Ying-Ling? I thought that was Chinese?
January 17, 2012 8:56 PM   Subscribe

Everyone knows America's Oldest Brewery is D.G. Yuengling & Son (and daughters) of Pottsville, PA (and Tampa, FL) This family owned brewery was established as the "Eagle Brewery" in 1829 by a German immigrant named David Gottlob Jüngling. After the original brewery burned down in 1831 it was relocated to its current location. It was built into a mountain with caves dug into the side, a common practice to preserve beer and to achieve the cool temperatures required to make lager before refrigeration. Yuengling spent most of its history as a small regional brewery and only began to attract national attention years after the launch of Yuengling Traditional Lager in 1987, which went on to become the flagship product of the company and now accounts for 80% of Yuengling's production. On the strength of that growth, and with other brewers being bought out by or outsourcing production to foreign companies, Yuengling has now passed The Boston Beer Company to claim the title of America's largest brewing company as well. In this globalized beer era where giants war for market share, products from America's new largest brewer are only available in 14 states.
posted by furiousxgeorge (113 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 
In much of Philadelphia, asking for "a Lager" will get you a Yuengling; at most of the microbrew-centric bars I frequent, it's usually available as a ubiquitous "cheap option" - no Bud or Miller to be had. (The ones that don't serve lager usually offer a Kenzinger (a pilsner brewed in the city itself, of similar quality and price.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:06 PM on January 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Its pretty good for a standard US lager. Got some taste to it.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:06 PM on January 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


I can't remember the last time I drank a beer that wasn't a microbrew, and at the risk of sounding snobby, I feel damn good about it, especially in an era when "American" beers like Coors and Budweiser are owned by multinational conglomerates.

That being said, as a former Pittsburgher, I'm glad Yuengling is getting some press. They make decent beer.
posted by Fister Roboto at 9:07 PM on January 17, 2012


I pretty much "grew up" drinking Yuengling - the friends who taught me to drink in college were beer snobs, just undergrad beer snobs without much spare cash. Where so many of our peers chugged vast quantities of Milwaukee's Best ("The Beast") or Keystone Light, we drank a lot of Yuengling lager alongside Iron City's offerings. When out of towners express curiosity about it, I reflexively recite the cliche:

"There are cheaper beers than Yuengling. There are better beers. But there is no cheaper, better beer."
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2012 [44 favorites]


In college in NYC, Yuengling Black and Tan was our go to beer, primarily because it was the cheapest beer that wasn't one of the awful standard American lagers. Then I moved to Portland, where we certainly aren't in want of fantastic beer. God bless the micro movement, but I'll be damned if I don't miss that Black and Tan sometimes, which you can't get in Oregon.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's cheap and not terrible. I like em.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2012


Yuengling Lager is sort of the default beer. When you're buying for a party, you always make sure to have a case of it along with the other more interesting beers because almost anyone will drink a Yuengling without complaint. And there's not much better tasting beer to drink out of a plastic cup on a hot summer day while watching the Pirates lose another game.

Their Lord Chesterfield and Pottsville Porter were sort of my gateway beers toward microbrews and such. They taste pretty tame to me now but as a college student used to Busch and Milwaukee's Beast, they were revelations.
posted by octothorpe at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ying-Ling? I thought that was Chinese?

You laugh, but I spent a few months idly confused about this when I first moved to Pittsburgh. My problem wasn't actually the pronunciation so much as the spelling: it turns out "yueng" isn't a real Pinyin syllable, but dammit, it could have been.

They shoulda just been considerate enough to spell it "Jüngling" and I wouldn't have had this problem.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yuengling was the first beer that convinced me that beer wasn't all terrible.
posted by Mercaptan at 9:18 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


My best favourite is Sam Adams Boston lager. Man that is a tasty beer. Ain't never seen none of this Yingling in the shops.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:20 PM on January 17, 2012


It's also President Barack Obama's brew of choice.

I like Yuengling. They're a delightfully bizarre company for resisting the urge to expand outside of their own backyard (even blindingly-obvious places like Ohio), and remaining under private ownership. East-Coasters are always shocked when I tell them that it's a regional product, and not produced by one of the big corporate beer conglomerates.

And, yes. The bang-buck ratio pretty much can;t be beat (although PBR and Strohs are guilty pleasures for me, and are comparably priced. You can skip anything with 'Light' in the name though. If I want a glass of water, I'll take it from the faucet.)
posted by schmod at 9:21 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


True story...my brother was roommates with the eldest Yuengling daughter his senior year at Syracuse.
posted by spicynuts at 9:22 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like Yuengling. In fact, there are a few cans of Yuengling Lager and a couple of bottles of Black and Tan in my fridge as I type.

A case is only $17. And it actually tastes like beer.

And, yes, it is excellent ballpark beer. I like going to the ballpark on Thirsty Thursdays and knocking back some cold draft Yuengling at a dollar a cup while watching minor-league baseball.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:26 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've actually heard a (possibly apocryphal) story that the Yuengling family refused to pass ownership of the company to anyone who didn't marry into the family and take the family name of Yuengling, and given that the current generation was all daughters, that meant that any of them who wanted to have a chance of being passed the reins would to convince their husbands to take their last name instead of the norm.

