D.G. Yuengling & Sons announces Joint Operating Agreement with Molson Coors
D.G. Yuengling & Sons is the oldest brewery in the USA and currently ranks as the nation’s largest craft brewery in terms of sales volume. Based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Yuengling & Sons has been around since 1829 and remains a family-owned and -operated business. In 2015, the brewery produced 2.9 million barrels of beer and currently ranks as the nation’s largest craft brewery, but none of that beer makes it out west: Yuengling is an East Coast beer, primarily distributed to 22 states in New England and along the Eastern Seaboard.
Today Yuengling & Sons announced that it has entered into a Joint Operating Agreement with Molson Coors. Currently, Molson Coors is the United States’ second-largest and the world’s fifth-largest brewer by volume. This agreement will expand Yuengling’s distribution network to include states in the western USA.
Currently, Yuengling & Sons qualifies as a craft brewer according to the definition provided by the Brewers Association. The company is independent and produces less than 6 million barrels of beer per year. Other companies, like Elysian Brewing, Goose Island Brewing, Hop Valley Brewing, and several others lost their “craft” designation when they were acquired by large, corporate beer companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors.
In simplest terms, the Brewers Association defines a craft brewery as one that is small and independent. The definition of the term small has proven flexible as the industry has changed and grown, but the organization stands pretty firm on its definition of independent. The nature of any Joint Operating Agreement directs that the arrangement is purely contractual and none of the companies’ assets change hands. In other words, on paper at least, Yuengling & Sons remains independent.
As far as consumers are concerned, regardless of how the Brewers Association does or does not classify it, craft beer enthusiasts out west may not consider Yuengling & Sons a craft brewery. The brewery is widely recognized for things like its budget-minded lagers. Terms like creative and adventurous, terms held dear in the hearts of many craft beer lovers, are not typically associated with the brewery.
In the coming months, Yuengling & Sons will announce which western states will see the distribution of its product.
Here’s the official press release:
POTTSVILLE, Pa., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s Oldest Brewery®, and Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE: TAP, TSX: TPX) have launched a long-term brewing partnership, which will bring Yuengling’s beer to millions more people outside of their East Coast footprint. This partnership will allow the distribution of Yuengling beers to expand further west for the first time in history. The formal announcement will be made at a press conference today at 10:00 a.m., EDT. Media interested in participating can RSVP here.
The joint venture between Yuengling and Molson Coors will oversee any new market expansion beyond the 191 year old brewer’s existing 22 state footprint plus any future New England expansion. The partnership is expected to begin by launching in the second half of 2021 and will be governed by a board of directors, consisting evenly of Yuengling and Molson Coors family members and executives. Importantly, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. remains a family-owned business and the existing company will operate separately from the joint venture with Molson Coors.
“We are excited to launch this brewing partnership with the team at Molson Coors. Like Yuengling, Molson Coors has an established commitment to quality and rich history of family brewing excellence,” said Wendy Yuengling, Chief Administrative Officer and 6th generation family member, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. “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.”
The Yuengling family will work closely with the iconic Coors and Molson brewing families, and the Molson Coors Beverage Company, to brew Yuengling products and expand their geographic footprint as an extension of America’s Oldest Brewery. Together, Yuengling brewers will work hand-in-hand at Molson Coors’ world-class brewing facilities and tap into their expertise in brewing and distribution to make the Yuengling brands more accessible to fans by opening markets the company can’t currently reach.
“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 Company. “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. That is worth celebrating.”
“We are excited to work with the Molson Coors’ team on this partnership,” said Jennifer Yuengling, Vice President of Operations and 6th generation family member, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. “Fans can expect the same Yuengling recipes and great taste they have come to love for more than 190 years.”
About D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.
D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s Oldest Brewery®, is family-owned and operated since 1829. Now sold in 22 states, production is supported by two breweries in Pottsville, PA and one in Tampa, FL. Principal beer brands include Yuengling® Traditional Lager, Light Lager, Black & Tan, Golden Pilsner, Premium, Light, Dark Brewed Porter, Lord Chesterfield Ale®, Oktoberfest, Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter and new FLIGHT by Yuengling, the Next Generation of Light Beer™. Get access to media images here.
Overview of Molson Coors
For over two centuries Molson Coors has been brewing beverages that unite people for all of life’s moments. From Coors Light, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian, Carling, and Staropramen to Coors Banquet, Blue Moon Belgian White, Blue Moon LightSky, Vizzy, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Creemore Springs and more, Molson Coors produces some of the most beloved and iconic beer brands ever made. While the company’s history is rooted in beer, Molson Coors offers a modern portfolio that expands beyond the beer aisle as well. To learn more about Molson Coors Beverage Company, visit molsoncoors.com, MolsonCoorsOurImprint.com or on Twitter through @MolsonCoors.