I’m not a big growler guy. It’s a symptom of a larger fear of commitment present in many areas of my life. There are plenty of character witnesses you could ask, but I really don’t believe anyone would benefit from that. Recently I had a daylong low-level panic attack considering the realities of signing a 2-year phone contract. Somehow my own mortality came into the question. Very quickly, it stopped being a thing about a phone.
And so we come to the growler. Take all the stressful qualities of a six pack and add in an unforgiving element of time, and what you have is a recipe for me to not be particularly interested. So it’s saying something that after having the Dunkel from Yee-Haw a couple times at bars around town, I went out and did the unthinkable: I got a growler. Just a 32-oz one, a grumbler if you will, but progress is progress. I’m sure there’s a bigger life lesson to be learned involving going all-in with the things you love, but I’m content just getting a decent buzz from it.
The Dunkel goes down easy. Sweet like caramel and lacking much in the way of hops bitterness, it’s one of the more flavorful expressions I’ve had of the dark German lager style while still retaining every bit of its sip-after-sip-worthiness. There’s not a lot of carbonation going on here, but the presence is thick enough to give it a satisfying presence.
In fact, the entire Yee-Haw lineup is solidly among the most drinkable I’ve had, propelling the new brewery near the top of my list of regional breweries (can’t shake that local love for Calfkiller). The Maibock, their spring season, is a floral, lightly honey-tinged brew, and the Eighty is probably the first Scottish ale I’ve ever really enjoyed. I haven’t yet tried the rest of their lineup, which includes a pale ale, pilsner, and the other rotating seasonals, but experience tells me anything from their brewery is a safe bet.
Yee-Haw is situated in the underrated little college town of Johnson City in East TN. It’s a fine place, infamous “that guy at the party with an acoustic guitar” favorite singalong tunes aside, and the presence of Yee-Haw bumps it up another notch. Founded about a year ago by an ex-Lagunitas higher-up, distribution is currently limited to a select region, but I can’t imagine it’ll be long ‘til these guys are all over considering their growth rate and quality control so far.
Note from the writer: This is a beer I went out and purchased with my own dollars, so we’re not getting free samples that would encourage us to say nice things. And anyway, if I were good enough at drinking that people sent me free beer out of the blue I’d never stop bragging about it. That’s disclosure for you.