Florida on a Tankful: How beer is made at Yuengling in Tampa

By Scott Fais, Feature Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 11:35 PM EDT

"We can crank out 24,000 cases in the typical 24-hour shift,” said Jennifer Yuengling, Vice President of Operations for D.G. Yuengling and Son, as thousands of glass bottles spin and whirl through the production center at the company’s Tampa brewery.

The bottles of beer rolling off the line aren’t the only things moving here.

“Now we’re going to get our exercise,” said Elizabeth Maroney, hinting at what’s to come.

Six days a week, behind-the-scenes tours at Tampa’s D.G. Yuengling and Son Brewery in Tampa offer an up-close look at the 23-day process to make beer. 

Elizabeth started leading tours more than a decade ago. They transcend stairs, outside patios, overhead walkways, laboratories and internal corridors built during the Cold War.

There’s a lot of history brewing one block away from Busch Gardens. 

While the modern-day Yuengling factory never bottled Anheusier Busch products, the facility first opened in 1958 as a Schlitz brewery, before becoming home to Stroh's. Later, Pabst’s was made at the facility, before going back to Stroh's. After Stroh’s closed in early 1999, tYuengling stepped in.

"He came back from Florida and said, "Hey Folks! I bought a brewery!” said Jennifer Yuengling of her father’s purchase.

Richard Yuengling bought the factory, bringing Stroh's employees back to work, effectively opening the family’s Pottsville, PA product to new southern markets.

Today, Jennifer is part of the the next generation of Yuengling sisters working in the family business.

"We're putting our time in,” Jennifer said with a grin.

Meantime, Elizabeth offers some insight. “It will be a woman-owned brewery, which will be kinda neat.”

So will the word "Son" in name and logo change to "Daughter?"

"That's interesting. We get that question a lot,” Jennifer said. “We're pretty happy with the way it works right now."

So is Bob and Kathy Lutz visiting from Minnesota, where Yuengling isn’t available.

“We’re going to take some cases back with us,” Bob said with a grin. “Don’t tell the police.”

Just how many cases does the Lutz family hope to cart home?

“We ship our clothes back by UPS, and we put the beer in the car,” Kathy said with a laugh.

“We encourage everybody to drink responsibly,” Elizabeth said at the end of the tour, since each visitor over 21 gets two free samples.  Those under age are welcome to soda.

Know Before You Go:
The D.G. Yuengling and Son brewery tour in Tampa is offered daily, except Sundays when the plant is traditionally closed.  Get details here before visiting.

Tankful on Television:
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