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Yuengling Brewery Tour

Outside of the Yuengling Brewery

It amazes me that until recently I had not visited the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville despite living just a shade over an hour away from it. As Yuengling Lager was a college staple for me and still is a solid fallback beer, I decided to rectify this situation.

The Tasting Room where the tour begins and ends

The tour attendees are gathered in the gift shop where there is plenty of historical memorabilia to peruse before the tour begins in the tasting room. If you’ve ever seen Yuengling on TV, this would be the room where all of the interviews are conducted. Plenty of facts and history are shared at this location before proceeding into the brewery itself. Throughout this article I’ll be sharing some of the more interesting facts that I learned. While there is plenty of information to take in on the tour or on Wikipedia, I wanted to make sure you, the reader, were exposed to these facts.

The brewery originally opened as the Eagle Brewery and used the bald eagle as its logo before Anheuser-Busch began using the eagle logo. After the original location burned down, the brewery was renamed the D.G. Yuengling Eagle Brewery and then eventually became the D.G. Yuengling and Son Brewery that we all know today.

Winner Beer, a post-prohibition pilsner

During Prohibition, Yuengling stayed in business by having an ice cream business, making “near beer” (almost non-alcoholic), and porter for prescriptions. Since they were still going through the brewing motions, Yuengling was poised for a return to business at 12:01 AM when Prohibition was repealed. They released “Winner Beer,” named for the victory over the temperance movement. I absolutely loved the name of this beer and I think it should be brought back for one of the anniversaries of the repeal.

With the recent installation of a new canning line, the efficiency and speed of the production of cans has increased dramatically. The canning line operates at a rate of 890 cans per minute, while the bottling line operates at a rate of 480 bottles per minute. The original brewery site produces 600,000 bbl per year while the crosstown location outputs 1.6 million bbl and Tampa produces 1.2 million bbl per year. To maintain the “Oldest Brewery in America” moniker, Yuengling has to continue to operate the original brewery.

The Government Cellar

One of the cooler areas to see on the tour is the “Government Cellar.” At this spot in the brewery, there is a meter that operates very similar to a water meter or electric meter on your house where the beer output is measured. The measurement directly correlates to how much Yuengling owes the government in taxes. Unfortunately, if any beer was spilled or bottled broken after this meter, Yuengling would still have paid taxes on a lost product!

At the conclusion of the tour, your are given two samples of beer. You get to choose from the eight beers that they have on tap. I went with the Oktoberfest and the Premium Beer, a pilsner, as it is not readily available in most of Yuengling’s markets. Concluding with beers was the perfect end to a wonderful tour. If you are ever remotely close to Pottsville, you must check out the Yuengling Brewery tour.

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Written by Jeff Kupko

Jeff is a traffic engineer that loves his beer, and especially loves trying new beer. As a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Yuengling was a staple and the beginnings of liking something better than fizzy yellow water. This has evolved into an entire hobby, with Jeff keeping a blog of all of the beers he tries. Vacations most certainly involve at least one brewery or bottle shop visit to gather a region’s coveted fruits. Now, Jeff has ventured into homebrewing, and there is probably no saving him from being engulfed entirely by beer. While Imperial Stouts and IPAs rank highest in Jeff’s eyes, sours are sneaking up on those styles, and Jeff loves to try all different styles. Find Jeff Kupko on Google Plus

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