A heartfelt plea -- from one Yuengling fan to another!

Finally, there's something about President Obama that I like! And I mean, really like!

I did not know it until today, but according to this article, my favorite beer, Yuengling -- a great, 175-year-old beer from "America's oldest brewery" -- is also Barack Obama's favorite beer:

OTTAWA - President Barack Obama followed through on his hockey bet with Canada, sending beer to the prime minister.

Stephen Harper received the delivery of Molson Canadian on Friday. Canada won the men's gold-medal game on Sidney Crosby's overtime goal.

Harper and Obama had each wagered a case of beer on the outcome.

Obama tossed in an extra case of Yuengling for Harper, the president's brew of choice had he won the friendly wager.

Ambassador David Jacobson, Obama's top representative in Canada, delivered the beer. He also congratulated "the Canadian people on the games."

I have no interest in hockey, but I dearly love Yuengling beer, and it is one of the things I most miss about Pennsylvania.

I had no idea that it was the president's favorite. It's a habit he must have picked up at Columbia, or more recently in DC, because Yuengling is not distributed in Hawaii where he grew up, nor in Massachusetts where he went to law school, nor in Illinois where he lived more recently.

Anyway, now that I know it's the president's favorite, I'd like to see some progress on getting it distributed. Here's the company's distribution map as of right now:


It would appear that this Yankee company has a "Southern Strategy," which seems odd for a brewery centered in Pennsylvania. Nothing north of New York, and not one location in the Midwest -- and this despite the fact that its most important fan (the most powerful man in the world) is from Illinois and went to law school in New England.

BTW, the beer has recently made an entry into the West Virginia market, where it is selling like hotcakes. And while Yuengling is only number two right now, it is poised to overtake Sam Adams as the largest American-owned brewery, despite the fact that Sam Adams is distributed everywhere. Here's what Sam Adams' founder Jim Koch says about its smaller competitor:

I think Yuengling has done a fantastic job with a strategy that a lot of people told them was crazy. They've been very successful taking their own path, which is competing with the mass domestic beers with a darker and more flavorful beer. They have a huge market share in eastern Pennsylvania. They may have market share there that is competitive with Budweiser, which is an extraordinary accomplishment. Even here in New England, we don't compete with Budweiser. They are 25 or 5O times our size, so we're still very small. But Yuengling has found a way to get an enormous volume by bringing the mass domestic drinkers into something that is a little more flavorful. I admire [Dick Yuengling's] refusal to listen to everybody who told him he was wrong. A lot of people told me I was wrong when I started. I know what it's like to have people tell you you're doing it the wrong way because it's unconventional.
Budweiser is a classic example of a Goliath. I have been told that Midwestern beer distribution is basically dominated by Budweiser and Miller, two foreign-owned companies engaged in hegemonic practices. No doubt they would do just about anything to keep Yuengling out of my state, Michigan. But why the hell can't Yuengling at least be in Ohio? As the state line is only a half an hour or so away from me, I'd be glad to drive down and pick up a case or two, but driving to Pennsylvania for beer is just too much trouble.

Up until now, all I could do was join a Facebook group. But now that the beer has a powerful ally in the form of the White House, it's time to demand some real action.

Come on, Mr. President. The American beer market is in the tentacles of a huge foreign monopoly. What's going on is clearly restraint of trade! The mega-distributorships dominated by Bud and Miller take advantage of medieval laws which prevent beer from being moved about freely the way other products are. So now that you've nationalized health care, is it too much to ask you to use your power for a good purpose?

Philosophically speaking, if health care should be transportable, why not beer?

posted by Eric on 03.29.10 at 11:34 PM



Oh! You mean LAGER's first name.

Lager only means one thing in Pennsylvania, and that's Yuengling.

Dennis   ·  March 30, 2010 8:58 AM

Yuengling - one of the few items I miss about living in PA. Good beer, of several varieties (Black & Tan!), at a not-unreasonable cost. What's not to like?

alanstorm   ·  March 30, 2010 10:01 AM

It was with no small amount of pain that I read your words about the "foreign-owned" company Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch, to be precise). As a native of St. Louis, where Anheuser-Busch has been headquartered since its inception, it causes me significant distress that what used to be the largest American-owned brewery was just bought by a Belgian company owned by Brazilians.

That said, additional choices in the beer market are always welcome. I look forward to the day when I will be able to try Yuengling in the Midwest.

John S.   ·  March 30, 2010 10:32 AM

You're looking at this wrong.

Barry hates all of our allies. See the insulting gifts & behavior toward the UK, Germany, France, Israel, Japan etc.

He gave Yuengling to Canada because he views it as an insult.

Mark E   ·  March 30, 2010 1:03 PM

Oh, darn!

Just as I was all ready for real change!

Eric Scheie   ·  March 30, 2010 2:28 PM

When I lived in Philadelphia I drank lots of Yuengling Porter. A friend said (not complimentarily) that it tasted like Coca-Cola. It is very rich.

Yehudit   ·  March 31, 2010 2:42 AM

This is the second blog I've read this week where the subject of Yuengling came up. Lots of praise all around in both cases, but I find it interesting that its success was in both cases attributed to its quality, rather than the stone-cold fact that it is SIGNIFICANTLY CHEAPER than just about anything else on the market. A sixer of Yuengling is usually $1 or more cheaper than anything else in Baltimore and DC liquor stores, apart from a few mass-market beers like Bud or Miller. IOW, it's decent beer, but it succeeds on price.

Gene   ·  March 31, 2010 2:07 PM

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