Touring the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville

Entering the Yuengling Brewery for the free tour.

Yuengling beer is one of Pennsylvania’s best-known and most-beloved products, right up there with Hershey’s chocolate and Zippo lighters.

Welcome to Yuengling's sign at the entrance to the museum and gift shop.
“Welcome to Yuengling’s” sign at the entrance to the museum and gift shop.

And since 1829, the Yuengling family has been brewing beer in Pottsville, Schuylkill County, earning Yuengling the title as “America’s Oldest Brewery”!

National Register of Historic Places plaque on the front of the Yuengling Brewery.
National Register of Historic Places plaque on the front of the Yuengling Brewery.

What’s even better is that you can take a free one-hour guided tour of this historic and still very-much active brewery in Pottsville, AND get a few free beer samples at the end of the tour!

Cans of Yuengling Lager being filled at the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville Pennsylvania.
Cans of Yuengling Lager being filled at the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

You can find the most up-to-date information about the tour rules and hours of operation on the official Yuengling website, but I’ll give you a brief photographic overview of what you can expect to see, hear, smell, and taste on the Yuengling brewery tour!

Another Yuengling mural painted on the exterior of a door at the brewery complex.
A Yuengling mural painted on the exterior of a door at the brewery complex.

Exploring the Yuengling Museum

Your tour will start across the street from the historic brewery in the equally historic Yuengling Dairy building, constructed in 1920 to help the company survive Prohibition (which lasted from 1919 until 1933).

The Yuengling Dairy building that now houses the Yuengling museum, gift shop, and tasting room.
The Yuengling Dairy building that now houses the Yuengling museum, gift shop, and tasting room.

This building, which now houses the Yuengling museum, gift shop, and tasting room (where the tour ultimately ends), was once used to produce products such as Yuengling ice cream.

Yuengling ice cream was introduced during the Prohibition era when FRank Yuengling built a dairy to help keep his workers employed.
Yuengling ice cream was introduced during the Prohibition era when FRank Yuengling built a dairy to help keep his workers employed.

The museum is located at 420 Mahantongo St, Pottsville, PA 17901, and there is free parking on a large gravel lot behind the dairy building, as well as metered street parking up and down the street if the free lot is full.

Vintage Yuengling beer bottles on display at the Yuengling Museum next to the brewery in Pottsville.
Vintage Yuengling beer bottles on display at the Yuengling Museum next to the brewery in Pottsville.

I registered for a spot on the next tour at the cash register in the gift shop, then proceeded to check out the museum while I waited for the tour to start.

David G. Yuengling, founder of Yuengling Brewery.
David G. Yuengling, founder of Yuengling Brewery.

There I found a wealth of information about the founding family of Yuengling Brewery, as well as many examples of Yuengling bottles, cans, labels, and advertising memorabilia from over the years.

Vintage Yuengling Beer labels on display at the Yuengling Museum across from the brewery on Pottsville.
Vintage Yuengling Beer labels on display at the Yuengling Museum across from the brewery in Pottsville.

The gift shop adjacent to the museum has just about anything and everything the Yuengling enthusiast could want!

The gift shop at Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville. Pennsylvania.
The gift shop at Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville. Pennsylvania.

When the announcement was made that my tour was starting, I made my way back to the area near the entrance to the dairy, and our tour guide led us across the street to the historic red brick Yuengling Brewery.

The iconic Yuengling Brewery on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville Pennsylvania.
The iconic Yuengling Brewery on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Exploring the Yuengling Brewery

We entered the brewery at the street level, and immediately the sweet smell of Yuengling beer enveloped us.

Entering the Yuengling Brewery for the free tour.
Entering the Yuengling Brewery for the free tour.

Descending a flight of stairs, we entered into the subterranean “beer caves”– hand-dug tunnels where Yuengling beer was aged in the era before mechanical refrigeration.

Inside the hand-carved beer caves beneath the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville PA
Inside the hand-carved “beer caves” beneath the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, PA.

The tunnels are cool (but not too cold), so if you are easily chilled you may want to take a light jacket or hoodie along for this part of the tour.

One of the many beer caves beneath the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, PA..
One of the many beer caves beneath the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, PA.

Another interesting subterranean feature of the brewery was the Rathskeller, a generic German term for a tavern below street. Built in 1936, we were told by our tour guide that at one time the Rathskeller served as a break room for the brewery, in a time before OSHA when drinking on the job was permitted!

The Rathskeller in the Yuengling Brewery which previously served as the tasting room.
The Rathskeller in the Yuengling Brewery which previously served as the tasting room.

