Yuengling coming to Massachusetts and the purchase of Boulevard Brewing Company by Duvel Moortgat has got the interwebs in a tizzy this week.
I’ll start with Yuengling.
If you haven’t heard the news, Banker & Tradesman earlier this week announced that D.G. Yuengling & Sons of Pennsylvania is looking for a distributor to bring its popular beer to Massachusetts for the first time in two decades.
Yuengling, the oldest brewery in the U.S., has a cult following among those who can’t get it on a regular basis. Since I’ve began writing about beer seven years ago, the single question I get asked the most is “When will Yuengling come here?”
I’ve had Yuengling a few times. It’s an easy drinking lager, better than something like a Budweiser, probably along the lines of Narragansett.
Yuengling will be a huge seller in Massachusetts – at first. But, I think the glow will eventually wear off. The beer is good for what it is, but it’s not going to compete with the craft beer options we already have. Craft beer drinkers may pick up a few six packs to fill their fridge, but I can’t imagine it will make its way into many of their normal purchase rotations.
Instead, it will be competing with beers like Narragansett, Budweiser, Coors and the like.
Narragansett has built up quite the brand loyalty among beer drinkers and I’m not sure Yuengling will attract people away from them, and Narragansett’s seasonal options are stronger than the few Yuengling beers other than the lager I’ve had.
I wish Yuengling luck because I love its story and history, but I have my doubts they’ll make a significant impact in the Massachusetts beer market.
I love the Boulevard Brewing Company. They brew some fabulous beers, and I pretty much enjoy everything I’ve had from them.
I’m also a fan of Duvel-Moortgat. I love Duvel and I’m a fan of the other beers they produce such as Chouffe and Liefmans, and I’ve been a longtime support of Brewery Ommegang.
Although I’d love to see all breweries remain independent, inevitably this happens.
But, this doesn’t bother me. Boulevard and Duvel both produce great beers and I don’t see that changing. Ommegang didn’t change when they became involved with Duvel, and I can’t imagine Boulevard will.