Friday, January 6, 2012

Yuengling Brewery

Our winter break is almost over (heavy sigh) and we've made a lot of progress on the house and have had a few adventures. We've had so much going on this break that you'll still be seeing posts about it throughout January!

One of the great (free) things we did over break was to go to the Yuengling brewery in Tampa. Nate really likes Yuengling and has been deprived for the past few years since they don't distribute to MA (Although on our tour they did say that it was next on the lists of states to start distributing to!) and so he was super excited to find out that Florida not only had Yuengling, but also had a brewery about a half a hour from our house.

The brewery in Tampa is really big. It was built around 1960 and it was a brewery for various other beer companies before Yuengling bought it about 10 years ago. I'm not a huge beer person but I really enjoyed the tour and I found out some really interesting things along the way.

First thing that I didn't know was that Yuengling is the oldest brewing company in the U.S. and that it is operated by the fourth generation of Yuengling's. Once the brewery is passed on to the next generation, it will be the only all female owned and operated brewery. They also have this policy where the next generation has to buy the brewery from the previous generation so it isn't just expected that the company will be passed down which I thought was pretty cool.

Second thing I didn't know was that Yuengling was sued by Budweiser over the eagle symbol that they use but since Yuengling is a lot older, they were able to demonstrate that they had the eagle first and they could have sued Budweiser and made them stop using the eagle but they decided that the symbols were different enough that it wasn't worth it.

I had never been to a brewery before so it was really cool to see how everything works to make the beer. We even got to meet the beer taster who had been working at this brewery for over 20 years. If the math doesn't work out for you on that one it is because Yuengling did a really cool thing when they bought the brewery in Tampa. Since it was already a working brewery, they hired back all the staff that had just lost their jobs from the previous brewery who already knew how to rund all the equipment, taught them their recipes and as a result had the Tampa brewery up and running in just a couple of weeks.

The tour ended with some free samples and so Nate was able to try an Octoberfest that was only available in kegs this year but will be distributed in bottles next year. I tried a sip and I must say for someone who doesn't like beer it was really good! We always love free things but this was a really enjoyable tour.

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