We made our way through more passageways beneath the brewery and saw where raw materials for the brewing process were stored.

A fire door in the basement of the Yuengling Brewery.
A fire door in the basement of the Yuengling Brewery.

Eventually we arrived at a more modern section of the brewery where cans of Yuengling Lager were being filled.

Touring the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville Pennsylvania.
Touring the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville Pennsylvania.

Our final stop was back across the street in the dairy building at the tasting room, where everyone 21 and older was allowed two free samples of Yuengling products, including some of their delicious birch beer if you preferred something non-alcoholic.

The author in the tasting room at the conclusion of the Yuengling Brewery tour.
The author in the tasting room at the conclusion of the Yuengling Brewery tour.

One interesting feature of the dairy building is a chandelier made of Yuengling bottles.

A chandelier made of Yuengling bottles hanging in the lobby of the Yuengling museum and gift shop in Pottsville.
A chandelier made of Yuengling bottles hanging in the lobby of the Yuengling museum and gift shop in Pottsville.

If you like DIY projects like I like DIY projects, this one deserves a place on your “I gotta try this” list!


Final Thoughts on Touring the Yuengling Brewery

Overall I found the entire experience of touring the Yuengling Brewery to be very interesting, and everyone working there was extra-friendly and accommodating.

DIck Yuengling neon sign in the tasting room at Yuengling Brewery.
Dick Yuengling neon sign in the tasting room at Yuengling Brewery.

Free admission, free beer, and a free history lesson into one of Pennsylvania’s oldest and most-successful business enterprisess – what’s not to love about the Yuengling Brewery tour in Pottsville?!

A Yuengling mural painted on the exterior of a door at the brewery complex.
A mural paying tribute to the early days of the Yuengling Brewery.

The Yuengling Mansion

Although it is not part of the official tour, just a few blocks up Mahantongo Street you’ll find the Yuengling Mansion, built in 1913.

Mansion built by Frank Yuengling in 1913 near the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville.
Mansion built by Frank Yuengling in 1913 near the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville.

The home was built by Frank Yuengling, the third generation Yuengling to run the brewery in Pottsville.

Frank Yuengling portrait and bio, builder of the Yuengling Mansion on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville.
Frank Yuengling portrait and bio, builder of the Yuengling Mansion on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville.

The Yuengling Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

National Register of Historic Places sign on the gates of the Frenk Yuengling mansion in Pottsville.
National Register of Historic Places sign on the gates of the Frank Yuengling mansion in Pottsville.

The Tudor-style mansion is located at 1440 Mahantongo Street, Pottsville, PA 17901.

Frank Yuengling mansion on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville PA
Frank Yuengling mansion on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville, PA.

The Yuengling Mansion was the first house to have a telephone and electricity in Pottsville, and is now used as the headquarters of the Schuylkill County Council for the Arts.

Side view of the Yuengling Mansion in Pottsville.
Side view of the Tudor-style Yuengling Mansion in Pottsville.

Nearby Attractions

Fighter’s Heaven was the nickname Muhammad Ali gave to his rural Pennsylvania training camp, located just 6 miles south of the Yuengling Brewery near Deer Lake.

"Welcome to Muhammad Ali Training Camp" sign outside Deer Lake, PA.
“Welcome to Muhammad Ali Training Camp” sign outside Deer Lake, PA.

Ali trained for some of the biggest fights of his career, including the “Rumble in the Jungle” and the “Thrilla in Manila” at his compound here in Schuylkill County, and today Fighter’s Heaven has been lovingly restored and reopened for public tours.

Heavy bag and boxing ring at Muhammad Ali's training camp in Deer Lake, PA
Heavy bag and boxing ring at Muhammad Ali’s training camp in Deer Lake, PA.

Jerry’s Classic Cars and Collectibles Museum in Pottsville is a two-story, floor-to-ceiling display of classic cars and pop culture memorabilia, housed in a historic garage.

Vintage VW Bug on display at Jerry's Classic Cars and Collectibles Museum in Pottsville.
Vintage VW Bug on display at Jerry’s Classic Cars and Collectibles Museum in Pottsville.

Located just a few blocks from the Yuengling Brewery, Jerry’s Museum is an eclectic and enjoyable trip back in time, well worth a few hours of your time when visiting Pottsville.

A recreated drive-in theatre at Jerry's Classic Cars and Collectibles Museum in Pottsville.
A recreated drive-in theatre at Jerry’s Classic Cars and Collectibles Museum in Pottsville.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Gteat article…lived in Pottsville from 1948 to 1961. Enjoyed the Ice Cream many times then the Beer when I became of age.

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