Lone Star State, meet America’s Oldest Brewery.
Yuengling is hitting shelves in Texas today, nearly a year after a joint venture was announced between D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. and Molson Coors Beverage Company.
The partnership to manufacture and distribute Yuengling’s highly sought beers is a part of Molson Coors' efforts to grow its above premium portfolio.
Now, after months of testing and adjustments to ensure Texans enjoy the same high-quality beers as Yuengling brews in its Pennsylvania and Tampa, Fla., facilities, consumers can finally take home its flagship Traditional Lager, Light Lager 99, Golden Pilsner and FLIGHT by Yuengling, its new low-carb, low-calorie light beer introduced last year.
“From a family perspective, this is something our dad set in motion many years ago. It’s just great to see this collaboration and partnership come to fruition,” says Jennifer Yuengling, the brewery’s vice president of operations and a sixth-generation family member.
While Yuengling is landing in grocery, convenience and liquor stores across the state starting Monday, its beers have been flowing from draft handles since last week (and even earlier, according to social media testimony).
The brewery’s westward march has been “a massive undertaking,” with Texas equal in size to the combined last eight markets where Yuengling expanded distribution, says Pat Pikunas, general manager of the joint venture, The Yuengling Company. Pikunas oversaw the ramping up of the company, hiring a team, scouting for distributors and retailers, and helping Jennifer Yuengling perfect the brewing process.
The partnership with Molson Coors has been integral, he says.
“This is probably the biggest thing the Yuengling family has undertaken in 192 years, and this partnership has really brought it to life,” he says. “We wouldn’t be able to do this on our own given our own constraints on capacity and logistics. This has really been a team effort.”
For 192 years, consumers west of the Mississippi could only snag Yuengling brews if they were in one of the 22 states, mostly along the East Coast, where the beer was sold – or if they smuggled it home. And while Texas is the first state to get a taste of Yuengling’s expanded distribution footprint, the rest of the country will have to be patient.
“We’re excited about launching in Texas. That’s first and foremost where our focus is,” Jennifer Yuengling says. “We tend to joke it’s taken us 192 years to get into 22 states (Texas is the 23rd state). We’re in no hurry. We want to get Texas right.”