Book Review: D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.

So I got hold of a copy of D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., a pictorial history of the now nationally popular brewery.

It doesn't seem like very long ago that Yuengling moved into Florida, where I lived during the 90s. But it's been a while, nearly twenty years. Now they're everywhere.

Yuengling danced the line between craft and mass-market for a while, and by now has landed solidly on the mass-market side of things. Still, they've done that with class, a family business ethic, and (something their marketing focuses on) history.

This book is put together by a beer and brewing enthusiast from Ohio and Pennsylvania who clearly relishes what he does. He's a medical doctor (he put "MD" by his name, which seems an odd thing to do for a book on beer), so it's probably pretty fair to say he does this for love o' beer.

This is a fun read. Or should I say, a fun look. It's really a picture book. The captions are illuminating, and that's what the words are there for, to explain the pictures. The pictures of old advertising posters and signs might be of the most interest to a general reader, but there are photos of the brewery, knick-knacks and odd Yuengling swag, and, coolest of all, photos of people from different eras laughing it up and enjoying a bottle of beer.

The brewery has been in continuous operation since 1829. The beginnings of the brewery are pretty cool to see, but I'll be real: the excitement kicks up a notch during the prohibition. That great blight on American history, which brought us down from thousands of breweries to only a few dozen, and which we've only now recovered from, was a high point in Yuengling's history. Not financially for them, I'm sure; I mean in their beer legacy to these here United States.

The posters for their several "cereal beverages" were fascinating. They even made one to be like their
porter. It was called "Por-Tor", and it was a "delicious and healthful drink".

The photos of the underground portions of the brewery are fascinating as well. There are hand-dug tunnels in the stone under the brewery, made in pre-refrigeration days. Some of them are still used today; one of the tunnel entrances is ringed by the remains of a wall the feds built to prevent illicit brewing in the tunnels, a wall that was subsequently knocked down. Parts of it remain as a reminder.

Arcadia Publishing always does a good job with their stuff. If you're not familiar with them, they do pictorial histories of small towns, niche topics, and hobbies. They have a whole series on amusement park rides, and another on cemeteries. When I had a bookstore I carried their history of the town I live in. This is what they do, and they do a good job of it.

So kudos to Dr. Musson for a job well done.

If you're into beer history and memorabilia, this book is worth your while.



  1. I miss Yuengling. It used to be my go-to beer in Ohio, since it was inexpensive, easy to find, and pretty good tasting. You can't get it out west, though, so I haven't had one since moving.


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