Craft beer is getting big, and sometimes there are growing pains. Dogfish Head had to recently pull out of some Midwestern markets when they found themselves being spread too thin. 20 years ago, D. G. Yuengling & Son were themselves in the same situation and had to pull out of Massachusetts to focus on closer core states.
Today they are back, and being welcomed with open arms. It seems that the cult of Lager never left the state, and the beer is highly prized despite straddling the line between craft brewer and full fledged micro. It has become somewhat of a hipster niche product, which hopefully for Yuengling doens’t mean lost sales once it becomes widely available and thus passe.
Growing up around a beer so ubiquitous that you simply say “Lager” when you need to order one, I tend to forget about its rarefied status in other lands. Despite the built in demand that it will receive, the article is tentative about its ability to thrive in the state. It cites already crowded taps of similar beers that Yuengling will have to go up against to claim a spot. It is the land of Sam, for starters, plus also being a stronghold for Narragansett and the usual slate of BMC.
I, for one, have faith. I know it comes off as homerism, but if I need a cheaper lager to fall back on when imperial sours have sapped my wallet, I will reach for a Yuengling over other varieties. It also sounds like Yuengling will stay price competitive to its competition and won’t try to take advantage of its cult status. We here at the blind tiger wish America’s Oldest Brewery good luck in new territory.