Everything You Need to Know About Free Yuengling Brewery Tours and Beer

Yuengling brewery in Pottsville
D.G. Yuengling & Son on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville, PA

Not only are Yuengling brewery tours free, you also get FREE beer! They say nothing in life is free, but this rule doesn't apply at the Yuengling breweries.

Family owned since 1829, Yuengling operates a total three breweries, two of which you can tour. Yuengling brewery tours are something you don't want to miss if you're ever in the Pottsville, Pennsylvania or Tampa, Florida area.

As an added bonus, it's not uncommon to see Mr. Dick Yuengling himself or one of his four daughters at the brewery. In the multiple times I've met Dick, he's always more than happy to talk for a few minutes and, of course, take a selfie.

Read on for a taste of what to expect on one of these Yuengling brewery tours.

Yuengling Brewery Tours in Pottsville

I've been on dozens of brewery tours around the world, and the Yuengling Pottsville brewery tour remains one of my favorites.

Yuengling brewery tours are approximately 1 hour long. Tours run daily except Sundays. Hours are different depending on the time of year so check the official Yuengling Brewery Pottsville PA tour hours for the latest tour times.

Just across the street from the brewery is a museum and gift shop that's definitely worth checking out. Built in the old Yuengling ice cream building, the gift shop and museum opened its doors for the first time in March 2016.

Yuengling Brewery Caves

The Yuengling brewery in Pottsville is built on the side of the mountain. This will be quite obvious as you drive up Mahantongo Street to get to the brewery.

During the tour, you will explore the hand dug caves that were used to ferment beer before refrigeration was invented. Although beer isn't fermented in the caves anymore, the temperature of the caves remains right around 50ºF year round.

Yuengling brewery caves in Pottsville showing the brick wall built by the government during Prohibition
Yuengling brewery caves in Pottsville showing the brick wall built by the government during Prohibition

Naturally, the caves had water flowing through it and this water was initially used to brew beer.  Nowadays, Yuengling uses city water to brew its beer.

Yuengling During Prohibition

While still in the brewery caves, your tour guide will point out a large brick wall that was built by the US government during prohibition. This was the government's attempt to cease beer production during this period.

As America's oldest brewery, in operation since 1829, Yuengling survived prohibition—but how?  I won't spoil the surprise as to what Yuengling did during prohibition, but I will tell you this one fact:  when prohibition was lifted on December 5, 1933, Yuengling had its first shipment of beer on the delivery truck at 12:01 am. They even sent a truckload of beer to president FDR at the White House! Makes you wonder what was going on in there considering it takes nearly a month to brew beer!

Yuengling Brewing and Bottling

In addition to the caves, you'll see the massive kettles used for brewing. As with most brewery tours, your tour guide will take you through the entire brewing process from mashing to boiling to fermentation. An iconic backdrop to the kettle room is the stained glass ceilings.

Stained glass ceiling and iconic artwork in the Pottsville brewhouse
Stained glass ceiling and iconic artwork in the Pottsville brewhouse

After the brew house, you'll head on over to the bottling room. If you go on a weekday, you'll witness bottling production in action with conveyor belts rolling and bottles filling up with beer. However, if you visit on a Saturday (there are no brewery tours on Sunday), you will still be able to see the labeled and unlabeled bottles lined up and cardboard cases stacked high.

Free Yuengling Beer

Some might say that the best part of the Yuengling brewery tour is the free beer at the end. I won't argue with them on that.

Yuengling in Pottsville has its own tasting room with all its delicious beers on tap including any seasonal beer. You are welcome to try any two 8 oz cups of beer. Yuengling's year round beer includes:

  • Traditional Lager
  • Light Lager
  • Black & Tan
  • Golden Pilsner
  • Premium
  • Light
  • Dark Brewed Porter
  • Lord Chesterfield Ale

Yuengling also brews a seasonal Oktoberfest which you might be lucky enough to taste if you visit the brewery in autumn.

For those under 21 years old or who don't drink alcohol, there is local root beer on tap to drink.

Yuengling Brewery Tours in Tampa

Yuengling brewery in Tampa, Florida

In addition to the iconic Pottsville brewery on Mahantongo Street, Yuengling has two other brewery locations: one that's 2 miles away on Mill Creek Ave and the other in Tampa, Florida.

While Yuengling purchased the Stroh Brewery in Tampa in 1999, they were building the Mill Creek location in Pottsville and began production there in 2001.

The Yuengling Tampa brewery is the largest amongst the three locations. Mill Creek outputs half as much beer as Tampa and the Pottsville location outputs half as much as Mill Creek.

Although the Mill Creek brewery is not open to the public, the Yuengling brewery in Tampa is scheduled to open to the public and offers free tours in the Spring of 2023.

Can of Yuengling lager

Yuengling is one of my favorite beers. If you're lucky enough to live in one of the 22 states that Yuengling currently distributes, you probably know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, Yuengling is rapidly growing, and your day will come very soon when Yuengling distributes to your state... or country.

I haven't had the privilege of touring the Tampa brewery, but I plan to one day. Have you ever been on a Yuengling brewery tour? Let me know in the comments below what your experience was or if you have any questions prior to visiting the Pottsville brewery.

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