesborough)

  • Hours: Sun-Tues: (closed), Wed-Fri: 5-9pm, Sat: 4-9pm
  • Location: 904 Depot Street, Jonesborough
  • Food: Yes – Rotating Food Trucks
  • Pet Friendly: Yes

Located in the center of historic Jonesborough, and just a short drive from Johnson City is Depot Street Brewing. Depot Street is one of the longest-running breweries in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee.

Did you know that Jonesborough is Tennessee’s oldest town? Stroll through the historic downtown shops and then make a trip to the Depot Street Brewing for a craft beer by the railroad tracks!

Try the Loose Caboose Lager, an original craft and favorite, or sample the Farmhouse Ale. Depot Street Brewing offers a variety of craft brews for you to try. They have a great outdoor patio section where you can soak up the sun or play a game of Bocce Ball as you sip on your brew.

Food Trucks usually frequent here, check their Instagram or Facebook page to see who the food truck of the day is.

6. Atlantic Ale House (Tap House)

  • Hours: Monday: (closed), Tues-Thurs: 4-10pm, Fri-Sat: 4-11pm, Sun: 3-8pm
  • Location: 111 McClure St
  • Food: Yes – Rotating Food Trucks
  • Pet Friendly: Yes

Although they do not craft their own brews, Atlantic Ale House is a tap house and beer garden that you will not want to miss! Offering 16 taps of locally crafted brews, usually from the Johnson City and Asheville region, you’re certain to find something you will like to drink here!

Enjoy their amazing outdoor area with overhead string lights and a large projector screen for movie nights. Atlantic Ale House usually hosts a variety of events throughout the year from outdoor movie nights, block parties, or even concerts!

They also have a great ground view of the King Commons Park area; grab a brew and then take your dog for a stroll through the park.

Check their Facebook or Instagram page for their rotating food truck selection.

7. Yee-Haw Brewing

  • Hours: Sun-Wed: 11:30–9pm, Thurs-Sat: 11:30am – Midnight
  • Location: 126 Buffalo Street
  • Food: Yes – White Duck Taco Shop
  • Pet Friendly: Yes – Outside

Located in a 130-year-old train station, Yee-Haw Brewing of Johnson City has the charm, the brews, and the games to make for a great night. Yee-Haw has many locations, including one in the beer city of Asheville, Knoxville, Greeneville, and Nashville. However, the Johnson City location is where it all started in 2015 for this company.

Here you will find many different styles of brews from a Kolch to a Winter Porter. Enjoy your brew while sitting inside to watch the game on TV, or perhaps you want to play a game of arcade basketball. Head outside to enjoy the large fire pit or play a game of cornhole.

Hungry? Yee-Haw also shares the same space with the White Duck Taco Shop. Here you can have the best of both worlds — beer and tacos! White Duck Taco offers many different styles of tacos: Korean Beef, Banh Mi Tofu, Jerk Chicken, etc. Order one for me too, please! 🌮

8. Great Oak Brewing

  • Hours: Sun-Tues: 11-9pm, Wed-Thurs: 11-10pm, Fri-Sat: 11-11pm
  • Location: 601 Spring Suite 101 (Located Inside Southern Craft)
  • Food: Yes – inside Southern Craft Restaurant
  • Pets: No

Great Oak Brewing is nestled inside the Southern Craft BBQ restaurant located in downtown Johnson City. Here you can go just for a craft beer and sit at the bar or enjoy one while you eat an amazing meal. Either way, you should grab a pint while here!

They offer a small variety of their craft favorites from the Thunder Pig IPA to Carpenters Cream Ale. My favorite is the Honey Red Ale, as it has the perfect balance of malt to hop ratio.

DIY Johnson City Brewery Hop

Cozy bar inside the Little Animals brewery in downtown Johnson City TN
Inside the Little Animals Brewery

As I mentioned before, most of these breweries are located within walking distance of one another and it’s a great idea to check out a few at a time if you are exploring downtown Johnson City.

🍺 Try this Johnson City brewery self-guided tour!
Kick-off at Watauga Brewing Company, then head to Atlantic Ale House. Next, make your way to Yee-Haw or Johnson City Brewing Company (or both!), and then finish off your tour with a funky sour at Little Animals.

Whatever brew you choose, remember to be safe and hire an Uber to take you home!

Finally, we would appreciate your feedback, recommendations, and thoughts on these breweries in Johnson City! Which brewery are you wanting to try?

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Gallery of breweries in Johnson City TN, with text overlay "8 Best Breweries in Johnson City, TN" on brown background