America's Oldest Brewery
I love beer. I also fancy myself a sort of history buff. How could I combine the love of beer and history? I could take a tour of America's Oldest Brewery.
The Yuengling brewery was opened in 1829 by David Gottlieb Yuengling. D.G. Yuengling. He was a German immigrant from southern Germany. Upon moving to Pennsylvania he settled in Pottsville where he decided to enter the beer business.
Originally called the Eagle Brewery, the first brewery was destroyed by fire in 1831. They rebuild the brewery in its present site on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville, PA in 1832 and renamed it "D. G. Yuengling and Sons Brewery," and Yuengling began to make a name for itself as it made a flavorful local beer.
Known to locals for years, this brewery is expanding like wild fire. They recently built a second brewery about 15 miles from the Pottsville Plant in St. Clair, Pa. They also brew their popular Lager down in Tampa in the old Stroh's brewery.
Yuengling is my favorite brewery tour because of the brewery's age, and how they allow you to get right up and personal with the brewing process.
The tour begins by walking past steam pipes and a keg storage room, and from there you walk down a hallway past the brew master's office and into the gift shop. The tour is free, but you have to grab a ticket to hold your spot. During busy times they sometimes run 2 or 3 tours right after each other. he tour times are Monday-Saturday, 11AM and 1PM. Tip: Get there early enough to look at items in the museum, including all the different bottles and cans used by Yuengling through the years.
When they call your number, you gather right outside the gift shop, and meet your tour guide. The last time I went it was one of the Yuengling Daughters. You then proceed up a frighteningly steep flight of stairs up to the brew kettles. Here you can look into the kettle and see the wort (unfermented beer) cooking. You learn about the brewing process and a little of the history of the brewery. Tip: Look up and see the magnificent stained glass ceiling. These were put in to decorate but also to allow light to enter, but not enough to harm the fragile wort.