Attending the University of South Florida has some perks. 1) Busch Gardens, 2) Studio Movie Grill, and 3) Yuengling. All three of these attractions only 5 minutes away from campus! I have been to Busch Gardens a handful of times, and so as Studio Movie Grill. Yuengling isn’t a super popular tourist attraction, likely because it only appeals to a certain older adult crowd. I wasn’t interested much in alcohol myself until I turned 21, so now that I am totally and adult now, this weekend was the weekend I got to tour my first brewery!
Yuengling is an esteemed brand produced in 2 states, and sold in 18 U.S states. Yuengling prides itself for being the oldest brewery in the U.S since 1829. The first brewery opened up in Pottsville, Pensylvania. The second one in Tampa! The company was kickstarted by a German immigrant, and now it is still owned by the 5th generation of the Yuengling family. The company even survived the Prohibition period in our nations history. The current owner of the company is Dick Yuengling, pictured in this cardboard cutout of me and him below.
The brewery offers free tours, with sampling included. It is best to go on Mon-Wed. I went to tour on a Friday, and production or bottling wasn’t taking place. I was so bummed. It was an okay tour. The tour was very brief and put into broad terms, but I wish it was a little more detailed. I wanted the tour lady too sell it! But I think the tour lady was kind of new. I went with some friends, and my beer connoisseur friend Chris could tell me more about the beer production process than the tour guide. Walking around I kinda felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory! Iv’e never been in a factory that participates in mass production of products. I have to go again on a day where everything is running so that I can see all the moving parts in this operation.
We even got to go into the lab where they do all the quality control. I expected it to be bigger, like a whole floor dedicated to lab testing. But it was much like the size of a classroom. It looked about like a high school science classroom too actually. Apparently this guy named Randy is the all knowing dude when it comes to how the beer is tested, and he wasn’t there during the tour! Because it was a Friday. So if you ever plan on going on a tour, go on a Mon-Wed so you can ask Randy all the deets! The lab is some secret squirrely stuff, so no pictures are allowed.
At the end of the tour we went into the welcome center/gift shop and got to do some free sampling. There even was jars of hops and grain available to sample smell. We were allowed to choose two kinds of beer, and non-alcoholic soda options were available too. I have been trying to refrain from drinking lately since I have been a little under the weather, so I settled for 3 sips of Black&Tan Yuengling along with a Pepsi. My lady friend Cass got two light beers. The Black&Tan was a very dark and creamy beer. It had a mild earthy after-taste, kind of like this chocolate stout I had once.
Overall, it was a very nice experience! I can’t wait to tour another brewery, next time hopefully one that is up and running in production!