Brewing company D.G. Yuengling & Son partners with Molson Coors Beverage to expand to Western US

USA – D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., a brewing company, is teaming up with Molson Coors Beverage Co. for a long-term brewing partnership aimed at expanding the geographical footprint of Yuengling.

Under the partnership, Yuengling will remain a family-owned business. The existing company will operate separately from the joint venture with Molson Coors and continue overseeing the established markets, as well as operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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The collaboration is anticipated to launch in the second half of 2021 and a six-member board of directors consisting equally of Yuengling and Molson Coors family members and executives will oversee the union. Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer and sixth generation Yuengling family member, will chair the board.

“This partnership is a great opportunity for us to grow our distribution footprint for the long-term, while continuing to support our existing markets and the communities in which we operate,” she said.

“The joint venture presents a major growth opportunity for Yuengling as well as Molson Coors and is going to make a whole lot of Yuengling fans out west really happy,”

Gavin Hattersley – CEO, Molson Coors Beverage

The 50-50 joint venture aims to bring the 191-year-old Pottsville brewery’s beers farther west than ever before. Any new market expansion outside of Yuengling’s current 22-state coverage zone will be done under the partnership as a new entity and could also include future New England expansion.

While Yuengling isn’t going to go national out of the gate, 25 states home to tens of millions of drinkers are open for expansion under the partnership, Hattersley said.

Specific details of western states planned for expansion is under consideration by the joint venture board and will be announced in coming months, according to Yuengling.

Yuengling brewers will utilize Molson Coors’ production facilities and distribution resources to increase the Pennsylvania brand’s availability in new markets. Production will start off at one Molson Coors brewery and expand to other sites as the joint venture expands.

Both companies will provide analytics and management support to the joint venture as needed, while Yuengling will manage its national selling, marketing strategy, brand portfolio and chain relationships, said Gavin Hattersley, CEO of Molson Coors Beverage Co.

“The joint venture presents a major growth opportunity for Yuengling as well as Molson Coors and is going to make a whole lot of Yuengling fans out west really happy,” Hattersley said.

“Today, three storied brewing families and their collective 18 generations of brewing excellence, have come together with one goal for the future – a future focused on growth.”

A lot of consumer demand exists in the upcoming markets, noted Jennifer Yuengling, Vice President of Operations. Jennifer says the people from across the country and the world visit the brand’s museum and gift shop daily and the company constantly gets requests online for product launches.

Yuengling brewers will utilize Molson Coors’ production facilities and distribution resources to increase the Pennsylvania brand’s availability in new markets. Production will start off at one Molson Coors brewery and expand to other sites as the joint venture expands, Hattersley said.

The biggest cost for the joint venture is accumulating capital to outfit the Molson Coors breweries with the ability to produce Yuengling brews, Hattersley noted. The partnership will be funded out of both breweries’ existing capital budgets and “is not a meaningful amount of money,” he added.

The expansion plan comes at a time when many companies are hard-pressed to pivot operations or reinvent themselves to weather the financial fallout brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The joint venture is an idea that Yuengling has kicked around for a couple years and the timing was finally right, Jennifer Yuengling said. She characterized Yuengling, which was founded in 1829, as “a very slow and methodical company.”

The local brewery anticipates introducing itself to new markets by first rolling out its Traditional Lager, Black & Tan, Light Lager and Flight brands, Wendy Yuengling said.

As the company continues its slow and deliberate approach and analyzes launch performance, the potential exists for new markets to also open with Yuengling offerings such as its Golden Pilsner, Hershey Chocolate Porter and Oktoberfest.

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