As D.G. Yuengling and Son turns 190, a sixth generation takes the reins

The D.G. Yuengling and Son brewery in Pottsville, America's oldest brewery.

D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. announced a "long-term brewing partnership" with Molson Coors Beverage Company to expand the Pottsville-based brewery's distribution beyond the East Coast.

The Yuengling brand and its flagship Traditional Lager are currently sold in 22 states, but the deal with Molson Coors will soon make Yuengling beers available to "millions more" customers, according to Tuesday's press release.

Though the joint venture will oversee new market expansion, including any future growth in the New England region, the family-owned Yuengling brewery remains a separate entity from Molson Coors.

The partnership is planned to begin in the second half of 2021.

"This is a huge growth opportunity for Yuengling, it's a huge growth opportunity for Molson Coors, and we're going to make a whole lot of Yuengling fans out west really happy," said Gavin Hattersley, president and CEO of Molson Coors Beverage Co., via the release.

A board of directors comprised of family members and executives from Yuengling and Molson Coors will lead the partnership. Board positions will be divided evenly between the two companies.

"We are excited to launch this brewing partnership with the team at Molson Coors," said Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer at Yuengling. "Like Yuengling, Molson Coors has an established commitment to quality and rich history of family brewing excellence."

At 191 years old, Yuengling holds the distinction of being the oldest brewery operating in the U.S. and routinely ranks as the largest craft brewery in the nation.

However, despite a devoted following in the western part of the country — fans who transport Yuengling Lager across state lines are sometimes referred to as "smugglers" — its dual breweries in Schuylkill County and a third in Florida limited distribution opportunities.

Yuengling brewers will "work hand-in-hand at Molson Coors'" facilities to bring the brand to store shelves in markets it hasn't yet reached, per the release.

"This partnership is a great opportunity for us to grow our distribution footprint for the long term, while continuing to support our existing markets and the communities in which we operate," said Wendy Yuengling.

There are no changes planned for the existing Yuengling product line.

"Fans can expect the same Yuengling recipes and great taste they have come to love for more than 190 years," said Jennifer Yuengling, vice president of operations.

Jennifer and Wendy are part of the sixth generation of Yuengling family members involved in running the brewery, along with sisters Debbie and Sheryl. Father, Dick Yuengling Jr., is the fifth generation owner and operator.

Though Molson Coors ranks as one of the largest brewers in the U.S. and worldwide, the Canadian-headquartered company — formed in 2016 when the two established brands combined — still maintains its family roots as well.

Members from both the Molson and Coors families sit atop the company's leadership, with Andrew Molson serving as chairman and Pete Coors as the vice chairman of Molson Coors

Molson Coors itself also has over two centuries of brewing history.

"Today, three storied brewing families and their collective 18 generations of brewing excellence, have come together with one goal for the future — a future focused on growth," said Hattersley. "That is worth celebrating."

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