None of them had any difficulty persuading their husbands to do so, I'm told.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:27 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


My very first experience with better-than-Keystone beer was when I was a very young consultant, sent on-site to a partner in Tampa one miserably cold (shockingly-cold, upper-30s) January, where I stayed at a hotel (Best Western?) attached to Busch Gardens on one side and the Yuengling Tampa facility on another. I sat in the outdoor bar huddled next to a patio heater (a first) and ate a grouper sandwich (another first) with a Yuengling draft (yet another first), with cold confused parrots (another another first) from Busch Gardens huddling in the patio rafters. It was a revelation on many levels, and I've only had the beer a couple of times in the past 15 years, but I still remember what it tasted like.

There has never been another sandwich that tasted like that sandwich.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:27 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


nebulawindphone: You laugh, but I spent a few months idly confused about this when I first moved to Pittsburgh. My problem wasn't actually the pronunciation so much as the spelling: it turns out "yueng" isn't a real Pinyin syllable, but dammit, it could have been.

"Yueng" is actually the valid spelling of a valid Cantonese syllable, so the name does look a lot like a Chinese/Cantonese name. When I first got to Pittsburgh it confused me a lot too.
posted by destrius at 9:28 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


It was well known in the circles I ran in in Pennsylvania that Yuengling was actually about as good warm as it was cold, a rare and valuable quality for those of us with spotty access to refrigeration.
posted by MrVisible at 9:29 PM on January 17, 2012


Widespread availibility of Yuengling is one of my favorite things about Alabama. They don't distribute here in Louisiana, so it makes trips to the beach that much sweeter when I can dig my toes in the sand with an ice cold Yuengling longneck.
posted by CheeseLouise at 9:29 PM on January 17, 2012


I miss Yuengling.

Although when I did live in Philly I refused to call it "lager", because I know how to pronounce things.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:30 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, a pitcher of Yuengling and a dozen crabs, please. (Their light beer isn't even bad for when you need to go aluminum for a day at the beach)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:30 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, true story:

When I was living in Philly nine years ago, there was a little hole-in-the-wall bar on Market Street near Second that served whole goddamned pitchers of Yuengling for $3. An unassuming place with pressed tin ceilings, closely situated to good cheesesteak places. A great place to swing by before, during, and after crawling through art galleries on First Friday.

Then the Real World Philly took up residence around the corner. Not much seemed to change in the neighborhood (other than at the one building where filming was going on). But the next time I went into my favorite little bar, the waitress told me that a pitcher of Yuengling was going to run me $15.

I've held a grudge against the Real World, MTV, and Viacom ever since.
posted by Mercaptan at 9:39 PM on January 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


There are always cans AND bottles of Yuengs in the fridge at my house; along with some random stouts and ambers and bourbon beers and whatever else I happen to be in the mood for that week.

My first real experience with lager was at the Ott in Emmitsburg the summer after graduating from college in 2004, and you could get $4 pitchers and Yuengs and Wings on select nights.

I was in love.

My best friend is from Pittsburgh, and we spend a lot of time talking about sports and drinking beer; surprise! So we're usually having a decent beer tasting (Southern Tier, Founders, Evil Twin, etc) at whatever bar we happen to be occupying or at the house, and last week he shows up with my late Christmas present: two highball glasses, 4 tumblers, and a six-pack of Iron City.

Now, mind you, the owners of both of our local beer-snobbery establishments (both of which are awesome, but cater to very different types of clientele), have refused to order Iron City for me believing that I will taste it and immediately beat their ass for allowing me to spend my hard-earned money and what's left of my liver on such a Terrible Beer.

My buddy simply said he wanted to see my physical reaction to drinking it for the first time. He was not disappointed.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 9:44 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that it seems like most regions of the US have the following on tap in their bars:

1) Standard Fare like Miller or Bud
2) A couple of nicer microbrews
3) A regional beer that is as ubiquotous as Miller and Bud, but only in that region.

When I lived in Delaware 3) was Yeungling. When I lived about an hour from the Ohio/PA border (Ohio Side), it was Iron City. Here in Dallas, it's Shiner.

If you think mispronouncing Yuengling is bad, let me tell you about the time that I examined the taps at a bar and decided to try something I had never heard of (well, turns out I had, but I wasn't associating the, erm, unique pronounciation I had heard with the tap label in front of me).

"SMITH-WICK'S, PLEASE!" I said to the bartender as my friends keeled over in laughter...
posted by mreleganza at 9:44 PM on January 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


I have heard, and I stress this is a purely unsubstantiated rumor told to me by a chatty bartender who could've easily been just Making Shit Up, that in the late 80s Dick Yuengling was approached by one of the big brewers and offered a big pile of money to sell out. He said he'd consider the offer. The next day he took the offer to his banker, got a loan, bought the old Stroh's brewery in Tampa, told the big brewer to go get stuffed, and massively upped production.

Again, I can't verify that story, but I like to think it's true.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:44 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yuengling was a pleasant surprise after I moved to the East Coast after college. I happen to have a 24 pack in my locker at school right now, actually.

