September 23, 2012

Yuengling Brewery Tour
By Rick

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “Birds of a feather flock together”.  That’s how I felt on a recent Saturday morning when I toured the Yuengling Brewery.  I literally was “rubbing shoulders” w/ other beer geeks!  (My wife and son also accompanied me since we were returning home from our eastern PA vacation.  They too enjoyed the informative- and free- one hour tour.

The oldest brewery in America (1829) is located near the center of the coal-mining town of Pottsville, PA.  There’s no parking lot for us tourists, so be ready to “feed the meters” for on-street parking!  Be sure to wear completely closed shoes too- or you won’t be permitted on the tour. 

Since it was a Saturday, there was no brewing taking place.  (Bummer!)  Saturday tours can get crowded too- with up to 55 in each group.  (Ours had ~ 25.)  Check out  the Yuengling website  ( for more tour info. 

Our tour guide was well-informed and entertaining.  She began the tour by taking us down to one of the oldest sections of the Brewery:  the hand-dug fermentation caves that were used before refrigeration.  History and humor were eloquently intertwined!  I was intrigued how Yuengling managed to stay in business during Prohibition.  (I don’t want to give the story away: take the tour and find out yourself!)

We proceeded with the brewery tour at a quick pace, but I never felt rushed.  Keep in mind that this is a 180+ year-old facility, so there were areas where we had to walk single file.   Our guide was quite willing to answer all of our  “beer geek” questions along the way!  We learned that the Pottsville plant now only produced bottles; a newer facility in nearby Mill Creek, PA now produced the kegs.  Yuengling bottles and kegs are also produced in a former Stroh’s brewery in Tampa ,Florida.

Our tour concluded at the Brewery’s Rathskeller for a free sample (5 beers were on tap, but we were limited to just one sample of our choice) and- of course- a stop at the well-stocked Souvenir Store!

It was neat to see so many people taking pictures throughout the tour and buying souvenirs before heading out to our cars.  As we were leaving my wife said: “There really are a lot of beer geeks out there!” 

Yep.  “Birds of a feather flock together.”


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