Yuengling Just Alienated A Good Chunk of Its Customers with Its Presidential Endorsement

The backlash has been swift, with many drinkers promising to boycott the beer and even urging bars to stop serving it.
October 29, 2016, 5:00pm
Photo via Flickr user David Reber

You had a good run, Yuengling. The oldest brewing company in America was founded in 1829, which means that it has survived 46 presidential elections without incident. That all ended earlier this week when company president and fifth-generation beer man Richard 'Dick' Yuengling vocalized his support of Republican presidential nominee and rotting squash casserole Donald Trump.

Yuengling's week started innocuously enough, at least until Trump's son Eric took a tour of the Pottsville, Pennsylvania brewery. Eric Trump tweeted a picture of himself posing stiffly with Yuengling, the person, in front of a plastic-wrapped pallet of Yuengling, the beer. "Thanks to Dick Yuengling for an amazing tour of the oldest brewery in the U.S.," he wrote, signing off with the #MAGA hashtag.

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Thank you to Dick Yuengling for an amazing tour of the oldest brewery in the U.S! @Yuengling_Beer #PottsvillePA #MAGA pic.twitter.com/XrGVbbOiI3

— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) October 24, 2016

Things only got worse when Yuengling opened his mouth. "Our guys are behind your father," Yuengling told Eric Trump. "We need him in there." (By there, he presumably meant the White House, as he didn't say there while gesturing to a large wooden crate that would be delivered to the nearest landfill).

As Trump's tweet made its way around the internet—accompanied by Yuengling's own comments—the backlash was swift, with many promising to boycott the beer and even urging bars to stop serving it. Pennsylvania Representative Brian Sims was one of the first, and most vocal, critics.

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"GOOD BYE Yuengling Brewery," he wrote in a scathing Facebook post. "I'm not normally one to call for boycotts but I absolutely believe that how we spend our dollars is a reflection of our votes and our values! Supporting Yuengling Brewery, that uses my dollars to bolster a man, and an agenda, that wants to punish me for being a member of the LGBT community and punish the black and brown members of my community for not being white, is something I'm too smart and too grown up to do."

But the support for Trump didn't stop with Yuengling himself; the Reading Eagle reported that Donald 'Bud' Runkle, Yuengling's IT Manager, also cheerily endorsed Trump. "Donald Trump supports hard-working men and women like those in our region," Runkle told the paper. "He hits home with all of us, as he does with me." Yuengling Brewery has not responded to MUNCHIES' phone calls or emailed request for comment.

It's surprising that Yuengling seems to identify with Trump, since his business bio is fundamentally different from Trump's. Instead of receiving a "small gift" of a million bucks (or more) from his father, Dick Yuengling bought the then-struggling brewery from his dad in 1985—despite his father's reluctance.

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"Maybe your dad will build a hotel in Pottsville," Yuengling told Eric Trump, at the end of his visit. "Or, serve Yuengling in his hotels." We can't really see Yuengling ending up on the same menu as the "You're Fired" or "The Billionaire Martini," but if it somehow does, Yuengling might be the only family name on display in that hotel bar. Even Trump's own hotel brand is distancing itself from The Donald. The Trump Organization's newest hotel properties will be named Scion—yes, just like the now-defunct Toyota car—not Trump Hotels.

Yeah, it was a good run, Dick. You too, other dick.