Sunday, August 20, 2023

Brewery Tour Time!

Brewery Tour Time

We recently took a trip back to our old area - Pottsville, PA - 

The home of Yuengling Beer!

We lived in Schuylkill County for many years, my husband was born in a little town there, and we have always enjoyed Yuengling beer.  The Yuengling Brewery offers free tours and we invited our friends to come with us to tour the brewery.  We toured the facility many years ago when we lived in the area...the tour, the gift shop, and the tasting room have been expanded and it is a great place to visit.

D. G. Yuengling & Son, established in 1829, is the oldest operating brewing company in the United States. In 2018, by volume of sales, it was the largest craft brewery, sixth largest overall brewery and largest wholly American-owned brewery in the United States. Its headquarters are in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. 

The story of America’s Oldest Brewery began when David G. Yuengling arrived from Wuerttemberg Germany to settle in the sleepy, coal-mining town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

The tour meets in the gift shop across the street from the brewery and then takes you over and into the kegging room.  The walls are lined with old time miners ( as COAL was KING ) and brewery workers.

Our guide explained how the kegs were filled, even though kegs are no longer filled at this plant.  Yuengling has plants in Pottsville, PA and Mill Creek, PA - right outside of Pottsville.  There are also plants in Tampa and in Texas, too.

Our tour then took us into the caves of Sharp Mountain.  You were told you might need a jacket as it is always 54 degrees in the caves and that is the perfect temperature for brewing beer.  Also, no open toed shoes or sandals allowed on the tour due to the uneven floors, and water puddles from the dripping off of the cave ceiling.

The cave was dug by hand with no power tools by miners and some of the rocks still bear the scars of the pick axe and shovels. During Prohibition the caves where the beer was stored were bricked off so that nobody could use them...they have since been opened up but not used for storage these days.  

For many years the brewery used spring water that was found in the cave...this ladder led up to the spring.   Now they use city water that is filtered before they brew the beer.

This is the was the lunch and break room for the workers in years past, and last time we visited it was the tasting room.  Now the tour is so popular ( we were there on a Wednesday and there were 45 people in our 11 AM tour!) there is a new, larger tasting room.

Along the tour there were many interesting items to view and documents to read.  The cut out here is of Richard "Dick" Yuengling. He is the 5th generation of  the Yuengling family and his four daughters are involved in the brewery and will make it the 6th generation!

Murals in the brewing room show women from the past who were the bottle washers.

The brewing vat.

Our guide provided us with a good step-by-step description of how beer is made.

The artist who painted the murals did not sign his work, but in the mural of the barrel makers he painted in himself...with the red suspenders.

This mural depicts the joy when Prohibition was repealed!  During Prohibition, Yuengling was allowed to brew Porter... a dark beer that was very nourishing. People who were anemic and nursing mothers could get a prescription from their doctor to buy Porter beer.  There is copy of one of these scripts preserved in the tasting room.

I forget the exact amount, but the brewery is charged for every so many cases of beer it makes...and then the public is charged tax again when they purchase the beer!

At this facility they produce the canned beer...the cans go past on a conveyor belt, are filled...lids are attached and then..

the beer is pasteurized.

How did the brewery stay profitable during Prohibition ?  Yuengling also produced ice cream and milk...and did so for many years.  The building across the street from the brewery is the old ice cream plant and is now the gift shop and tasting room.

There are great murals all around the outside of the brewery.

St. Patrick's Church was the first building built on this street - Mahantongo Street.  The brewery was the second.  The brewery grew and expanded over the years so now there are just a few inches between the two buildings.  
Just a few blocks up the street is the birthplace of author John O'Hara.  He wrote about the people of Pottsville and changed the name of Mahantongo Street to Lahantango - not much of a changes.  There are beautiful Victorian and turn of the century homes on Mahantongo Street and it is worth a walk ( a hilly walk!) to see them and the Yuengling Mansion, built by the first brewers son.

A good view of the brewery, including a flag showing support for Ukraine!

After the tour everyone is welcome to two 7 oz. glasses of beer...with all of the Yuengling products on tap.  Our guide described them all, along with Birch Beer - non alcoholic - for those who did not wish to drink alcohol.

A display of quart bottles...these are no longer brewed but were VERY popular in the past.

John was excited to see the Phillies represented...

An old ice cream sign.

Yuengling was one of several breweries that received a telegram a few weeks before Prohibition was repealed granting permission to start brewing in order to be ready for the demand.   I heard a story years ago that on the day Prohibition was repealed a truck containing Yuengling Beer left Pottsville headed for the White House!

As I was not driving I made sure to taste two beers I had not had before.  One was the newer Golden Pilsner.  The one I am holding is called Coal Miners Beer....half Porter/half Chesterfield Ale.  Since I really am a "Coal Miner's Daughter" I had to try it!  While I am not a huge beer drinker, this was great.  I think all the beers were good because they were all on tap.  My friend enjoyed Bongo Fizz...
Yuengling BONGO FIZZ is the latest innovation from America’s Oldest Brewery. Light, refreshing, and crisp, BONGO FIZZ is a premium beer that is the embodiment of tropical relaxation. Yearn for the beach with a taste that finishes with a juicy burst of natural mango flavor.
You can read about all the Yuengling products here - 

If you are in the area of Pottsville, PA and are interested in touring the Yuengling Brewery it is a great time.  You can read all about how to visit here -

Thanks for coming on the tour with us today...I think you would enjoy seeing it in person.  
Do you have any places you would recommend near your home?  Please leave a comment below and let me know about them, or if you like Yuengling products.  We always have some Yuengling Light Lager in our refrigerator!
Thanks so much for stopping by Our New Vista!


  1. Excellent tour and review, Ann! 🙌
    We’ve been here several times with friends and family in the past few years and always enjoyed this free adventure! We always ate lunch first at a place in town called Wheel.
    It served yummy things made with cheese.

    1. We will have to try Wheel...we usually eat at Roma Pizza!

  2. Small world. My mother grew up in Pottsville. My father was a coal miner in the area, when he first arrived in this country from Scotland. They left during the depression to seek employment elsewhere. They returned to the area when they retired. I lived there briefly when I attended Penn State in the late 1970s. I don't drink beer, so I was never interested in visiting the brewery. I finally visited last year and found it very interesting. My mother worked in their ice cream parlor across the street from the brewery in the 1920s!

    1. You said it, small world ! I moved to Schuylkill County in the late 70's...originally from Luzerne County in a little town near Wilkes Barre. Wish the old Stegmaier Brewery was still open and had a tour like Yuengling!

  3. It's always so great to be visiting your old stomping grounds and then to add it such a fun place to visit. We have also moved roughly a year ago and we hope to return to our previous area from time to time just to see what's up and visit some those happy places we used to visit for more than 16 years.
    I visited you via Sundays on Silverado #159
    I linked up this week with = 32+33 and this is a friendly reminder to come and join us at SeniorSalonPitStop. You will find the linkup information under BLOGGING.

    1. Thanks so much for the tip....I will look for Senior Salon Pit Stop!

  4. What a fun trip Ann, and really interesting! Thanks for sharing it with us. I can't wait to retire and take trips to all these great places, but in the meantime, I'll learn vicariously through your wonderful posts! :)

    1. Thanks so much...yes, retirement is wonderful. Though this time of the year the Middle School Librarian in me gets the itch to go back to school....but it passes!

  5. So much fun. Thanks for the tour. Regine

  6. Hi Regine...will check out your blog, too !

  7. Ann, it looks like you all had a great time visiting the Brewery. I enjoyed reading about the beer and looking at the photos. It must have been fun going back to your old area.

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