And now that New Belgium has finally made it out here, things are really looking up.
posted by ropeladder at 9:47 PM on January 17, 2012


By the force!
posted by sourcequench at 9:48 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I always come back from Philadelphia with a case of it in the trunk. It's really nice in the heat of summer-- I channel my Grandfather and sit on the porch with the radio tuned to the ball game and have a couple beers. He drank Narragansett, but it was probably because he couldn't buy Yeungling.

One time my wife's uncle saw the case in the back seat while we were packing up to go back to New England. Philadelphians have a really outsized sense of civic pride, and he semi-excitedly pointed at the box and said "You like our beer enough to bring it home with you?"

I told him earnestly that it was the best beer I'd ever had for the price. Then I added "I can't buy anything for fifteen bucks a case back home that won't make me go blind." The next time I saw him, Uncle Jim gave me a case of bar bottles with an adhesive gift ribbon on it. You can't go wrong telling the natives how much you appreciate Philadelphia institutions.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:48 PM on January 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Back in the day (like around 1988ish) we used to be able to buy a case of Yuengling 16 oz bottles, both regular and dark (seriously, that's all they were called back then) for $10 at our local beer distributor in the Hudson Valley. We had no idea where it was brewed the bottles were larger than other beers (+1!) and were obviously redeemed back to the brewery (old gritty sticker glue remnants baked on to the bottle, -1) but they were CHEAP and they were pretty good (especially the dark). We couldn't afford to be picky, as only one of us had convincing enough fake ID to even buy the stuff.

Imagine my shock 10 years later when all of a sudden I started seeing Yuengling beers (with actual style names!) on tap. In bars. And now their bottles are smaller. And they're touting their "craft brew"-iness. WTF? People used to laugh at us for drinking this stuff, accusing us of stealing it from our grandfathers. As a result, part of me feels ripped off when I have a Yuengling now, because I'm like "They are trying WAY too hard, I mean its pretty good Old Man beer, but c'mon," but then I taste it again and I'm 17 and I'm drinking up in the Gunks at a campfire with my friends listening to Blue Oyster Cult & Rush cassettes on Bill's car stereo and we have no idea what the future even is yet and man, it all comes back right at once, like Proust's madelines.

So yeah, Yuengling's pretty good.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:49 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Their Porter is also a fantastic beer for use in the cooking process. Pork chops sauteed with onions and Porter! Yum! - Always one of the first beers I grab (along with Great Lakes) when back East.

Beer snob story - a few years back I'm wearing my Yuengling "Dogs playing poker" shirt at the Portland Beer Festival. I'm all happy in my shirt, feeling large and in charge, when some jackass comes over and starts screaming at me about...my shirt. This jackass from Jersey started blabbing about what a second rate beer Yuengling is, blah blah blah. He was too drunk to deal with and his buddies dragged him away almost immediately. I wonder how he would have reacted to a Genny Cream Ale shirt.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 9:50 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


> And now that New Belgium has finally made it out here, things are really looking up.

Check out long trail and dogfish head. Also find a bar here and check it out.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:51 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh Yuengling, how I love thee.

During the first decade of the 21st century I made repeated trips to the Allegheny National Forest, around Sheffield, PA. Repeated. These trips were ostensibly for the purpose of catching trout in the areas many pristine rivers and streams. Some of my favorite places in the country are in this region: the Kinzua Creek, and the rail bridge that spanned it, and does once more, at the aptly named Kinzua Bridge State Park, the Tionesta and its many branches, small bubbling streams like Blue Jay Creek. What I am getting at is that this place is amazing.

Fish by day, gather around a fire off of one of the creeks by night.

Guzzle Yuengling until 1 a.m. Wake up at 5 a.m. Fish more. Drink more Yuengling later. Some of my greatest outdoor memories center around Yuengling and the banks of the Tionesta Creek (South Branch). It's not available here in Illinois, so we always brought a few cases back with us (unless you were my friend's father, then you loaded up all available free space with case after case of their brews). A couple nights after returning the beer would all be gone, but those nights were always memorable as well. Ah, delicious Yuengling, come to Chicago and I will single-handedly double, no, no, quadruple what must be an already quite healthy bottom line.

I miss that stuff.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:52 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Yueng" is actually the valid spelling of a valid Cantonese syllable...
They shoulda just been considerate enough to spell it "Jüngling" and I wouldn't have had this problem.

Whoa. I always assumed it was Cantonese. I'd even built up a totally imaginary narrative in my head about how Mr. Yuengling, newly arrived from Guangdong, set up shop brewing beer for the Chinese immigrant railroad laborers. He looked like Victor Wong.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:54 PM on January 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


There's a creepy old beer cave in Richmond, VA which used to store beer brewed by the James River Steam Brewery which D. G. Yuengling Jr. opened in the 1860s. It's super creepy and fenced off (although you could easily climb the fence and sneak in and there aren't any signs that warn you not to trespass). I so want to harness the power of my inner teenager and climb the fence and explore but peering into that dark hole is like looking into the abyss. It's pretty scary and the picture doesn't do it justice.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


You cannot buy Yuengling in Austin, Texas, so whenever I road trip up NE, I bring back a case or so for friends.
posted by hanoixan at 9:59 PM on January 17, 2012


Oh yeah, beer caves pop up in all kinds of places.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:04 PM on January 17, 2012


I miss Yuengling. I really, REALLY miss $1 sleeves of Yuengling at dive bars.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:06 PM on January 17, 2012


I tried to order a 'YOO-un-ling' at a Cincinnati chili joint and got blank stares. 'You know - the Chinese one.' My American host just about pissed his pants laughing.

