Beer lovers, especially those on the east coast, will be pleased to hear that Yuengling has stolen the honor of being top craft beer from previous title-holder Sam Adams.
For those not familiar with this delicious brew, I’ll give you the lowdown. Yuengling was established in 1829 and is (as stated above) America’s oldest brewery. They are based in Pennsylvania and if you’ve never heard of or tried their beers it is likely that you live on the other side of the country or in another country altogether.
While some east coast breweries have made the leap to selling on the west coast, Yuengling hasn’t expanded that far yet despite how long they have been around. They don’t seem too concerned with getting their name over to the west coast as they continue to dominate sales in the bars of Pennsylvania’s surrounding states and beyond. There are currently 18 states listed on their website as being distributor sites.
While visiting my home state of Maryland from California this past autumn I was sure to order a few Yeunglings while at the bar catching up with friends. Where beer is concerned, you don’t get more Maryland than Natty Boh and you don’t get more east coast than Yuengling.
So now you’re probably wondering how on earth a beer half the country doesn’t even know about has taken the honor of being top craft beer from the juggernaut we know as Sam Adams.
In spite of the fame and popularity Sam Adams has garnered throughout the country, Yuengling actually sold more beer last year.
Yuengling was previously discounted as a contender because their process uses corn as the main flavoring ingredient rather than malt. This had categorized Yuengling as “non-traditional” but recent changes made by the Brewer’s Association now allows corn-based brews to be considered among the other traditional craft beers.
As a fan of the brewery and the beer I wish them congratulations! I’ve had many a happy memory with a bottle of Yuengling in hand.
Still, these big dogs shouldn’t get too comfortable as there are many young breweries producing beers that will change the game in the coming years. I look forward to seeing if Sam Adams and Yuengling continue to lead the pack.