I discovered Yuengling beer sometime in 1992. That’s when I moved to central Pennsylvania. back then, I thought splurging for beer meant getting Budweiser. In bottles. That was top-shelf.
Now I’m a minor beer snob and try to avoid most A-B, Miller and Coors products at all costs. But I still loves me some Yuengling, which translates into “Young Man” in German. So the title of the blog post is an homage, not an erotic confession.
Yuengling is pretty much my go-to beer. I get it pretty much exclusively when I go out, partially because I love it and partially because it’s something I know I can count on wherever I go locally. For a variety of reasons, I read this story with mixed feelings.
Yuengling announced last week that it signed a letter of intent to buy a former Coors brewery in Memphis, Tenn. The facility would be the Pennsylvania brewer’s largest and could more than double the company’s overall capacity and allow it to expand distribution into multiple states beyond its 13-state footprint in the Eastern U.S.
Part of me likes knowing that others across the country will get to enjoy the cool deliciousness of a Lager. For those who don’t know, you can pretty much say I’ll take a Lager” in these parts and get a Yuengling without any confusion. Kind of like how people say “I’ll take a beer” in a movie and get a glass without any question about which brand. Sure, Yuengling makes other varieties, but Lager is the go-to.
I also like knowing I can get a Lager on the road, even if I would probably pick a local beer instead of my hometown choice. That comfort factor would be nice to have.
But a couple of things also trouble me. I don’t worry about Yuengling getting too big because the gap between brewers like them and the really big boys is so vast that adding one really big facility will not even come close to making the playing field even.
I do worry about the hipster factor. Yuengling is already a semi-kinda trendy choice because if its price point and old-school look, especially in places outside its Pennsylvania comfort zone. That won’t stop me from enjoying the beer, but I don’t like knowing that some jackass in a throwback NBA jersey and visor might get the same beer I do. I’m shallow that way.
The more worrying factor for me, strangely, is their possible expansion into other beer styles. The article says they are working on an India Pale Ale. I love IPA. It’s one of my favorite styles, but I don’t know if I like Yuengling taking its eye off the ball (i.e. their already successful styles) in order to try and compete with microbreweries.
My worries are probably for naught, but I still worry about important things, like something bad happening to my favorite beer. I have put in a lot of time developing this attachment. Don’t screw it up now, Yuengling.