Project Files: Episode 26 — Yee-Haw Brewing Company
Yee-Haw Brewing Company opened in a renovated train depot in Johnson City, Tennessee in the first half of 2015. Since then, the company has expanded distribution to Nashville and picked up a Bronze Award at the 2016 World Beer Cup, a global beer competition that recognizes the most outstanding brewers and beers.
Cris Ellenbecker, the company’s brewmaster, credits their success to doing things right from the beginning. That extends to decisions throughout the facility, including which steam boiler to use. Yee-Haw’s “steam engine” is a Miura LX-200 Boiler.
One reason the Miura LX-200 was chosen was its capacity to save space. It can fit through an average doorway, and can provide additional capacity beyond the initial steam load, meaning the brewery would be able to grow without adding additional boilers.
Another benefit was its ease of use without the need for trained boiler operators. Plus, the ability to turn the boiler on in the morning and have steam in less than five minutes means the company doesn’t need to have personnel come in to work hours in advance. Ellenbecker and his team can come in the morning, fire the boiler up, and start cleaning the tanks and brewing right away. Likewise, anyone can shut it down; Ellenbecker said shutdown is basically two bells and a button, and you’re done.
Yee-Haw’s business decisions have allowed the company to grow rapidly. Yee-Haw is already producing more than 12,000 production barrels a year, which Ellenbecker said is “insane for a craft beer.” The team has also used the boiler to run steam all over the brewery and has added another line onto it, and the boiler has continued operation without skipping a beat.