Mmmm...three-way.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Heard about this on NPR today. Lord, why can't I get a Yuengling in Missouri?
posted by saul wright at 10:35 PM on January 17, 2012


Yuengling is one thing I *don't* miss about Philly. (Well, that and violent crime.) Ooh, a headache is coming on just thinking about it. Seriously, I don't get the love.
posted by medeine at 10:41 PM on January 17, 2012


The only thing I regret about moving away from the East Coast is that Yuengling was not available in Las Vegas, nor does it seem to be available in Portland. Ah, but the microbrews, they shall have to suffice.
posted by daq at 10:46 PM on January 17, 2012


Seriously, I don't get the love.

That's ok. Not everything is for everyone. Have a Natty Boh.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:51 PM on January 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


My best favourite is Sam Adams Boston lager. Man that is a tasty beer. Ain't never seen none of this Yingling in the shops.

Yuengling was my safe, go-to beer to buy for parties and stuff for several years until I moved to Boston, at which point I completely forgot it existed (and started buying Sam as my safe party beer) until literally just now - do they not sell it here or what?
posted by naoko at 11:08 PM on January 17, 2012


So, beer is good and I should drink it?
posted by vrakatar at 12:04 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as long as you don't have to drive anywhere.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:06 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's why I moved to New York.
posted by vrakatar at 12:08 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


We got....subways.
posted by vrakatar at 12:09 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Damn I miss Yuengling. The cheap beer that was so good, it almost didn't belong in the "cheap beer" category... except it was actually cheap. Really no equivalent here on the west coast, sadly.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:01 AM on January 18, 2012


Yuengling is ok, for a cheap, adjunct beer. It's not an all-malt beer like, say, Boston Lager, but it's miles better than the mega-brand beers. I still don't get the love for it, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:03 AM on January 18, 2012


I thought everyone knew that the oldest brewery in the Americas was Molsons, founded in 1786. The USPTO says differently:
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that D.G. Yuengling and Sons, Inc., which was established in Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1829, can continue to use the slogan "America's Oldest Brewery" on its beers and novelty items, despite claims from the 212-year-old Molson Breweries that the catch phrase is misleading. The Patent Office held that the term "America" for most beer buyers means the United States - not Canada.
posted by autopilot at 3:32 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


They tried the regional brew thing with Narragansett here in RI - but as we already have Newport Storm and eighteen different varieties of Sam, it's made some headway as an alternative to PBR, instead... ultracheap and unpretentious and terrible. Gawd, it's awful, but their seasonal Porter isn't bad, very strong... and it comes in tall-boy cans, which is nice.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:38 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Honestly, if I'm swigging beers all day, it's going to be Schaefer. Yuengling lager is mostly for times when it would be embarrassing to bring $12 worth of Schaefer to a party.

a headache is coming on just thinking about it

And that's why.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:48 AM on January 18, 2012


Yuengling is great. My partner is from Philly and went to Penn State, so he's obviously intimately familiar with it. I'm from Alabama and wasn't aware of it until I met him.

When we first started dating, he came back to Alabama with me to visit my family in some deep backwoods. He was pretty obviously out of his element, not being used to the deep South. We went to the local Piggly Wiggly, and he was super excited to see Yuengling sitting in the beer section. It was even cheaper than the Bud/Miller/Coors varietals. As we were poor students at the time, we grabbed a couple cases for the week. The cashier even flirted/joked with us in her deep Southern accent about the big party we were gearing up for and asked if she was invited (after which, as we were walking to the car, my partner asked what she had said).

We drank a LOT of Yuengling over that week on the river. The first time I told him I loved him, we were sitting on the dock around sunset with a pair of Yuenglings. I might owe my relationship partly to Alabamians' generally poor taste in beer, and to D.G. Yuengling & Son.
posted by This Guy at 4:49 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's interesting that it seems like most regions of the US have the following on tap in their bars:

1) Standard Fare like Miller or Bud
2) A couple of nicer microbrews
3) A regional beer that is as ubiquotous as Miller and Bud, but only in that region.

When I lived in Delaware 3) was Yeungling. When I lived about an hour from the Ohio/PA border (Ohio Side), it was Iron City. Here in Dallas, it's Shiner.


I would love to read a good AskMe question about this phenomenon.
posted by box at 4:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know I read this somewhere, but I'll be damned if I can find it now:

Yuengling's fortunes turned around when they brought in an outside consultant who was given free rein to come up with ways to make them more profitable, including changing recipes. Instead, what the consultant came back with was two recommendations - 1) Put a new, more upscale label on the lager, 2) Raise the price.

And, the story goes, that's what did the trick. The more-upscale label design acted as a "sign of quality" for prospective buyers, as did the price which was now higher than its traditional rivals, thus combining to make Yuengling Lager the first Veblen good in the beer world.

If anyone can either refute or confirm this story, I'd be interested to hear.
posted by kcds at 5:15 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Protip: You can get Yuengling at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
posted by eriko at 5:22 AM on January 18, 2012


Huh. I thought Yuengling was Chinese, and I also thought it was new since I'd never seen it anywhere until a couple years ago.

