A soft opening for the new Union Street Tap Room at 111 Union St. is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday. Proprietors Michael and Tara Baker will officially get their new business rolling during Friday and Saturday’s 41st annual Unicoi County Apple Festival.
With support from the robust craft brew businesses of the neighboring Tri-Cities, the tap room will be "proudly serving local and regional craft beer,” including those of Johnson City’s Yee-Haw Brewing Company, JRH Brewing and Johnson City Brewing and the Gypsy Circus Cider Company of Kingsport.
Tending to the final touches on Tuesday, Michael Baker said he and Tara are expecting huge crowds both Friday and Saturday as they launch of a couple of firsts for the decades-old Apple Festival.
“We’ll have the first craft beer on tap in the history of the Apple Festival and also first hard apple cider ever served on tap.
The tap room’s hours will be 5-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and “5-12ish or later, depending on the clientele” on Saturday. Sunday openings are yet to be determined.
Michael Baker said he and Tara will be contracting with food trucks to set up as close as possible on weekends and during trivia and Singo (a musical version of Bingo) tournaments, which are also in the tap room’s future.
Asked about the craft beer market in Erwin, Michael Baker expressed confidence the town’s location between Johnson City and Asheville, N.C.’s very successful craft beer business will lead people to stop in.
The new outfitters shop going in next door to the tap room will also help draw Appalachian Trail hikers not only to the tap room, but to all of downtown Erwin, he said.
Signs in the window of the new Erwin Outdoors Supply store promises the outfitters shop will open on Union Street in the spring.
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