Next stop on our “10 Breweries in 7 Days” trip was to the oldest continuous brewery in the United States.
Yep, that’s right, we were headed to Yuengling in coal-mining town Pottsville, PA. David Yuengling came from Germany to start a brewery in this sleepy town in 1829 that eventually became the brewery that I’ve come to love, especially the lager. It is the oldest family-owned brewery in America – 184 years brewing. In 2009 it surpassed two million barrels.
Yuengling lager was one of my first beers and it has been a go-to since then, for two reasons. They have always kept their beer on the price level of a Miller or a Bud and when it comes to taste its has a lot more taste then either of those beers. Just cause you are on a tight budget does not mean you can’t have good beer.
Check out your video below and get a inside view of Yuengling’s factory and an interview with Jennifer Yuengling.
We arrived in town the night before because we had an 8 a.m. appointment the next day. That’s right 8 a.m. appointment. We did that so that we could avoid the crowds that would be arriving at the brewery at 10 a.m for tours and beer tasting. We checked out the location the day before to make sure we had the right place and it was good we did because we got to visit a large Yuengling shipping building in town as well.
Yuengling’s very popular lager dates back to 1987. It since has become their most popular beer. It has even been said that their lager has saved Yeungling from having to close its doors, many times.
Yuengling started in 1829 under the name Eagle Brewery and was eventually changed to D. G. Yuengling and Son in 1873. Across the street from the Pottsville Brewery you can see the location of their dairy production that kept them in business during prohibition.
During prohibition they brewed three different near-beers but the brewers remained convinced that prohibition would not last long. In 1933, when brewers won the fight against prohibition, they produced “Winner Beer” to celebrate and then they showed their appreciation by sending beer to President Roosevelt. Being president has its perks.
Then next morning we arrived early at the brewery and it was already full of workers brewing, bottling, canning and working their very busy gift shop. It may surprise you but unlike other breweries, a lot of good work is done by hand. We explored the brewery and as we walked through we could see the strong history of this brewery and its beer. There were paintings on the wall of old ad campaigns, stain glass sealing and, of course, the cave that runs underneath the brewery.
There are many things that make Yuengling different from other breweries, but the two major ones for me is its history and the price that they keep on par with domestic premium prices. With so many breweries popping up every year, you get a really good choice of beers every time you go to the store, but what they are all missing is history, which Yuengling has plenty. It’s an American story of German immigrant David Yuengling who comes to this coal-mining town to achieve his American Dream – and he does.
As you walk around the brewery you can see and feel the history. For example when you go into the caves that once were used for cold storage you can see brick walls that were put up by the government to stop them from brewing during prohibition.
They have been able to keep their price down for years because of their vast knowledge of distribution and by not branching out to fast to new markets.
It is these things that keep me buying and drinking their beer.
Next on our tour we are going to visit another Pennsylvania brewery. Can you guess which one?