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“America’s Oldest Brewery” passes to daughters of company president


For the first time in its 190-year-long history D.G. Yuengling & Son is poised to pass the Pottsville, Schuylkill County, brewing company not to a son, but to its daughters.

Yuengling’s sixth generation all use the Yuengling surname and include: Jennifer, Sheryl, Debbie and Wendy.

“We are inspired by our long history of perseverance, while remaining focused on the future of the business,” Debbie Yuengling said.

Richard “Dick” Yuengling, Jr. is company president and the fifth generation to own “America’s Oldest Brewery.”

“The business has always been passed down from father to son until now. It’s an exciting time for us,” Wendy Yuengling said.

A media event held April 4 at the Pottsville brewery celebrated specialty beers crafted from old family recipes and food pairings to complement the beers flavors.

Tours and tastings were capped off with an appearance by Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Aaron Nola, the newest Yuengling brand ambassador and a Yuengling beer fan.

Guests including Nola were invited to write a message to be placed in a Yuengling future generations time capsule, which was sealed on April 18.

“Yuengling is not just great beer but great people,” Nola said.

Also on hand was a rescued live American bald eagle named “Rennie,” illustrating the heritage symbol of D.G. Yuengling’s Eagle Brewery – an eagle with wings spread wide.

The eagle continues to be part of Yuengling logo, appearing on beverage bottles, cans and packaging.

The Eagle Brewery became D.G. Yuengling & Son in 1831.

“We’ve been operating continuously in Pottsville since 1829, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without our local employees and neighbors … although we’ve expanded our product offerings into 22 states we remain grounded in our roots,” Debbie Yuengling said.

On tap at the April 4 event were historic recipe brews including Boch and Winner Beer, first crafted to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Bourbon Barrel Reserve was also available and the fourth of a new small batch series of dark beer.

In 1919 the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banned the consumption of alcohol. In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed The 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition.

During Prohibition, Yuengling survived by brewing “near beer” and opening an ice creamery. The former creamery is now home to a gift shop, Yuengling museum and tasting room.

The re-launched Yuengling Ice Cream is made by relatives of the Yuengling brewing family at a plant in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County, and the Pottsville brewing family is no longer involved in the ice cream business, Wendy Yuengling said.

Yuengling brews more than 2.5 million barrels of beer annually with its flagship lager anchoring the company’s line-up.