D.G. Yuengling and Son will enter the Ohio market later this year -- possibly as early as October.
"It's going to be so exciting," said Pat Noone, the brewery's business development manager and the one spearheading the move into the Buckeye State." The launch in your state is going to be huge. It's probably going to be the most successful launch in Yuengling's history."
Yuengling is the oldest operating brewery in America and has a cult following for its popular brands, which include Traditional Lager, Original Black & Tan, Porter and Lord Chesterfield Ale. The company -- which is in 14 states now -- isn't distributed in Ohio, forcing hardcore fans to drive to neighboring Pennsylvania to stock up.
"The reason we haven't been in the state is because we haven't had the beer to service the state," Noone said. "Ohio is one of largest states in the country and in terms of beer consumption, and we needed to make sure that when we did come, we were able to service the state properly."
The company, based in Pottsville, Pa., is expanding its Mill Creek brewery in Pennsylvania to handle the move into Ohio. Noone recently traveled around the state meeting with potential distributors, retailers and customers.
"The level of excitement across the entire state is high, very high," he said. "They want us and they can't wait until we get here."
The company is shooting for an October launch. It may be later than that, though, depending on the expansion and time involved setting up a distribution network, Noone added. Yuengling is the fourth-largest brewer in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.