Pottsville, Pennsylvania: Oldest Brewery in America: Free BeerA fun, old-style tour, right on the brewery floor; you may even get to meet the big boss.
D.G. Yuengling Brewery
- 500 Mahantongo St., Pottsville, PA
- D.G. Yuengling Brewery, 5th and Mahantongo Streets.
- M-F 9 am - 4 pm, tours 10 am, 1:30 pm. (Call to verify)
- Free, unless you have a group of 20 or more.
Visitor Tips and News About Oldest Brewery in America: Free Beer
One my favorite tours -- the guide was witty and knowledgeable. I didn't understand why the lady at the front told us we had to wear closed-toe shoes, but once I actually went through, I completely understood. You're not watching from behind glass -- you are standing next to the workers, watching them stir. You're going to step in water, and you might get close to a broken bottle.
Go on the tour in the morning if you have a choice. The afternoon one was great, but they had already cleaned up for the day in the mixing room (they work early morning hours and tend to be done before 2pm). The best part of the tour was getting to walk into the caves and learn the history of when they got blocked off during Prohibition. It's a family-friendly tour, all they ask is that you don't let your children get out of control because you are going to be right next to some heavy duty machinery.[Danielle, 10/20/2011]
Unlike the lame tour of Hershey (I was there last year and it was BAD -- I went there expecting to tour the chocolate factory with our daughter like when I was a kid), Yuengling offers 2 free tours of the brewery a day. It is the real factory and they are making beer as you tour. Open to all ages except the very end when you go to the bar in the factory and they give you free samples. Underage kids are allowed in, just not up to the bar. Some very interesting history there, including a tour of the cave under the factory that used to be for storage and also where the cistern is where they used to draw the water from (Not enough volume to do it anymore).[Ian Thomas, 04/11/2007]
I've been a fan of Yuengling Lager for years, and when I finally visited the country's oldest brewery, I was at a loss for why I'd never come before now. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and had a plethora of anecdotes. We were chronologically brought through each process of the beer-making process for Yuengling.
In celebration of the 175th anniversary, the infamous "caves" were reopened and have become the finale of the tour. Of course, the real grande finale lies within the two free samples at the legendary Yuengling bar. My timing could have been better due to the fact that Lord Chesterfield Ale was not available at this time on-tap.
All in all, it was a very interesting and close-up look at almost 200 years of traditional beer brewing.[Brad Beneski, 01/30/2007]
D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc is America's Oldest Brewery. I've been on the tour twice and look forward to going on it again. During the tour you learn about the history of the company from its founding to today, along with details of the five generations that have owned and operated it.
At the end of the tour you get to try two beers for free (if over 21). They also make a root beer for you non-drinkers to try. You will be hard pressed to find it outside of the immediate area. Just some friendly advice; Pottsville is built on hills that would make a mountain goat consider suicide. Keep this in mind when looking for a parking spot near the brewery, especially if traveling with the elderly.
Also, the cave area is open again for the tours.[Joe Mehler, 09/05/2006]
The Yuengling Brewery tour is better than ever. On a recent Saturday morning we took the Yuengling tour and ran into the boss himself, Mr Dick Yuengling. He was hanging out in the gift shop talking with visitors.
The tour includes a fascinating visit to the underground caves where the brewery used to store their kegged beer.
I spoke with Mr Yuengling a few months ago and he told me that his insurance company hounds him to cancel the down-and-dirty tour in favor of a sterile, lifeless version like almost all of corporate American has adopted. He said that as long as he is alive that won't happen![Overexposed, 12/18/2004]