On Tuesday, Molson Coors – the parent company of Miller Brewing – announced that it has entered into a long-term partnership with Pennsylvania’s Yuengling & Son to expand the distribution footprint beyond Yuengling’s current 22-state reach.
That means that Yuengling’s lager, light lager, pilsner, black and tan, and other brews will likely finally make it to Wisconsin.
Do you care? Or do you really crave it because it's hard to get here?
Yuengling is the sixth largest brewer in the country by sales behind Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands (Corona) and Heineken.
I’ve had some of the Yuengling brews and they’re OK. Solid enough mass-produced beer, though better than the others listed above? Debatable.
In a state in which we can get everything from 1840 and Indeed’s Hello Milwaukee collab to Good City Home lager to Spotted Cow to Point to Leinie’s to Miller High Life, is adding Yuengling to the mix boosting the quality of a beer drinker's life here?
I know, Yuengling, which is 191 years old and bills itself as America’s Oldest Brewery, is sought-after. On a road trip to Florida, we even stopped to pick some up for my nephew back in Wisconsin.
But part of the allure of Yuengling in Wisconsin is surely the “can’t get it here” attraction. It's the same thing that makes so many outside Wisconsin crave Spotted Cow, even when – tasty as the Cow is – those folks likely have access to beers that are as good in their home states.
However, putting one or more Yuengling brands on local shelves likely means removing other beers, which could mean less shelf space for your hardworking neighborhood brewer. That's something I don't like.
On the flipside, with Molson Coors adding brewing and distribution of the family-owned Yuengling to its purview, perhaps that will mean more jobs at the Milwaukee brewery. (The announcement did not specify at which Molson Coors facilties Yuengling will be brewed.)
I celebrate variety and choice, and Yuengling is fine. I might’ve even chosen it as a quaff of choice on a visit to Pennsylvania – you know, drink local and all – and it'll surely be welcomed by some consumers.
Others, however, may have been turned off when Yuengling owner Dick Yuengling got political with a Trump endorsement, which sparked some outrage on social media.
Don’t have time for Trump supporting breweries. https://t.co/1KJTa1qdEj— Ben Ustick (@BenUstick) September 15, 2020
Given the embarrassment of malted and hopped riches at all levels of brewing that is available to Milwaukee drinkers (and, really, beer fans most everywhere in the USA these days), do you see yourself adding Yuengling to your regular rotation?
Pass me a Treffpunkt while I think about it.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.