Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yuengling Lager

D.G. Yuengling & Son is the oldest brewery in the United States of America, and are exceptionally proud of that fact, as they should be.  Additionally, they are tied (with Samuel Adams) for the largest USA based brewery, despite being available in a distinctly limited geographic area.  In fact, Yuengling is not available anywhere in New England, except on military bases.  This makes for a rather curious, and mildly entertaining, communication web anytime any of a small group of us travels to New York, New Jersey, Delaware, or Pennsylvania.  There are about ten of us that are huge fans of Yuengling, and thus, when one of us goes away (or the Army Reservist among us has drill at Ft. Devens), we are required to send out a mass text or Facebook message informing the rest of the group, and taking orders.  This has resulted in having purchased a half dozen or more cases a couple times, and the funniest thing is, when I do get funny looks and then explain, I'm told this is not actually unusual!

Anyways, on to the beer!  Yuengling Lager is a mild, smooth, almost sweet beer, with little to no hop flavor and no bitterness.  Is it a great beer?  No, absolutely not.  What it is, however, is a refreshingly simple, light beer with enough flavor to keep me happy, though it lacks the depth of flavor to bring it into the realm of the truly fine beers.  It is somewhere in that odd purgatory between the cheap beers (PBR, Budweiser, Coors, Miller, and other mass produced brews) and the high end beers (Dogfish Head, Stone, and other upper end craft beers), being both cheap and pretty tasty.  Its closest comparison would probably be Stella Artois, though I hesitate to make that comparison due to the fact that Stella is an Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V. production, and also is over that $1/beer line that I think separates cheap versus...well, not cheap.  Comparatively, Yuengling runs about $20/case of 24 beers.

In the end, Yuengling is a craft beer in technical terms only at this point, as it is really more of a mass production beer, but is made with rather more care than Bud or Coors.  There is a pretty intense cult following, and the movement to get Yuengling to come into New England has attracted nearly 14000 Facebook members, myself and several friends included.  Hopefully one day they will be a nationwide option, but until then, I will savor it when I can get it, and regret that I am consuming the last few sips I have right now.


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