I'll have to try it sometime.
posted by Foosnark at 5:35 AM on January 18, 2012


I moved from Chicago, where the default cheap regional beer was Old Style to DC where the default is Yuengling and it was a definite move up.

Yes, Old Style is terrible, just add that the long list of things in your life that suck, Cubs fans.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:44 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm wearing an old Yuengling t-shirt right now. Go PA!
posted by Drab_Parts at 5:49 AM on January 18, 2012


In some of my songs I have casually mentioned the fact that I like beer.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:49 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've always preferred the Lord Chesterfield to the more ubiquitous lager.
posted by Drab_Parts at 5:50 AM on January 18, 2012


Yuengling recently entered the Ohio market:

The demand for the beer in northeast and central Ohio has been so strong that the company had to delay its full entrance to the southern half of the state by two weeks to give the brewery more time to get more beer into the state, he said.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2011/12/23/hopping-fad.html
posted by lohmannn at 5:51 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


All of my friends have a standing order from me for a case of Yuengling any time they go to the east coast. One Christmas present this year was a case that went through three people to get to me. Love that shit.
posted by freshwater at 5:52 AM on January 18, 2012


Dude, Yuengling was good for their first two albums, but if you're into Pennsylvania beer, you need to get Straub.
posted by bendybendy at 5:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


In some of my songs I have casually mentioned the fact that I like beer.

Great, I really want to hear that song now, can't access Youtube at work, and somehow I've got like 5 Tom T. Hall songs on my phone, none of which are "I Like Beer." "Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine" is not going to scratch this itch.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:59 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


lohmannn: "Yuengling recently entered the Ohio market:"

No fucking kidding. Last year my friend was groaning about how he wishes they could get Yuengling up here in Toledo. Now I can't swing a dead cat without seeing ads for it everywhere. I swear to God there must be Yuengling ads up elementary schools, too.
(I imagine if I actually drank beer I wouldn't mind as much since it's supposed to be good.)
posted by charred husk at 6:06 AM on January 18, 2012


KingEdRa: "Back in the day (like around 1988ish) we used to be able to buy a case of Yuengling 16 oz bottles, both regular and dark (seriously, that's all they were called back then) for $10 at our local beer distributor in the Hudson Valley. We had no idea where it was brewed the bottles were larger than other beers (+1!) and were obviously redeemed back to the brewery (old gritty sticker glue remnants baked on to the bottle, -1) but they were CHEAP and they were pretty good (especially the dark). We couldn't afford to be picky, as only one of us had convincing enough fake ID to even buy the stuff. "

That's the Yuengling Premium, as distinct from Lager. You can still find it around. Premium is also the tan half of their Black & Tan.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


One evening after a long day at the studio, I stopped by the grocery store for provisions (including a 12 of Yuengling in the can) and thence to the drive-thru for some cheap eats to accompany said beer. As I was paying for my burger and fries the cashier looked in my front seat and exclaimed: "I love that Yang-a-Lang beer!"

And this, my friends, is one of many reasons I love the South so madly.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:22 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I try to have a case in the fridge at all times...Yeungling is clearly the best cheap beer available in Asheville. I'm worried what I'll replace it with in STL when we move.
posted by schyler523 at 6:25 AM on January 18, 2012


Cheers to Yuengling, the best beer in the gas station convenience store!
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:32 AM on January 18, 2012


I use the old 16-oz returnable Yuengling Premium bottles (and cases) for my home brew. When there's no homebrew ready, we always drink Yuengling. Always have. Wish they still had the Premium in those 16 oz returnables -- so convenient and no throw-aways.

I definitely recommend a pilgrimage to the brewery. Very cool -- and you're more than likely to see Dick Yuengling while you're there.
posted by VicNebulous at 6:32 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a native and proud Pennsylvanian, this makes my heart swell. Rare is the time that a Pennsylvanian specialty gets large scale, long term recognition like Yuengling does.

To those who don't get the love, Pennsylvanians (and others who have been whooed by it's delicious, cheap appeal) are so proud of Yuengling because goddamn it, it is our beer. OURS. You can't take that away from us!
posted by godshomemovies at 6:40 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yuengling is a fine beer for what it is (I agree that it is first among cheap, Average Joe beers), but it is very spotty. I'm not sure what affects it or why, but a Yuengling can taste very different from case to case, or draft to draft.

I have friends who swear by their cans rather than bottles, but I'm not sure I can tell the difference. The bottom line for me is that a good Yuengling is the best "drinkin' beer" (as opposed to a "sippin' beer") I've ever had, and a bad one is actually pretty bad. Plum-y, I think, is an accurate way to describe it. I have had Yuengling's which I would consider heartbreaking, in a beer-y kind of way.

I recall with great fondness while at college, going out nearly every Thursday with like-minded friends to a local bar that had dollar Yuengling drafts, and dollar breadsticks (the most delicious breadsticks I've ever eaten, and you got a pile of 'em), listening to the philosophy and theology majors drunkenly shout about whatever and whoever they were learning that semester. Not arguing, just excited to be learning from the old masters.

