Saturday, December 21, 2013

A good old American beer

If you had to name the largest American brewing company, you’d probably name either Anheuser-Busch or Miller, and you’d also probably acknowledge the fact that Coors is a pretty sizable brewery as well.

The truth is, though, the largest American-owned brewery is Yuengling, a brewing company that was founded in 1829, and it’s actually the oldest brewing company in the United States. In addition to that, Yuengling is also the favorite beer of President Obama, who sent a case of Yuengling to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to cover a friendly wager on the outcome of the 2010 Winter Olympics ice hockey finals.

To be perfectly honest, though, I’d have to admit to the fact that Yuengling is actually TIED with the Boston Beer Company (the brewer of Samuel Adams beer) as the largest American-owned brewery. Although the Boston Beer Company didn’t start business until 1984, its Boston Lager was named “Best Beer in America” at the Great American Beer Festival in 1985.

Anheauser-Busch was purchased by InBev in 2008, and the new corporation, Anheuser-Busch InBev, is now the largest brewer in the world. The company is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. Truth be told, Budweiser is actually a pretty decent beer, but I usually buy “Bud” due to the fact that the company makes some great commercials.

Miller is part of SAB Miller, a multinational brewing and beverage company with headquarters in London.

Coors still brews beer in Colorado, but it’s part of the Canadian Molson Coors Brewing Company, even though its headquarters is still in Golden, Colorado. The brewery in Golden is still the largest single brewery facility in the entire world.

At one time, Schlitz was the largest producer of beer in the entire world, but a disastrous ad campaign in the 1970’s, coupled with an ill advised change in the beer recipe in a quest for greater profits, put the company out of business. You can still be Schlitz today, in the original formula, but it is now a part of the Pabst Brewing Company of Milwaukee.

Yeungling doesn’t produce snappy commercials, nor does the company have any plans to be the world’s biggest brewer. It’s still a family operation, and it relies on producing decent beers for moderate prices for a large and growing loyal audience as the key to success.

If you’d really like to taste a good old American brew, you’d have to travel to the East Coast, because Yeungling is only distributed in 14 Eastern states and the District of Columbia, which makes its status as America’s largest brewer even more remarkable, since Samuel Adams is now available in all 50 states.

Speaking of that, though, it’s almost time for that first beer of the day.

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