Yuengling’s westward march continues.
A year after arriving in Texas, the beer brand said today it will expand into three additional states: Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma early next year. The expansion is part of a joint-venture between D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. and Molson Coors Beverage Company designed to expand the 193-year-old Pennsylvania brewery’s distribution to 25 states west of the Mississippi River.
“It was always our plan to go north out of Texas. It was just a matter of where and when,” says Pat Pikunas, general manager of the joint venture, The Yuengling Company. “When we analyzed the states from a national account and distribution footprint perspective, it made sense to enter all three at the same time.”
Under the expansion, the three states will receive all Yuengling beers brewed at Molson Coors’ Fort Worth brewery, including its flagship Traditional Lager, Light Lager 99, Golden Pilsner and FLIGHT.
Until last year, Yuengling was distributed in 22 states, mainly on the Eastern Seaboard, supplied by breweries in Pottsville, Pa., and Tampa. The joint venture brought production of Yuengling beers to Molson Coors’ Fort Worth brewery with the first batches hitting shelves and draft lines in Texas last year.
Yuengling’s expansion was met with built-in demand and great fanfare in Texas, where its launch caused a frenzy on social media and beyond. Fans’ enthusiasm translated into a successful launch.
Yuengling Lager outsold Texas’ most popular beer, Shiner Bock, for final 13 weeks of 2021, according to IRI data. To date, the Yuengling portfolio has outsold Shiner Bock in its home market, IRI data show.
As in Texas, Pikunas expects a heavy dose of built-in demand for Yuengling beers in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma – and beyond. Future expansion will continue, Pikunas says, “in a very disciplined way.”
“We know consumers are excited to get their hands on Yuengling, and we’re excited to get to new markets, too,” Pikunas says. “This type of expansion wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.”