View Full Version : Tried another "new" beer
I had heard about Yeungling for several years, but had never tried it. Then I saw a 12-pack in the grocery store on sale for $9.29 and took a look.
Because of the name, I had always thought it was an import, and further thought it was probably from China. To my surprise, the packaging proclaims it to be from "America's oldest brewery" in Pottstown, PA. I checked the date and it was fresh, so I bought it.
I really like it. I can sum up my impressions as "Budweiser with flavor". Since I truly enjoy Bud, this is not in any way a putdown. The Yeungling tastes a lot like Bud, just more intense. Thumbs up!
I spent a few years in PA, and got used to seeing it, but that was before the "micro brew" era and then it was just one of a handful of old, small breweries hanging on. I believe it is still family-owned, but not sure. I've been able to get in it FL (Gainesville) for a few years, which I understood was the result of a failed (?) effort to buy (or contract with) a brewery plant in Tampa. But it's not here in Atlanta that I've seen, so I don't really understand the distribution. I especially like the porter, and their light is actually drinkable, if you're into that.
Yeungling is a rare example of a quality "old-established" brewery, one which pre-dates the microbrewery era but kept its original standards and so approaches or equals what the best micros can do. The brewery, in a remote corner of Western Pennsylvania, is still run by a descendant of the German-American family who founded it in the early 1800's. Their lager is tops, but they also brew a superb porter and and ale (Lord Chesterfield's Ale). The brewery began so long ago it absorbed naturally the prevalent ale styles such as pale ale and porter. In fact, I think when the first Yeungling came to America lager hadn't even been invented (methodically) in Central Europe so top-ferments were probably his stock-in-trade anyway. I have visited the place, it is atmospheric, built on the side of a hill used originally to store beer in its cool recesses, a true survival of a bygone time. The beers get decent marketing support today and this helps to spread their reputation, but they are as good as ever and represent a bridge between the origins of U.S. brewing and the modern craft brewery resurgence.
Come to think of it, few beers would accompany a bourbon neat as well as a chilled, fresh Yeungling Premium Lager.
According the information here (http://www.yuengling.com/distrib.htm), I guess I should quit reading this thread with the expectation that I'll ever get a taste of what sounds like an enjoyable brew.
Oops. I just had one and I noticed that I have been misspelling the name. The correct spelling is "Yuengling".
Just as old labels from bourbons resurface from time to time, so do old brews. I can now buy Lemp Beer here in St Louis but doubt it is anything near the beer that completed against Anheuser Busch here years ago. I'm still waiting for Griesedick Bros Beer to be reintroduced though.
Without trying to completely hijack this thread, I was in a local Tinderbox yesterday and they had twelve packs of Stag, Falstaff, and Schlitz on display. I haven't seen these brands in years here but then haven't really looked for them either.
I guess the rambling point of this post is that there is a growing interest in beer nostalgia around the country and I think a lot of the old labels are going to see some wide distribution.
Your reference to old-time beer brands strikes a chord with me. To avoid compounding the hijacking, I'll merely post this link (http://www.straightbourbon.comhttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthreaded.php?Cat=0&Board=alcohol&Number=8912&Searchpage=1&Main=8865&Words=balsams&topic=&Search=true#Post8912) to another hijacking from days gone by. (You may not have been around when the referenced thread was current.)
Check out www.inc.com (http://www.inc.com), and type "Yuengling" in the search box, you will see from July of this year an excellent business profile on Yuengling. It explains the rapid growth since the 1970's and discusses distribution and other interesting aspects of the business. Shows how a family business, once at a certain size, faces unique challenges.
I was in a local Tinderbox yesterday and they had twelve packs of Stag, Falstaff, and Schlitz on display. I haven't seen these brands in years here but then haven't really looked for them either.
Last I heard, those brands were now owned by Pabst. Actually, once you get past the Buds and Millers of the world, a lot of the other old familiar brand names are now owned by Pabst. In addition to Schlitz and Stroh's that I know for sure, they also own the Old Style brand now.
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