Beer #10: Boycott Yuengling

DadI grew up in State College, PA, a couple hours from Pottsville, which is the home of America’s oldest brewery, D.G. Yuengling and Sons. In my hometown, you can walk into any bar and ask for a “lager” or “porter” and the bartender knows you mean Yuengling. Back in the day, Yuengling was the good stuff, a locally brewed beer with more flavor than any of the other large commercial beers.

Nowadays when I visit home I skip Yuengling in favor of Otto’s Brewpub or one of the dozen or so craft beer taps at Zeno’s. I choose these other beers based mostly on the merit of their more interesting flavors, but now there is another good reason to avoid Yuengling. I have always known Dick Yuengling was a Republican (he was a Republican delegate in the 2000 election), but my loyalty to local beer trumped that flaw for a long time. Now the Teamsters are boycotting Yuengling because Dick cancelled their contract negotiations claiming that his workers no longer want union representation, which seems strange since brewery employees at Yuengling have been organized for over 50 years. Yuengling has declined several offers to reopen negotiations and has refused to produce the petition he claims the employees signed saying they were opting out of the union. The Teamsters claim employees were threatened with being fired if they didn’t sign the petition.

The whole thing smells bad to me. If you’re a Democrat or in favor of organized labor, I encourage  to boycott Yuengling.

Oh, I included this in the Christmas Beer Series because Yuengling is also my dad’s favorite beer. That’s him in the picture wearing a tiara at my Birthday / New Year’s Eve party last night. You can’t really tell from the photo, but he’s got a bottle of Yuengling Light in his hand. Nothing personal dad, but bad politics mix badly with beer.

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7 Responses to Beer #10: Boycott Yuengling

  1. lucyb says:

    happy birthday Chris!

  2. Pat says:

    The employees at Yuengling’s brewery decided to de-certify…. Dick Yuengling did not force them out.

  3. John says:

    They decided to decertify only fater they were threatened with being fired and having the plant relocated to another state, which is illegal.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-elk/union-busting-ended-my-lo_b_217015.html

  4. Marx Klouda says:

    I was wondering, could I use your article on one of my blogs? I’ll be sure to leave the credit to you as well as a link back!

  5. Bob says:

    The owner of Yuengling is a Republican and got rid of the union? I did not know that. Looks like I found my new favorite beer. Thank you beeractivist!!

  6. Dennis Kalob says:

    Thanks beeractivist. I have lived in parts of this country where Yuengling is not common, but I have visited places where it is. I find the beer to be very good. However, from your blog and other research I have done, I have decided to boycott. So-called Right to Work laws are absolutely hideous. They have one person only–to drive down the wages of working people. These laws and the mentality that embraces them are responsible for the decline of the middle class. We will never turn things around as long as the class war against workers is halted. That fight starts with opposition to Right to Work laws and the people and companies that support them. Boycott Yuengling!

  7. Mike Marra says:

    Sounds like all the more reason to support Yuengling. There is just no need for organized crime… uh i mean labor… in the 21st century.

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