Yuengling has become a huge brand. It doesn't rival the sales of BudMillerCoors, but it is sold up and down the east coast with plans to expand beyond. Their lager was the go to beer of my college years, and I've shared many a case of it with close friends on weekend visits. If you are a craft beer geek, you know that Yuengling brews with corn in addition to barley, a no-no in the craft beer world as corn is viewed as an additive. Yuengling says they use the corn grits to lighten the body of their beers. Whatever. I know it's not "all malt," as it were, but I still enjoy a "Lager." I know it's not complicated and thought provoking, or big and rich, but I also know you can drink a bunch of it during a football game, try doing that with your high octane imperial ipa or Belgian trippel. It sure beats Budweiser, which throws in some rice in addition to corn, and at the same price point, how can I complain? I like some of their other beer offerings, too. I also love the idea of drinking beer from America's oldest brewery. After being a fan for a while, I figured I had to make the pilgrimage to Pottsville, PA.
For the record, Pottsville itself is horrible. We had a hard time finding a decent hotel and there was almost nothing open as far as dining options. We finally found a half decent restaurant that didn't even have Yuengling on tap. The brewery tour was great, though. Yuengling has long since outgrown the capacity of the quaint historic buildings that they show you on the tour. Any Yuengling you drink from a tap comes from the Tampa facility and they have a brewery in the next town over from Pottsville as well. But the old brewery is still operational, and very cool to see. Yuengling dabbled in the ice cream business to stay afloat during Prohibition, but there were some shady goings on as they had cases of beer ready to deliver to the White House the minute the law was repealed. The coolest part of the tour was seeing the underground caves where they used to store the beer before modern refridgeration. The walls in the mash room have this cool old mural of which I unfortunately don't have a picture. But here is one of the caves:
The tasting room is a cool looking bar area, and they let you choose one of their signature beers to sample.
They would probably allow for more than one sample but for the hordes of people on the tour. I chose the Porter.
The Yuengling brewery was the high point in my brewery visits. So much history, a brewery on a mountainside...if only the town wasn't so dead. Pretty, but dead.