Home / General / In Case You Needed Another Reason to Not Drink Yuengling

In Case You Needed Another Reason to Not Drink Yuengling


Yuengling owner Dick Yuengling, Jr. is an anti-union extremist who thinks Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett is “a great man,” hates unions, and is leading the Keystone State fight to make the state right to work.

I have to carry on with my normal behavior and avoid drinking that overrated swill.

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  • Jay B.

    While I’m certain that the vast majority of craft brews are not union made either (and I think that some of the mass produced swill still is), it’s just a shit beer. Sometimes, that’s enough.

    • Most of the mass produced beer is made in union shops. Yuengling and Coors being two major exceptions. Most craft beer is not union of course, but the only craft brewer I know has an explicitly anti-union history is Rogue.

      • sharculese

        the only craft brewer I know has an explicitly anti-union history is Rogue.

        This is good to know.

      • Jay B.

        Since Coors owns Miller now, does Miller still have unions?

        • I don’t believe there has been any union-busting drive. At least not yet.

        • Johnnie

          SABMiller owns Miller, Molson Coors owns Coors. MillerCoors is a joint venture operating only in the US. Most Miller products pretty clearly say “Union Made” on the packaging still (well, the ones I drink on occasion, High Life and Leinie’s). My guess is that the breweries producing the SABMiller owned beers are still unionized while the Coors owned brands were never produced in union shops.

      • NewishLawyer

        Damn….I like some of their beers.

    • djw

      The only unionized craft breweries I’m aware of are Henry Weinhard’s and Mad River. Henry’s I can take or leave, although most of their beers are obviously superior to Yuengling. Mad River is hit and miss but they have some excellent beers.

      • I did not know that about Mad River. Good to know.

      • stickler

        Henry Weinhard’s was part of the Pabst group until it was sold off to Miller in 1999. They closed the Portland brewery in 2003. SABMiller still owns the brands. Most of the Henry’s brands are now (for the PNW market, anyhow) contract-brewed by Full Sail in Hood River, Oregon. Full Sail is employee-owned but not, as far as I know, unionized.

        Some Henry’s brand beers are brewed in California in SABMiller breweries which are, presumably, unionized.

      • I’m not sure if it counts as a craft beer, and my information is twenty five years old, but Rolling Rock was organized in the 80s.

        • Looking at the RR info below, my information appears to be so out of date as to be useless.

    • dp

      Yeah, the fact that it sucked was enough, but this just adds to it.

    • wengler

      A lot of the craft brews are like 3-10 person operations. Even some of the more recognizable ones here in the Chicago area. It’s not usually necessary to create a union when everyone is making about the same money and the owner is a guy you talk to everyday.

      • Manny Kant

        Sure, but the bigger craft breweries aren’t unionized either. Don’t tell me that everyone at Boston Brewing is making about the same money and talks to the owner every day.

        • Haven’t you seen their commercials????

        • Joe

          Goose Island is Union, as is Bud and Miller

      • Morbo

        Indeed, while many (most?) of them aren’t union, you’ll probably find quite a few craft breweries which are employee owned.

  • “How many times do you have to be taxed on the same dollar?” said Yuengling, whose ancestor founded the Pottsville-based brewer in 1829. He began working there in 1958.

    So…got the job because he’s in the right family and is worth a billion dollars and LIFE IS ROUGH.

    • Hogan

      Clearly you don’t have to be smart to brew a beer that tastes like it was wrung out of a bar rag. It might even be a liability.

    • It’s tough work choosing your parents wisely.

      • There is a limit to the amount of brains in a single sperm.

  • good to know!

    • also, I never understood what all the Yuengling fuss was about.

      • Tyro

        Basically, I would say that Yuengling is the best mass-produced lager out there.

  • Warren Terra

    I was just at a conference in Pittsburgh and made it a point to drink a Yuengling, on the grounds it was the local beer. I wasn’t greatly impressed, but I know jack about beer. If I’d known the owners were such dicks, I’d have done differently.

    • Gary K.

      It’s not all that local in Pittsburgh. Pottsville is at the other end of the state. Rolling Rock?

      • Lee Rudolph

        Rolling Rock actually goes so far as to have a picture of the producer right on the bottle!

        • calling all toasters

          Yes, but is the horse free-range?

      • wjts

        Rolling Rock production moved to Missouri when they got bought by Budweiser. Iron City brews in Latrobe these days.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          But I was under impression that, from the glass-lined tanks of old Latrobe, they tender that premium beer for our enjoyment as a tribute to our good taste. It comes from the mountain springs to us. 33.

          • wjts

            The glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe and their attendant mountain springs now tender Iron City, Red Stripe, Stoney’s, and various Southampton beers for our enjoyment as a tribute to our good taste. 33.

