TVA Credit Union Ballpark
Team: Johnson City Doughboys
Affiliate: N/A (Appalachian League)
Ballpark Basics: A classic Appy League park with just the right upgrades.
Built in 1956 TVA Credit Union Ballpark has seen its fair share of baseball, the majority of it as the Cardinals rookie league affiliate. That all changed in 2020 with the dissolution of the affiliates for the Appalachian League. The team was reborn as the Johnson City Doughboys. Luckily they still get to play in a wonderful ballpark.
The ballpark has gone through a number of renovations since it first opened. Some recent renovations include an artificial surface for the infield grass, an upgraded lighting system and the building of The Perch, more on that later.
The majority of the seating is in the covered grandstand. The first couple of rows have seats with seat backs while the remaining of the seating consist of aluminum bleachers. Support beams for the roof can obstruct some of the seats in the back as do the poles that hold up the netting surrounding the infield. A small set of bleachers also run down each baseline.
Best Spot for Beer:
Beer used to be a rarity for Appalachian League teams (with the Elizabethton team not selling beer until 2019). Johnson City began selling beer in 2014 and most options were from the big boys. Today, there are small concession stands around the ballpark that offer mostly macro options (if they have beer at all). However, down the left field line the team introduced The Perch in 2016. This two story beer garden offers great views of the field with drink rails and multiple local and craft options.
While the team playing in Johnson City may no longer be affiliated with an MLB team, the team (and the whole Appy League) has taken on their new identity with gusto. The Appalachian League has been around for over 100 years and the teams that make up the current roster make up a great collection of teams and ballparks within (relative) close proximity. If you find yourself in this part of the country it is worth catching a game or two.
Yee-Haw Brewing Company
Basics: An unexpected combo for an unassuming town.
There’s a good possibly you know Johnson City, Tennessee exists thanks to a song. In fact, Lyrics.com shows there are at least 5 radio hits that mention it, and countless covers (is Wagon Wheel in your head yet?). Listening to any one of these songs may paint a picture of a small, slow mountain town – and they wouldn’t be lying. At first blush, there’s not much to Johnson City, a handful of streets, a small downtown and, according to Google, a population right around 66,000. But here’s where I stop you. First, it’s small, but the population is growing, the suburban sprawl (aka midtown) includes all of the big box stores, a massive motor row and anything else you could want. The downtown may be petite, but it’s worth visiting. Here a lot of historic buildings seem to be undergoing a renaissance. There is construction and creative re-purposing on every block, and the train station housing Yee-Haw Brewing is one such example.
The large building is basically divided in two. Yee-Haw occupies a good two thirds of the building, and they share much of the remaining space with White Duck Taco Shop, a longtime mainstay of Asheville, NC residents and visitors alike. If we were here to talk tacos, I could go on and on, but let’s just say it’s a good thing they have lots of tables. The building itself has high ceilings and thick exposed wood beams. The Yee-Haw portion is an open barn style room with a massive ceiling fan, long bar, a couple of TVs and heavy wood tables of varying sizes, with chairs to match. Right outside there is a wide concrete patio with tables, chairs, and a large central firepit which was roaring on the brisk spring day we stopped by. Wooden floors are softened by large, fun floor mats imprinted with the Yee-Haw logo, and there are some more casual living-room style sitting areas interspersed among the dining tables.
They have a shop off to the right of the bar with various merch, and you can also purchase 4 and 6 packs to go at the bar. We wanted to try all of their standards, but seeing as we had several hours of driving ahead of us still we settled for lunch at Yee-Haw and filling up mix-your-own-6 pack at a local grocery with all the Yee-Haws they had. The beers were good, and like the brewery itself, tastefully branded. Really, if you can fault them for anything, it’s the boring beer names on their standard styles. We got our hands on:
Kolsch (4.7% ABV/20 IBU): Bright yellow color, with light floral esters. The banana flavor that occasionally predominates in Kolsch style beers were not overly dominant here, and the main flavors are those of Bavarian yeast and earthy notes that end with a tang. Solid flavor for such a light style, light hops and moderate carbonation give the Yee-Haw Kolsch a champagne style finish.
Eighty Shilling (5% ABV/25 IBU): A dark mahogany amber Scotch Ale, with a bready malt aroma that carries over into the palate. This multi-leveled beer has a drier, oaty start, a sweeter middle and a crisper, malty and carbonated finish.
Pale Ale (5.7% ABV/30 IBU): A balanced Pale Ale that is neither hoppy nor overly malted. Poured with a solid head that dissipated quickly but left lingering ivory lacing. This even-keeled beer has a malty front, bready finish and a decent hop backbone but remains light and easy drinking. It is light on both nose and palate making it a solid pale ale, but one that doesn’t stand out from the crowd.
Dunkel (5.5% ABV/30 IBU): A pretty, dark ruby black beer that smells like chicory and chocolate. The Yee Haw version of a Munich Dunkel is fairly true to form, and worthy of its World Beer Cup win with a carmelly front, roasted, slightly anised middle and a smooth, dark chocolate finish.
Oktoberfest (6% ABV/ 25 IBU): Another Yee-Haw beer with a traditional German bent. This one is a brighter, amber colored Marzen. Light and crackery upfront with just a hint of slightly herbal sweetness. A solid addition to your fall fridge lineup.
126 Buffalo Street
Johnson City, TN 37604