Johnson City Brewing Company's success spills over into new downtown tap room location

Tony Casey • Updated Aug 11, 2016 at 9:54 AM

An expanding Johnson City microbrewery means new opportunities for the burgeoning business’ owners, as they ride the regional growth in craft beer popularity.

At this weekend’s Little Chicago Downtown Music and Arts Festival, the Johnson City Brewing Company’s owners will unveil their new taproom’s location at 257 E. Main St.

Eric and Kat Latham, two of the brewery’s owners, said the move to the corner storefront most recently held by the Downtown Paw Company will both let them expand the business and give them more room for their brewing creativity.

They’re aiming at opening later this fall.

Since late 2014, the Johnson City Brewing Company has been located in the bottom floor of the King’s Centre, just across from the new location at the intersection of South Roan and Main streets. Out of the small, 900-square-foot space, they’ve produced their many beer flavors and served them to their loyal and local following. 

Eric Latham said it’s funny with nearby JRH Brewing and Yee-Haw Brewing’s part of the local craft beer movement’s success that people don’t realize it’s the Johnson City Brewing Company that’s the oldest existing in the city. With approximately 40 owners, they’ve always got the hands on deck to help out when needed.

“We started this company for a couple of reasons, especially for how it promotes community,” he said. “The way people have talked over frosty fermented beverages since the beginning of our country. We like that.

“Our current space has done a great job for us, but we’ve always wanted to incrementally grow.”

Now they’ll get that chance to expand.

While there’s work to be done before they can open the taproom, the Lathams and their co-owning partners will open the doors of the new location to sell brewery T-shirts, gear, water and Gatorade to Little Chicago Festival goers.

One criticism Eric Latham said he’s received was that a lot of people didn’t realize where the brewery was located because of their tucked-in location in the King’s Centre. He’s looking forward to the increased visibility when the move goes down.

Kat Latham said the taproom will make good use of the massive glass windows facing Main Street. Customers will be able to people-watch as they sit at benches and tables inside and outside of the Johnson City Brewing Company’s taproom.

One of the mandated updates they’ll make to the spot is putting in a bathroom that can be used by their beer-drinking patrons.

More announcements will be coming from the Johnson City Brewing Company, including details relating to upgrading their production system, but the Lathams are taking the taproom move one step at a time.

Email Tony Casey at tcasey@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonycaseyjournalist.

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