Feature by Aaron Stevens
After 191 years in business, Yuengling will finally be available in the Lone Star state. The venerable Pennsylvania-based brewery announced the distribution of its core lineup across Texas beginning in fall 2021. The expansion into Texas is the first step in a larger move into the western United States by Yuengling, the oldest brewery in the United States. Founded in 1829 by German immigrant David Yuengling in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Yuengling is one of the most beloved and widely available beer brands throughout the Northeast and South. The Brewer’s Association has listed Yuengling as the largest craft brewery by sales volume in the United States since 2015, putting it ahead of more widely distributed brands like The Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, as well as Texas brewers like Gambrinus (Shiner), CANarchy (Deep Ellum and Oskar Blues), and Saint Arnold Brewing Company.
In addition to expanding their distribution footprint into Texas, Yuengling will also have their products brewed and packaged in Fort Worth as part of a larger partnership with the Chicago-based Molson Coors Beverage Company. Molson Coors is the second-largest brewer overall in the United States, though it has seen its core brands (which include Molson, Coors, and Miller) decline in popularity over the past few years. The relationship with Yuengling gives Molson Coors a potent new weapon in the battle for shelf and keg space with rivals like Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) and Constellation Brands (Heineken and Modelo) as well as Texas breweries.
Yuengling has fostered a reputation in the eastern United States as a respected brand for craft and big beer enthusiasts alike. The combination of craft beer cachet with macrobrew pricing (a 12 pack of Yuengling Traditional Lager retails for around $10.99 in most states) means that Yuengling will likely be competitive with both local and national beers in Texas. Yuengling’s core lineup centers on six different lagers and light beers, but also includes oddities such as a black and tan, a historical pale ale, and a chocolate porter made in collaboration with Hershey.