    • MAJeff

      If you want local in Pgh:

      East End

      are in the city. Church is probably only at it’s own place (like Rock Bottom), but Penn makes some very decent beers. I used to love their Gold until I had Great Lakes’s Dortmunder Gold. Penn’s Kaiser Pils is a fine beer, and I quite like the Allegheny Pale Ale.

      • MAJeff

        Also, Wheeling now has its own craft brewery


        I had their IPA when I took an afternoon trip down there and happened upon a church Greek festival. Pretty good with a gyro.

        • I need to spend more time in Wheeling. It seems like a really interesting place.

          • MAJeff

            I only took one afternoon to wander around the Centre Market area, primarily because I decided to get out and drive one afternoon. It’s a really interesting attempt to organize a market district around antiques and arts. Did a bit of other wandering, to the actual downtown, but it was a weekend so closed. Would love to spend a bit more time and connect it to a bit of history as well. (This really is a fascinating region to live.)

      • Warren Terra

        It was an open bar, and limited selection. I coulda gone with Heineken, or Sam Adams. Or maybe Rolling Rock, but I find as I’ve grown older I’ve lost my taste for Sprite and 7-UP.

      • wjts

        I’ve seen Church’s stuff on tap in a few places. Penn’s pretty good. This joint just opened up in my neighborhood and I’m curious to try it. I’m partial to Iron City (in Latrobe these days, as I said above), which tastes an awful lot like Old Style and Lone Star.

  • Jordan

    Fine. What are the cheap beers that I can drink that are union-friedly? Rolling Rock? (Please don’t tell me Miller Lite).

      • Jordan

        Rolling Rock *is* one of them. Fuck yeah.

        • PSP

          From the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe From the Fetid Industrial Swamps circling Newark’s International Airport

          • Jordan

            Newark gets a bad rap. Definitely good enough for me.

      • Quicksand

        Ah, good. Maybe I’ll pick up an 8-ball on the way home.

        Or not.

      • zombie rotten mcdonald

        Mickey’s Big Mouths! Splash on!

        Also, leinenkugels, which has a couple of decent beers.

        And Miller, which really doesn’t.

        • I will second Leinenkugel, good stuff even if it is made by Packers fans. Also, a cold Pabst in a bottle is dynamite. Can, not so much…

      • Dennis

        Genny Cream Ale it is then.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Those are all North American beers. My guess is that a lot of European beers are also union-made, fwiw.

        • rea

          I wss, until recently, convinced tht Yuengling was named after the Chinese province in which it was brewed, like Tsingtao . . .

  • Seem to remember Yuengling as being better before the mid-90’s, when IIRC they greatly expanded production.

    Fuck ’em. The decline in quality makes it that much easier to stick with union made swill like High Life.

  • howard

    as we discussed last time yuengling came up, yunegling porter is a pretty good beer, although i haven’t come across one in a long time, but i guess i’m going to have to ignore it if i do come across it.

    • MAJeff

      Great Lakes makes a VERY good porter.

      • TapirBoy1

        Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. The very best.

        • Until you sink with all hands lost.

          • Hogan

            And then Gordon Lightfoot shows up. It’s all just a big mess.

            • Followed by Seinfeld no less.

            • Emma in Sydney

              You can only get rid of the earworm with vodka. Thanks Hogan.

              • Lake Huron rose
                Superior sings
                In the realm of her ice-water chaser

                • witless chum

                  Lake Michigan steams
                  like a young men’s dream
                  just sit on the beach and drink porter

    • Richard Hershberger

      As we also discussed the last time, Yuengling is not a craft brew. If you approach it as if it were, you will be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you approach it as a mass market beer (as, in fact, its price point indicates) then it holds up very well.

      A dickish–and in this case whiny–owner is a different discussion. (He also seems to be stupid, since he claims the the value of the company he owns is not part of his personal worth.) I can respect avoiding a product for that reason.

      • howard

        anyone who tries the “how many times can you tax the same dollar” wheeze is dickish and stupid by definition….

        • Hogan

          Yeah, this.

      • djw

        I don’t understand this policy of approaching beer with an entirely different set of expectations depending on the size of the production operation. I mostly drink American craft beer, but there are, of course, excellent mass-produced beers (although not that many, and none in the US that I’m aware of) and plenty of terrible craft beers.

    • pass

      Was just in central PA – black and tan was in the stores but no porter. Yuengling was union until 2006 when the Dick threatened to close down the local operations if his workers didn’t decertify.

  • masaccio

    Just because a craft brew is a non-union shop doesn’t mean the workers aren’t fairly paid. I want the workers to be paid a living wage, and I want them to be able to form a union if they want one. That should be enough.

    Anyway, mass consumption brews suck. I’d rather drink craft.

    • With Rogue, the attitude was basically that you don’t get paid well, you get to work for Rogue and that’s enough because we are so awesome.

