Yuengling Traditional Lager – Review #2

Yuengling Traditional Lager Review

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Overall Score: 60.50, D-               Reviewed: 11/5/11

Another day, another historic brew. From D.G. Yuengling & Son, the oldest brewery in the US, comes Yuengling Traditional Lager, an American Amber Lager, or as the brewery’s website describes it, “An Iconic American Lager” (which interestingly has only been brewed since 1987).

Really though, the icon is the brewery rather than the beer. Originally called the EagleBrewery (the logo of which has endured) and founded in 1829 by German brewer-immigrant David Gottlob Jüngling, the brewery has certainly had its shares of ups and downs. Two years after its founding the original facility burned down in 1831 and was rebuilt on its current location on Mahantonga Street in Pottsville, PA. It didn’t take the name Yuengling until 1873 when Frederick Yuengling joined his dad David as managing partners. More hard times befell the brewery during Prohibition, which they survived by producing several different near-beers, opening a dairy across the street (which closed in 1985), and operating several dance halls. When Prohibition was finally repealed in 1933 the brewery sent a truckload of “Winner Beer” to the President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As national breweries grew and the local market shrunk Yuengling struggled to keep pace, but by investing in updated equipment and aggressive marketing and staying dedicated to the brewery and producing a quality product, the historic brewery has once again recovered and is thriving.

Pours a light copper to amber. A vigorous pour produced a nice head, but it quickly dissipated to a thin film. Carbonation is visibly plentiful. Smells blandly grainy, metallic perhaps, but not hugely different than the glass would smell if it were empty. I’m taking some really deep huffs here and just can’t pull a whole lot of smell, and what little I can detect isn’t especially good. Thankfully it has a little more taste than smell, though not a ton. It does have a bit of a malt sweetness to it that is pleasant. Bitterness and citric hop flavors are both noticeable but subtle. The gentle bready sweetness does just enough to differentiate this from other terrible macro lagers. The body is light and carbonation plentiful, and the beer seems to slide over the tongue and down the throat leaving a nice slick feeling.

In the end it’s undeniably better than the other macro lagers and competitive in terms of price, which is basically its niche: the best of the worst. I finished it, but given other options I won’t be a repeat customer.

Looks: 7.5/10     Smell: 5/10     Taste:  6/10     All-Around: 6.5/10

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This entry was posted in American Amber Lager, Beer Review, Pennsylvania, United States and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Yuengling Traditional Lager – Review #2

  1. Yuengling is better from the bottle and even better from the tap. However, I’ve never felt the beer reached a level where one needed to order the beer at a bar or pick it up for drinking at home. One of the stranger aspects I’ve found about the lager is the warmer the beer becomes the more unpalatable/undrinkable it becomes. Cheers!

  2. Dave Stokley says:

    Funny you should bring this up…when I was reviewing the can I also poured a bottle and tasted them side-by-side. The green bottle had a noticeable skunky taste that the can didn’t. This could have been a figment of my imagination though, since I’m automatically suspicious of any beer in a green or clear bottle.

    Since the beer is actually pretty weak in the taste category to begin with it’s possible that the skunkiness is adding flavor causing you to like it more (this has actually been suggested as a reason that Americans like Corona a lot more than Mexicans…in Mexico the beer isn’t skunked so it’s actually a lot less flavorful). Also drinking from the bottle and colder temperatures both tend to restrain flavor, which in this case could be a positive.

    As for drinking it from the tap…like you said, there’s always something I’d rather have, so I can’t say I’ve ever ordered it in a bar.

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