It was a beautiful time.
posted by Poppa Bear at 6:41 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I definitely recommend a pilgrimage to the brewery. Very cool -- and you're more than likely to see Dick Yuengling while you're there.

Dick Yuengling is the worst porn name ever.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:41 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


When our local bar (and their ~50 taps of craft beer) had a fire a few months ago, I decided not to buy expensive beer until they were back in business, so I went from routinely spending $6-8 bucks a pop on a couple of Three Philosophers or something to just having a few Lagers for a coupla bucks each. They're reopening in a few days, but I think I'm sticking with Lager for a bit. (And yes, in PA, ask for a lager and you'll get a Yuengling. Ask for a Yuengling, and we'll know you're not from here. But that's ok, we're friendly.)
posted by jessenoonan at 6:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Makes me happy to grow up and live in Pittsburgh PA.
posted by amazingstill at 6:48 AM on January 18, 2012


It really was tough coming of age during the era of dominant Crappy Massproduced Beer. I think if it hadn't been for Anchor Steam I would have become a wine guy early on. Things are soooo much better now. You kids have no idea what we risked with our doctored IDs and fake mustaches, risking our freedom for ... Coors? Argh! Anyway, Yuengling. Glad they survived. Well done, Pgh.
posted by zomg at 7:01 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yuengling is great, and I always make a point to get some when I'm in that part of the country.

It's no Genny Cream Ale, though. That's my favorite cheap lager (born and raised in Western NY).
posted by misskaz at 7:14 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yuengling has long held a cherished award in my heart, 'The Best of the 7-11 Beers'. As in, if it's 11:40pm and you don't have time to hit up a proper beer store with a good selection, you'll be going to 7-11 and of their selection, Yuengling is handily the best thing you can buy (well, until a couple years ago, when they started carrying Negra Modelo, but that's a fair bit pricier). I never understood the whole PBR thing, because Yuengling was always around... why drink a cheap shitty beer, when cheap good beers are around? JUST for the brand caché? Sheesh..

"SMITH-WICK'S, PLEASE!" I said to the bartender as my friends keeled over in laughter...

I almost made that mistake once at our local Irish pub. It was only happenstance that I overheard someone else ordering at the same time and corrected my sentence to "I'll have a.... Smiddick's, thanks."
posted by FatherDagon at 7:20 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"There are cheaper beers than Yuengling. There are better beers. But there is no cheaper, better beer."

They should put that slogan on the case. That's pretty much perfect.
posted by empath at 7:33 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a native and proud Pennsylvanian, this makes my heart swell. Rare is the time that a Pennsylvanian specialty gets large scale, long term recognition like Yuengling does.


Utz, too...
posted by empath at 7:34 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


In the early eighties, we would make pilgrimages up the Poconos just to buy Yuengling in the "factory bottles". You just couldn't get it in Philly.
posted by SPUTNIK at 7:41 AM on January 18, 2012


True story: went into a Pittsburgh bar, and said, "I'll have a... (pause while I obviously search for the name of the...)"

Bartender: "Yuengling?"

Me: "Yeah!"

Apparently, it's the most-forgettable commonly ordered beer.

And it's delicious. What Sam Adams lager tries to be.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember first coming across the Y when I got to NYC. The first glass tasted pretty good, but by the time I got to the bottom of the glass I had a crushing headache coming on. I've tested it a few more times, but there's something that my body doesn't like in there. Regular Sam lager is the same, but Guinness I could live off of and never notice. Maybe It's just lager yeasts...
posted by pupdog at 7:49 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I could get Sam Adams' Noble Pils year round, I would... get Noble Pils year round.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:55 AM on January 18, 2012


If I could get Sam Adams' Noble Pils year round, I would... get Noble Pils year round.

Man, do I have good news for you ... (and me)
posted by uncleozzy at 8:01 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a reverse Smokey and the Bandit. We need to smuggle a semi truckload of Yuengling west of the Mississippi.
posted by hwyengr at 8:15 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, Yuengling, my faithful beer for the college budget.
posted by pemberkins at 8:17 AM on January 18, 2012


There are only two types of beer: utility beer, and designer beer. Yuengling is the best of the utility beers, and I mean that as the highest possible compliment. It's the beer of choice for all day drinkin' on the sailboat I race on (and I'm from Philly, so, yeah, lager).

Yuengling was actually about as good warm as it was cold


So this is what it's like when doves cry.
posted by zap rowsdower at 8:17 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was just in the US over the holidays visiting my folks and I was disappointed by most of the indie/microbrews I drank. Exceptions were the here mentioned Yuengling and Fireman #4. Even Lonestar tasted better than fancy stuff I was being offered. The micros seem to have way too much hops in it. Some even bragged about their "Hopped up flavor." What's up with that? I've never tasted a beer like that except in the US. It makes the beer taste like it ran off an old burnt tire right into the bottle.
posted by chillmost at 8:31 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Back in the early 80s, when Yuengling wasn't as widely available, I wrote to Robert B. Parker and told him he needed to have Spenser try some Yuengling. Parker wrote back and said he'd try it on his next trip to PA but only after he had some Iron City.
posted by maurice at 8:38 AM on January 18, 2012


About ten years ago, I was 17 and at a high-school party at a friend's house...his older sister was a student at Penn State, and had brought cases of Yeungling down to suburban NYC from her campus. I wasn't much of a drinker in high school, and had only ever had Bud/Miller/Coors crap. I still remember cracking open a bottle of Yeungling, tasting it, and thinking...wow, beer can actually taste good.

