A big distinction for a family-owned brewery in Schuylkill County.
Yuengling is America’s oldest brewery and now it is also the largest U.S.-owned brewery.
Fifth generation owner Dick Yuengling said it is not about being the largest, but about continued success in the business.
For more than 180 years, D.G. Yuengling and Son, Inc. has been producing quality beer in the Pottsville area.
It has now become the largest American-owned brewery, since the big three, Budweiser, Miller and Coors, all have foreign ownership.
“That makes you proud. It`s not a corporate conglomerate, it`s a family business, as I said before, and it makes you feel good that people step up to the plate and do their job and make us successful,” said owner Dick Yuengling.
Yuengling said the company produced more than 2.5 million barrels of beer in 2011, which beer industry insiders say is just more than the Boston Beer company, which produces Samuel Adams.
“Two million, five hundred twenty three thousand barrels of beer this year and it was a 17 percent increase and that`s a big increase in the beer business because basically this year, the beer business in general is going to be down two percent. So for a little company like this to go up 17 percent is a great accomplishment,” added Yuengling.
Yuengling said expanding into Ohio in the fall has led to increased production at the Mill Creek brewery. It now runs 24 hours a day, six days a week, with 40 new employees hired, all to turn out 84,000 cases of beer per day.
Yuengling beer is shipped to 14 states, but it is a local staple at Maroon`s Bar and Grill in Pottsville, where customers said it is all about the taste.
“It’s an excellent beer. I know when I’ve gone to the Jersey Shore, lot of Jerseyites love Yuengling,” said Marlene Cimino of Brockton.
“It`s a coal region beer. Coal region people are big drinkers, big beer drinkers and they love drinking beer,” said Chip Blair of Ashland, “Yuengling especially.”
Yuengling said while it is a great honor to now be the largest American-owned brewery, it was never his goal.
“Our goal is longevity. We want to stay around a long time and give my children a chance to take over the company and run it successfully, and maybe their children some day, my grandchildren, to run it. That`s our goal. It`s not how big you are, but it`s longevity,” he said.
Before thinking about expanding to more states, Yuengling said he wants to see how sales are for the rest of 2012.
Yuengling has been family owned and operated since 1829 and includes two breweries in the Pottsville area and one in Tampa.