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 When Prohibition was finally repealed in 1933 the brewery sent a truckload of “Winner Beer” to the President Franklin D. Roosevelt.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