Historic Beer Birthday: Richard L. Yuengling, Sr.

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Today is the birthday of Richard L. Yuengling, Sr. (July 16, 1915-March 25, 1999). He was the great-grandson of David Yuengling, who founded America’s Oldest Brewery, Yuengling Brewing, which was founded in 1829 (as the Eagle Brewery) in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

richard-l-yuengling-sr

Here’s his obituary from the Pottsville Register:

Richard L. Yuengling Sr., 83, whose great-grandfather, David G., founded America’s Oldest Brewery in 1829, died Thursday evening at ManorCare Health Services, Pottsville, after an extended illness.

He was the fourth-generation owner of D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. Brewery.

“He was a great person to work for,” said James P. Buehler, a 27-year employee recently elevated to brewmaster. “It’s a shame. He was a good man,” with a lot of friends, he added.

“On behalf of a mournful city, we extend our condolences to the Yuengling family,” Mayor Terence P. Reiley said.

Dick Sr. and brother F. Dohrman who preceded him in death took over management of the brewery when their father, Frank D., died at age 86.

Carol B. Johnson, whose husband, the Rev. Theodore T., was pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Pottsville from 1952 to 1975, has fond memories of Dick Sr., who used to attend church there.

“The Yuenglings were all a part of our life in Pottsville,” she said.

Dick Sr. and his brothers- and sisters-in-law were active and interested church members, she said from their home in a Northumberland retirement community.

He ran a good business, and was very kind and thoughtful to his mother, the late Augusta Roseberry Yuengling, she said. His father was the late Frank D.

Dick Sr. was more reticent than his son and daughter, Patricia H. Yuengling, who lives in LaMesa, Calif., she said.

During Dick Sr.’s tenure, in 1976, the brewery was recognized as “America’s Oldest,” and placed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a state historic site; and in 1979, its 150th anniversary was celebrated.

In 1985, Dick Jr. bought the company from his father.

Dick Sr. was an asset to the city, Reiley said. “Mr. Yuengling clearly kept the strong family tradition going that the brewery currently enjoys.”

That success was built upon Dick Jr.’s predecessors, including his father, Reiley said.

Thinking back to his childhood, Reiley recalled Yuengling as pleasant and accommodating when St. Patrick’s Church set up its parish block party between Fourth and Fifth streets near the brewery.

Buehler said Yuengling was always ready for a party, and the first to tend the Rathskeller bar to share a beer, he said.

Born in Pottsville, July 16, 1915, he was formerly of 1322 Howard Ave., Pottsville.

He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a staff sergeant with 1060th AAF Base Unit.

In addition to F. Dohrman, he was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, the former Marjorie Hood, in 1997; two other brothers, David G. and Frederick G. Yuengling Sr.; a sister, Augusta Y. Ulmer.

In addition to Dick Jr. and Patricia, surviving are five grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; grandnieces and grandnephews.

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Here’s what the Yuengling Wikipedia page has about Richard Sr.:

Richard L. Yuengling Sr. and F. Dohrman Yuengling succeeded Frank Yuengling after their father’s death in 1963.

Yuengling experienced an increase of sales after a renewed interest in history owing to the United States Bicentennial in 1976. Yuengling bought the rights to use the Mount Carbon (Bavarian Premium Beer) name and label when Mount Carbon Brewery went out of business in 1977. Yuengling initially brewed beer at Mount Carbon but eventually abandoned it. The dairy remained in business until 1985.

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And this is his yearbook photo and entry from the Hill School from 1935. One curious fact is that some sources give his birth year as 1914 while others say 1915. But even his Find a Grave has photos of two separate gravestones showing differing birth years. One appears to be a military marker.

dick-yuengling-hill-school

Comments

  1. beerman49 says

    The best of the “lawnmower” lagers by miles – when I’m back east, I drink a lot of it (especially when in Myrtle Beach & it’s on tap @ golf course bars & local joints where my golf group goes after the day’s round). Way the hell better than Bud/Miller/Coors – just wish we could get it in CA.

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