      • ruviana

        Psychic income!

        • MAJeff

          Imagine the taste of the dinner you might otherwise have eaten.

      • Johnnie

        If you call the interns “ninjas” I don’t think you can really claim to “awesome.” “Moronic” sounds like a better descriptor (also a good descriptor for some of their beer concepts).

      • lige

        Now I feel better for always being too cheap to by Rogue. Unfortunately it seems like it is the only Oregon Beer you can basically get anywhere (I’ve seen in the supermarket all over the country and I even found it for sale in Kuala Lumpur!) Someday Deschutes will make it to Indiana!

        • stickler

          Widmer and Redhook (not Oregon, but still) have a distribution arrangement with Budweiser and should be available in a lot of places you otherwise wouldn’t expect to find them. The two breweries are merged into the “Craft Brewers’ Alliance.”

          In grad school in Indiana in the ’90s, I used to enjoy ten dollar cases (returnable long-neck bottles!) of Rhinelander and Huber lagers, obtained from the Big Red liquor stores in Bloomington. Swill, sort of, but quaint, cheap, and semi-local.

          • Johnnie

            The current incarnation of Huber is absolutely undrinkable, don’t know how it would compare to what you were getting. Dear lord, Indiana is a wasteland though.

            • crash

              Three Floyds, though.

          • Lige

            I forgot about Widmer! I’m pretty sure I can get the ubiquitous hefeweizen here. I haven’t seen the beers you mentioned but I have found a lot of great local craft brews (New Holland, Bells, Founders, Three Floyds, Great Lakes). One fun thing about following an academic spouse around the country is getting to try all the local brews.

          • Cody

            What is this “Huber” beer!?!? I actually grew up about half a mile from “Hubers” the orchard and winery. I would suspect if they made a beer I would’ve known. Otherwise, this brewery is sullying the name of a great applejack brandy maker…

  • Johnny Sack

    God dammit. That was my go-to cheap beer. When you just want a non-liquor drink (something satisfying about the relative volume of a beer) and don’t want to pay a lot you could do a lot worse.

    • Fats Durston

      Yuengling’s $1.50/pint at my local dive, as long as a Philly pro team is playing on the teevee. I have no idea how they’re staying in business, unless maybe they are really wringing out the bar rag in the keg.

      • Because the price per pint for a bar is low. A keg of Yeungling costs $51.59 and should yield about 124 pints. That’s $134 profit per keg.

  • cpinva

    what I find interesting about these people, not just the owner of yuengling, but all the “tycoons”, is how easily they forget that it is, in large part, union members that helped make them successful, most especially so post wwII. a heck of a lot of union members bought cars, houses, clothes, food, and invested in pension funds, either directly, or through their unions. they were able to do all these things, because unions kept incomes at middle-class levels, and kept employers from treating their employees like disposable serfs.

    • Cody

      The current incarnation of tycoons seems to have completely failed learning anything growing up. I suspect it has a lot to do with inheritance – maybe it used to be harder to simply become CEO by being the owners’ son?

      Income inequality keeps increasing, but at some point the top of the pyramid is going to fall down too.

  • NewishLawyer

    I’m said to report that when I posted about this on my facebook I got some anti-Union stuff from my friends. Or they said they were unsure about how they felt about unions and unions might have been useful a generation or two ago but now help the lazy keep jobs.

    Keep in mind that none of my friends are Republican and they hate the bigotry of the Republican Party. They support universal healthcare and gun control but because they grew up in the 80s and 90s, they absorbed the union-hating propaganda of the time inadvertently.

    The joy and curse of being described as an old-soul is to be different.

    Of course, I also get seen as odd for supporting FDR’s second bill of rights and a national vacation policy. Then I deal with leftier-than-thou types who think I’m just a squish for not being an anarchist.

    Does anyone else feel like they can’t win with their politics are are always accused of being too left and too right-wing at the same time?

    • calling all toasters

      Nah, the rest of us bask in the accolades we receive for having the correct opinions, and for daring to express them anonymously in blog comments.

      • sparks

        I express all of mine pseudonymously.

        • Lee Rudolph

          I’ll just leave this here.

    • bobbyp

      If you are not being accused by both then you are at one of the ends. One is understandable, but extreme. The other is evil.

    • sharculese

      No, because I freaking rule.

    • MAJeff

      Fuck it, there’s beer.

    • JL

      I could have written much of this comment. Though I don’t think anyone calls me an old soul (nor would I particularly want to be regarded that way – old means a time when unions were stronger, but it also means a time of greater repression of women, black people, queer people, etc). But a lot of my friends feel the same way as yours about unions and then some of my activist colleagues perceive me as not going far enough.

      • Around here when you call someone an old soul you mean like Buddha old. Just remembering PATCO doesn’t make you an old soul.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Om mani PATCO om.

