Friday, September 21, 2012

Yuengling Brewery - Yuengling Traditional Lager

Pop Quiz time! What is America's oldest brewery? If you live on the East Coast, you probably already know the answer-Yuengling Brewery. Founded by David Yuengling in 1829 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Yuengling Brewery has been an East Coast favorite for a long, long time. The fact that they've survived as long as they have is a testament to their innovation as they were able to survive Prohibition by producing "near beer" and even opened a dairy farm to help stay afloat. Since Prohibition, Yuengling has maintained a steadily growing loyal following and has been expanding production to meet the high demand for their beer. Despite the growth in production, Yuengling remains a strictly East Coast beer.

When my girlfriend and I went to Boston and New York this spring, I had a short list of beers I absolutely had to try. Yuengling was one of the beers on the list, and the one that I knew I'd be able to find the easiest. I figured I'd be able to get one at the airport bar as soon as we landed and check one beer off the list right away. Only the airport bar didn't serve Yuengling, and neither did any other bar we visited in Boston. We hit New York a few days later and I was sure I'd find it there, only to be let down again as none of the bars we hit in New York were serving Yuengling either. What the hell was going on??? I returned from the trip pleased with all the beers I had tried, but a little bummed that I still hadn't gotten that elusive Yuengling. My discouragement reached epic proportions a week later when my girlfriend, on a trip to Washington D.C., texted me a picture of the Yuengling she was enjoying at a restaurant. She had beaten me to it! Damn! My hope to ever try a Yuengling was fading until one day at work, when my friend Dan told me that he was going to be getting some from the East Coast and he'd bring me a bottle.

Yuengling Traditional Lager pours a clear amber color with a 1/2 finger cream colored head. Most lagers out there don't have fantastic retention, but this one seemed to hold pretty well. The smell was a mix of faint grassy hops, lemon, lime, a hint of green apple, some bready malt and just a touch of skunk. Definitely not bad.

The taste opened with a mix of mild grassy and citrus hops with slight touch of skunk. The finish brought some smooth bready malt notes with a touch of sweetness. The taste is nothing mindblowing, but it's noticeably better than most of the other lagers on the market. The mouthfeel was very crisp, making this beer incredibly drinkable. I can definitely see putting quite a few of these down on a hot day. I'm really glad to have finally gotten the chance to try this one. A huge thanks to Dan.

Final Grade: B

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 39

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