The title of America’s oldest brewery belongs to Yuengling beer of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. German immigrant David G. Yuengling began production of his home-country-inspired beer in 1829. And the Yuengling family, some six generations later, still run the family beer company, a beer that has been the subject of much lore through the years as it limited its distribution to a relatively small number of U.S. states. For instance, beer drinkers in Michigan have been clamoring for Yuengling beer for as long as anybody can remember — but no luck. The Yuengling brewery never bothered to retain a licensed distributor in Michigan because they sold out their production runs in their existing state markets.
Yuengling recently expanded operations to the South with the purchases of a defunct brewery in Tampa, Florida, allowing it to distribute its beer in the local Southern market. But the Western half of the United States remained off-limits for Yuengling-seekers until the family signed a deal with Molson-Coors to begin producing and shipping the legacy German-American beer to the left half of the United States.
Yuengling will begin production at Coors facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, meaning the secret family beer recipe had to be delivered from Pennsylvania to Texas. In a nice little marketing stunt, the four Yuengling sisters who control the beer company in this generation shipped off great-great-great-great-grandad’s original recipe in an armored truck to Fort Worth. This isn’t exactly the desperate candy business as detailed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Slugworth will pull out all his sinister stops to steal the Everlasting Gobstopper recipe from the Wonka Factory. The recipe itself is probably sitting on half a dozen Google docs on unprotected laptops in various homes and offices. Nevertheless, this made for good theater.
“It was important to us to make sure it was our same quality recipes, our same yeast strain, and everything that goes into our original beers that we make here. We’re going to deliver the same high-quality products out west.”Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer.
Jennifer Yuengling will be following the armored truck to Texas where she intends to carefully oversee the Yuengling brewing process to ensure it meets the standards of the family legacy. For those clamoring to try the Pennsylvania beer, it should be available in a slew of previously off-limits Western states as of this Fall. Is it actually any good? No clue. We’ll report back when we have first-hand information?
Have you tried Yuengling before? What’s your opinion.