Even now, I regard it as the beer drinker's Bud, and I mean that in the best possible way.
posted by breakin' the law at 8:45 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The micros seem to have way too much hops in it.

Too ... much ... hops? I know those words, but that [sentence] makes no sense.

The trend in American craft beer is more hops, more booze. Some of it is very good, some of it is mediocre, too much of it is very bad. The result is that a well-made Kölsch or Helles (for example) can be bland or even cloying to many American craft beer drinkers. And, likewise, a well-made west-coast IPA tastes like varnish to Germans (hell, I have known some folks to balk at even Sam Adams Boston Lager).

So it goes.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd rather have a Yuengling than a Genesee, despite the latter's resurgence in recent years.

My only issue is the Porter is not top-fermented.
posted by tommasz at 8:49 AM on January 18, 2012


I so want to harness the power of my inner teenager and climb the fence and explore but peering into that dark hole is like looking into the abyss

I did something like that when I was about 28. It was not a beer cave, but beer was involved. I would have to say to anyone reading, you probably shouldn't do that. You should avoid going into dark abandoned caves. Especially only with a lighter and cell phone to light your way.
posted by Hoopo at 9:06 AM on January 18, 2012


Yeah, chillmost, Western Beers seem to be the worst American beers for over-hopping.
I haven't had an Oregon beer for which the brewmaster did not think "More Hops? Sweeeet!" Never really understand the love for Oregon beers, except perhaps for their ubiquity.
No subtlety and no craft.
The Rockies craft-brewers are pretty similar
Upslope in Colorado is one of the best West-of-the-Mississippi brewers I've had recently.
Some of their beerss are pretty hoppy, but most achieve a nice balance.
Their Pale Ale (not the IPA) is my favorite beer going right now. I have to bring that back by the sixer when I visit my brother in Denver.
New Belgium seems to be moving away from hyper-hopping.

Yuengling holds a special place in my heart.
My grandpa passed a piece of land in Eastern PA down to my dad.
The "family farm" has never been a farm, it's a place to get away.
I haven't lived within a thousand miles of it since I was 2, so the trips there are always special. Since adulthood, picking up a couple cases of lager (or other styles) before hitting the farm was essential. We'd plow through those cases and a couple bottles of whiskey over a long weekend. During the sober times, we'd shoot the bottles.
It's been a while. I miss it. The name, the label, the flavor . . . all have good associations.
It's a good, cheap beer.
I remember driving away from the farm into NY to go to my Gram's house down by the city and realizing that I had forgotten to buy any Yuengling to take back with me. Back in those days they didn't even sell it in NY. U-turn busted in the middle of the highway.

Now, I like good beer. I make good beer (okay, decent beer).
But there are some beers I cannot make. Lawn-mowing beer. Hot summer day beer. Throw a can in the backpack beer. I just don't have a lagering cabinet yet. So I can appreciate the value of Yuengling or other regional cheap beers.
Y never gave me a headache. If I am handed a Bud products (even without me knowing. thanks, jackass friends.) I have a headache within an hour. Never from Yuengling.
But I live in Texas.
I never get to drink Yuengling, but here we do have a few regional beers.
I am always sad when the only choice (besides BMC) on tap is Shiner. That shit sucks and has since the mid-'90s at least. And their seasonal and specialty beers . . . **shudder**.
Give me a Lonestar, any day. (You know . . . in case the place doesn't have any Real Ale, Live Oak or Jester King products. Or if it is just fucking hot outside. )

So, anyone coming down to Austin want to bring me a case of Yuengling. Even cans would be good. I'll drink it in the woods and cry a little. I'll even share and invite you to dinner.
posted by Seamus at 9:09 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Too ... much ... hops? I know those words, but that [sentence] makes no sense.

You know. I have the same attitude towards garlic. In my book, it's a vegetable.
We lent my kid's old car seat to some friends and they wrinkled their noses and wondered why it smelled of garlic. We eat a lot.
But when I am cooking for other people, people who might want to taste flavors other than garlic, people who I might want to have believe that I can cook, for those people, I tone down the garlic. Sometimes I tone down the garlic so I can taste other flavors, so I can prove to myself that there is more to my food than just that one note.

Most American brewers use hops like I use garlic, but they never learned anything but that one note. It gets pretty boring. If I want boring, I can just drink Miller products all day.
posted by Seamus at 9:14 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


For many years Yuengling was available in Alabama but not in neighboring Georgia where I lived. In the early 2000s, I was working at a motorcycle shop and roadracing on the weekends. As a low-budget privateer I relied on the kindness of many, including my bosses and friends who had specialty mechanical knowledge or tools to lend.