      • NewishLawyer

        I don’t necessarily think people mean in old soul as representing the politics of the past.

        Though another friend said I came from the “same bygone era” as her parents because of my cultural literacy and general disinterest in what happened at the VMAs or whatever has the attention of the internet.

        We are both in our early 30s.

    • dollared

      You’re not here to be popular. You’re here to fucking make the world a better place. Get to work. I’ll work alongside you.

    • witless chum

      No, I don’t go around mewling for approval of my politics. I was raised to not have an opinion about anything that I wasn’t prepared to defend at full volume. I also don’t have many friends.

  • TapirBoy1

    Did a summer in DC when I was in college and was first introduced to Yuengling as a quasi-local fave by some Philly boys. Wasn’t impressed. Luckily, I now live in a state with dozens of amazing craft breweries, some of which are owned by prominent progressives (WI). Some of them, of course, are owned by GOP-loving reactionaries.

    • zombie rotten mcdonald

      My favorites are Sprecher and Lakefront, although Capital Amber is really good, and of course New Glarus kind of rocks.

      MKE is making some headway, but their blueberry “Weekend at Louie’s” is AWFUL.

    • east75

      Could you say which WI breweries are owned by progrssives so I can be sure to patronize them?

      • Johnnie

        New Glarus and Central Waters for sure. New Glarus provides awesome benefits for their employees and Deb Carey is a huge proponent of universal healthcare and other social investment, Central Waters is definitely left/green, big investor in renewable energy. Can’t say about the other guys though.

        • TapirBoy1

          Yep. And New Glarus’s Deb Carey is an entrepreneur frequently highlighted by President Obama. Also, they make some of the best beer in the United States.

      • Karate Bearfighter

        It’s a chain of brew pubs and not a brewery, but the Great Dane’s owner is involved in a lot of progressive causes.

        • Johnnie

          They bottle bombers of pretty high gravity/high price point beer up in Wausau now. I don’t know where you can get them outside of Madison, the production is definitely limited and it doesn’t look like they sell very quickly.

    • dollared

      And the goddamn Leinenkugels are big Scott Walker supporters. As if no working people actually drink their beer.

      • Hogan

        Just the good ones, who know their place and touch their forelocks in the presence of their betters.

      • TapirBoy1

        Dick Lienenkugel was Secretary of Commerce under Governor Jim Doyle, but that was an across the aisle appointment, and yes, they’re big-time Republicans.

      • zombie rotten mcdonald

        Drinking goes up when unemployment does.

  • bobbyp

    I have to carry on with my normal behavior and avoid drinking that overrated swill.

    Well, on your trip through Arkansas with the funny tatoo on your face, who’d notice?

    • cpinva

      “Well, on your trip through Arkansas with the funny tatoo on your face, who’d notice?”

      with his head on a pike, they might. or not.

  • So why do these tycoons always think that they not only pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, they also fucking invented boots.

    Seriously, they think nobody ever put in a day’s work before they came along?

    • zombie rotten mcdonald

      most of them have never done a day’s work either.

  • burnt

    The Steelhead double india is my favorite example of the style and it is union made. Thanks, I didn’t know it was union made. It might even help me with my spouse to point that out when I am in my cups.

  • ChrisTS

    So, could we generate a list of widely available and good beers produced by decent employers? I mean to exclude Miller, Budweiser,etc.

    Are there no really good craft beers from companies that have respectable employment practices?

    • (the other) Davis

      Are there no really good craft beers from companies that have respectable employment practices?

      Trappist monasteries make some excellent beers (you can never go wrong with a Chimay). Does that count?

      • rea

        I don’t believe many monastaries are unionized.

        • sibusisodan

          Oh yeah? Try joining one without being a member of a Brotherhood…

  • witless chum

    Larry Bell (of Bells) has a rep locally as a Republican, but not a particularly virulent one. He does do things like put his brewery out in an outlying area so as not to pay taxes to the city that sustains him, but he did put a green roof on it. He’s currently sticking it to Enbridge Energy over them trying to save money by putting their oil dredgings from the Kalamazoo River too close to his brewery. Make of all that what you will.

    • Linnaeus

      It’s west Michigan, so I’d be a little surprised if Larry Bell weren’t Republican.

      • witless chum

        Kalamazoo seems a very different beast that just happens to be located in west Michigan. The city votes 85 percent Democrat and the county went 56 percent for Obama in 2012.

  • OldBean

    One thing I’ve noticed about many of the newer MA breweries (besides the fact that they’re putting out some outstanding product) is that they all seem to be making an effort to use locally sourced grains/malts. So, if not union, we can safely assume that they’re at least hippies, which must count for something…

  • jeremy

    Yuenglins good an unions blow go pay your u
    nionists dues on you knees

  • Joe

    Yuengling threw out the union, another reason to enjoy a good beer.

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