Yuengling Is Bringing Beer Back to Massachusetts

"YESSSSS!!" seems to be the general consensus from beer drinkers upon hearing the news.

Massachusetts residents will no longer need to rely on their friends from surrounding states in order to get their hands on some Yuengling.

According to a report from the Banker & Tradesman, the Pennsylvania-based brewing company plans to bring their product back to Massachusetts after more than a two-decade hiatus, and beer experts expect them to do very well.

“The Massachusetts market is a tough market for people to come into because we have so much choice here. It’s really common to see a new hyped-up brand come in and sell like hot cakes for a few months but then something new comes in, and people move onto that,” said Jeff Wharton, cofounder of Drink Craft Beer, which hosts beer tastings and events, and focuses heavily on the changing beer market. “But I don’t think that will be the case for Yuengling.”

Representatives from the company, D.G. Yuengling & Son, are reportedly meeting with store owners and beer distributors this week to come up with a plan to reintroduce several types of their beers back into the state, something that is still in the preliminary stages.

Yuengling sells beer in 14 states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, but has been tepid about resurfacing in Massachusetts. A company representative told the Banker & Tradesman that they want to take their time when trying to expand their market and make sure that it is done the right way. “It sounds like they are doing everything right to stay in for the long haul. You need to understand how the market works, and understand that you are not just investing in short term sales, but a long term strategy. They definitely have experience moving into states where they are highly anticipated,” said Wharton.

The company is feeling out the competition, and trying to find the right avenues to pursue—in terms of sales locations and stores—before just jumping into the beer game.

Massachusetts is a popular place for mass-distributed lagers like Narragansett, P.B.R.—and of course Sam Adams. It is also heralded as a spot where craft beers often rule the roost, so what will happen when Yuengling’s reintroduced remains to be seen.

Based on Yuengling’s past success, however, they probably won’t have much problem keeping up with the competition.  Wharton suspects there will be a showdown between Yunegling and Narragansett when it comes to customers buying their products. He also thinks Yuengling could replace some locally brewed craft beers on the tap lines at some bars. “I think its going to do well, and I think it’s going to tap the same market that’s helping Narragansett explode in volume.”

Yuengling pulled out of sale in Massachusetts in 1993 because the demand was too high, and their out-of-state operations weren’t large enough for them to keep stocking the shelves with their beers, the report said. That could be an indicator that Yuengling will consider building a brewery in Massachusetts, but nothing has been determined. “That was almost exactly 20 years ago, but that was a different market then,” said Wharton. “I’m interested to see how it effects other brands.”