Yuengling beer eyes Cincinnati market

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In beer aficionado circles, the Yuengling brand has achieved near-cult
status. A family-owned brewery in a small Pennsylvania town, still run
by a guy named Yuengling, and an affordable price have all combined to
create a brand with an aura of genuineness and quality.

Another key to its appeal is its scarcity. Yuengling is only sold in
13 states and Washington, D.C., giving it a hard-to-get quality that
is appealing to lovers of full-bodied beer who stay away from the
mass-market stuff.

Neither Ohio nor Kentucky is among the states where you can (legally)
buy a Yuengling. But the company is expanding one of its two breweries
in Pottsville, Pa., and is planning on buying a former Coors brewery
in Memphis. And with the expansion comes word that Yuengling is eyeing
neighboring Ohio as its next market.

A company official confirms it's been sizing up the market here,
talking to distributors and getting a feel for how sales would go.

"We've done our homework, so to speak, about entering Ohio," said Lou
Romano, Yuengling's marketing director. That includes analyzing the
competition and estimating what share it could take from them.

The Yuengling mystique will precede it should it decide to come here.
In some Pennsylvania towns, ordering a "lager" at a bar means only one
thing: a Yuengling. A website, bringyuenglingtoohio.com, is collecting
online petitions, and a Bring Yuengling to Ohio Facebook group has
3,800 members.

Cincinnati's largest distributor says it's ready, but won't confirm
it's been talking to the Yuenglings.

"We haven't heard when they might be coming, but we're always looking
for new products," said Lee Oberlag, marketing director for Heidelberg

This market is ready for a full-bodied, full-flavored lager, says Greg
Hardman. He launched one in September when his Christian Moerlein
Brewing Co. started shipping Hudepohl Amber Lager. Hardman says sales
are booming, and he's ready to expand its distribution.

The Yuengling family is conservative. They will enter a new state only
when they have the brewing capacity to do so. In the late '90s, the
company had to withdraw from some markets, including Pittsburgh in its
home state, because it couldn't keep up with demand.

Dick Yuengling bought the company from his father in 1985 and has
slowly expanded it to sell about 2 million barrels, putting it close
to Samuel Adams (which makes beer in Cincinnati's West End) as the
largest American-owned brewer. The behemoths, Bud, Miller and Coors,
have all been bought up by foreign companies.

That alone is worth drinking to.


Twitter: @dgholthaus

Re: Yuengling beer eyes Cincinnati market
Quoted text here. Click to load it

That's a bit overwrought.

AFAICT, among "beer aficionados" it's generally regarded as an above
average "macro" brewery, better than Bud/Miller/Coors but still sort of
in the same category.


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