Every weekend that I raced at Barber Motorsports Park or Little Talladega I would load up on Yuengling for my unofficial race sponsors. The Black & Tan was the currency of choice, but one friend who was a wizard with suspension liked the Light (I know, eew). I'd return to Atlanta with stories of the track and cold Yuengling for all the people who helped me. I never could have done so much with so little without it.
posted by workerant at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2012


But there are some beers I cannot make. Lawn-mowing beer. Hot summer day beer. Throw a can in the backpack beer. I just don't have a lagering cabinet yet

A really dry blonde ale in half-liter soda bottles can come pretty close, though (even if plastic bottles aren't quite like cans).
posted by uncleozzy at 9:33 AM on January 18, 2012


I feel I'm late coming to this thread, but I still have to express my love for Black&Tan. It's not the best beer I've ever had, but best bang for the buck is a good way to put it. And given that I live in Pittsburgh, it is great to have a good beer with a long history from the area.
posted by recursion at 9:35 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeungling happened to be part of my staple diet through grad school at Pitt.
posted by infini at 9:43 AM on January 18, 2012


The trend in American craft beer is more hops, more booze.

One of the best things about living in Rainland is there sheer number of craft breweries.
One of the worst things is that every single one of them seems to think "more hops"[1] is the answer to ever question.

[1] Pronounced the Clarkson way.
posted by madajb at 9:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The hops I'm ok with (to a point. Even I have limits)
But, the high-alcohol fetish has really gotten out of control. It's getting to where craft brewers don't even consider it a proper beer unless it's over 9% and cloyingly malty. To even suggest that a crisp 5-6% beer might be a good idea is to earn scorn and pity from them. It's crazy.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yuengling is the best "inexpensive" ($10 for a 12 pack, even in Manhattan) beer around. I am very glad for their success and hope they don't start messing with it.
posted by stargell at 9:56 AM on January 18, 2012


When I was in college in upstate NY from 1997-2001, there was no Yuengling there. Consequently, us Pennsy kids would always bring a few cases back with us after going home for breaks. They wouldn't last very long and we could easily make our money back by selling individual bottles to kids from other states who viewed Yuengling as some sort of exotic treat. We also bought cases of cigarettes in PA and profitably sold individual packs in NY thanks to the massive tax disparity. Ah, to be young and habitually felonious again...

That said, I really don't drink Yuengling much anymore. When I want nice beer, I drink nice beer. When I want cheap, I go cheap and dirty. This middle-range thing doesn't really do it for me anymore and I'm just bored from having drank so much of it when I was younger.
posted by snottydick at 10:13 AM on January 18, 2012


"SMITH-WICK'S, PLEASE!" I said to the bartender as my friends keeled over in laughter...
posted by mreleganza at 9:44 PM


At a pub in Northern Ireland I was very bewildered as punter after punter elbowed past me and ordered a "Smiddick"... I couldn't find that on the taps and finally asked my native pal what the hell they were all ordering. He said "It's the one spelled SMITHWICK'S. It's Irish Budweiser."

And years ago Dick Yuengling himself led us on the brewery tour. Good fun!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 10:30 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I lived in Delaware 3) was Yeungling. When I lived about an hour from the Ohio/PA border (Ohio Side), it was Iron City. Here in Dallas, it's Shiner.

Come west and it will be Rahr. The label on their Blonde Lager is interesting in that the likeness of the young lovely on the label is that of the brewer's mother, a former Miss Minnesota.
posted by Doohickie at 10:52 AM on January 18, 2012


I've been impressed by Rahr.
Their Ugly Pug Black lager went quite nicely with a burger on a hot day.
Their winter beer this year was well received in my garage with a bottle of Leopold Brothers Colorado whiskey.
Some solid brewing at a decent price. Seeing it next to the Real Ales makes me realize just how much Brad overprices his beers.
posted by Seamus at 11:22 AM on January 18, 2012


Another vote for Yuengling as a dependable, cheap go-to beer.

This episode of the Freakonomics podcast discusses how Yuengling fared with handing the company down to the daughters.
posted by Rykey at 11:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I was at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA in the early 2000s, the local Kroger's supermarket sold 22oz bottles of Yuengling for $0.83 including tax. I always thought that price point was ridiculous for a beer that was miles ahead of Beast or Natty or even Bud or Miller.
posted by jermsplan at 12:43 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


While drinking a can of Yuengling with dinner on Monday, my not-quite-but-oh-so-close-to-2-year-old daughter pointed at the can and said "Daddy juice."

Then she looked at the can for a second with her brows furrowed and said, "Bird! ...Daddy, bird?"

I looked at the logo, having never paid it much attention before, and replied, "Eagle."

My daughter then looked me deep in the eyes, tilted her head forward a bit and said in a voice just above a whisper, "Eagle juice...". Then we both laughed heartily and Yuengling will now forever be known as Eagle Juice in my house.
posted by educatedslacker at 2:54 PM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


My usual swill of choice is Coors Light.

When I splurge, I get some Yuengling.

It doesn't take much to please me.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:31 PM on January 18, 2012


I feel like such a tool, but I've never even heard of Yuengling prior to this post. It might as well have been a beer from the upper most peaks of the Himalayas, it's so exotic and new to me. So thank you, furiousxgeorge, for educating a simple rube from the west coast in all things Yuengling. I will crave it until that thrilling day I can finally enjoy a pint, and all will laugh at the woman gleefully enjoying a lager the rest of the locals were weened on......
posted by but no cigar at 9:49 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Decided to try some of this tonight. But it's the light version. Does that still count?
posted by republican at 7:09 PM on January 21, 2012


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